Odyssey of the Mind – Coaching Information

Want to make a difference in a child’s life?  Be a Odyssey of the Mind coach!

One of the most important parts of OOTM is that The Team MUST conceive, design, construct, and perform their own ideas. Help external to the team is termed Outside Assistance (OA) and is not allowed in Odyssey.  The solution must be the Team’s design, their work, and their performance. The Team is responsible for what they do, NOT the coach. OOTM is a Hands-On Program for Kids, but a Hands-Off Program for Adults


If that is true, what does a coach do???  A coach is a facilitator, scheduler, educator, guide, and mentor.  Coaches teach skills that students may or may not need to solve their problems.  Coaches schedule meetings and assist the team in creating schedules, determining what they need to work on, how much effort they want to put in, etc.  Coaches assist the team in purchasing or procuring materials.  Coaches must ask lots of questions to help the team stay on track and consider things they may have forgotten.  The most important skill a coach must possess is flexibility because the team will drive the process, not the coach.


I might be willing to coach but I have no idea how to get started??  Houston Area Odyssey organization sponsors a free coach’s training each year.  This training is run be seasoned Odyssey coaches who will explain the process and give tips and techniques for coaching a team. This year’s free Odyssey coach training meeting will be Saturday October 3rd, 2015 at Sharpstown International School | 8330 Triola Lane | 77036. 

The Mark Twin PTO has also purchased several books to assist coaches and Mark Twain coaches are happy to help each other.  If you have additional questions about coaching, please contact Zeph Moss at zmoss@att.net.


I know I can’t coach but I would like my child to benefit from Odyssey of the Mind.  What can I do?  Try to recruit a friend of family member to coach.  Be a judge or a tournament volunteer or volunteer to assist the coach with snacks, managing the team money, gathering materials.  Or recruit a friend or family member to assist in one of these roles.  Odyssey is run entirely by volunteers.  There are lots of opportunities to be involved.


When referring to Odyssey of the Mind finalists, former president George Bush said:  “Behind each one of our finalists is a volunteer support network that can proudly claim to be one of those thousand points of light that I like to talk about.”


Learn more about Odyssey of the Mind at Mark Twain.

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