Beyond the


How to Prepare for Spontaneous Competition


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Spont Vibe

Hello, NorCal Spontanians!

Now that we’re in the thick of the Odyssey Season, it’s time for a few timely reminders and some suggestions to help your team during Spontaneous practices as they prepare for Spontaneous competitions.

Practice All Three Types of Spont Problems: Just like the long-term problem competition, all team members are invited to participate in the Spontaneous competition and share the Spontaneous fun! 

No team knows the type of Spontaneous problem they will solve until they enter the competition room. Because the problems are not known until competition day, this is an area where coaches CAN coach team members directly without an Outside Assistance penalty. In fact, parents and coaches can share advice on how they would answer practice problems. 

To help your team feel comfortable, confident, and safe entering any Spont competition room, your team should practice all three types of Spont problems regularly. Our Odyssey in 10 Weeks guide provides a Spontaneous practice problem in each week’s activities.

Download our Spontaneous Team Tip!

Resources: As you learned during your online Coaches Training, the Members Area has some terrific Spont material for coaches and teams. Now that you’ve got some team meetings under your belt, you should revisit these resources; you’ll see them with fresh eyes. 

There’s an excellent Coaches Guide for Spontaneous, as well as a set of Spont problems to use with your teams. The NorCal Odyssey website has great links to other sets of practice problems as well. These resources can be found under the resources tab.

And, we have a series of helpful videos available for you to watch.  

Spont Tip: Teamwork is often a scoring element in Spontaneous problems. Debriefing after a Spontaneous problem can help the team understand each other’s strengths. 

Initially, the coach might lead these debriefing sessions, but the end goal is for the team members to take over. Regular debriefing will help the team learn, and then play to, its strengths in a spontaneous competition. Here is a set of suggested questions for debriefing in Spontaneous.

Remember, this is the time when you can coach the team, helping them to hone their analytic and problem-solving skills.

NorCal Teams, go for it – we know you’ll be Spontastic!

Cathy Parker
NorCal State Assoc. Problem Captain