Drill: The Perfect Team
I know, everyone thinks they have the perfect team, but that's not what I'm talking about. No, today we are talking about a drill. I feel as though we have been remiss in covering practice techniques, and so today we take steps to remedy this deficiency.
The Perfect Team is a drill that quizzers over the years have grown to hate. When we run this in practice, my quizzers' screams can be heard from miles away. The technique is designed to help quizzers learn to be more accurate, quick, and aware of the game situation.
The basic idea is that your team is going to quiz against the perfect team. Obviously, the perfect team doesn't actually exist, but if they did, this is how they would quiz. They would interrupt every question at the perfect spot. They would answer every question correctly. They would quiz out at the perfect time to maximize scoring. Quizzing the perfect team can be a humbling experience, but it is a great tool for sharpening your quizzers' abilities.
Here's how it works. On the board in your quiz room (and if you don't have a board in your quiz room, let me suggest you get one; it makes practice much easier) you will keep the score. Now, sometimes to liven things up you might give the perfect team an identity. When I quizzed, it was Deer Lodge, MT (and a big shout-out to all the Montana folks!). Keeping score on the board is great, because it allows your quizzers to see things unfold.
You read a regular 20-question set to your team, with all rules in effect. Every question your team hits in the perfect spot and answers correctly counts for them. If they hit in the perfect spot and miss, the question is turned over (and the perfect team always gets rereads right, of course). Every question your team hits after the perfect spot automatically goes to the perfect team. Quiz-outs and bonus points count, but so do error-outs.
A couple tips: If you aren't great at reading questions and figuring out the perfect hit on the spot, go through the set before practice and mark it. Also, if the game gets out of reach by question twelve, don't quit. That kind of humiliation is an excellent source of motivation for your team. I usually keep track of our scores over a period of weeks so I can show the team how we've improved.
If it sounds very difficult, that's because it is. Quizzers will come to hate this drill. But the results are well worth it. I have used this drill for years with great success. It puts performance in perspective and gives your team a week-by-week goal as they prepare for Districts. Believe it or not, I've actually seen teams get so good at this drill that we used to spot the perfect team the first five questions, and we could still win.
Remember, practice makes perfect.