Bible Quiz coaches ought to be like Boy Scouts. We should always be prepared, especially for practice. I wanted to post more on contesting, but that’s going to take some time to put together, and I was thinking about this topic today.

I am pretty adamant about showing up for practice ahead of time, tools in hand, and ready to roll. I want my quizzers to be on time, have their materials ready, and have their work finished. I need to do the same, and even more.

The first thing I always do is make sure I have a plan for practice. I know what we need to work on that week, and how we are going to accomplish it. For example, our second league match is next Saturday, so tomorrow in practice we will drill heavily on the material for that. We will work specifically on verse references, and practice disciplined hitting. Most teams don’t have as strong of knowledge at this league match, so we want to be sure we don’t make dumb mistakes that could cost us a game.

Often, I’ll write the agenda for practice on the board, so the quizzers can see the plan. If the specific order of work doesn’t matter, I might let them pick the order we do things in. If you don’t have a plan when you go to practice, you can waste a lot of time figuring out what you’re supposed to be doing. You also are less likely to properly prepare for your next competition.

I have a few things that I always take with me to practice:

  • Markers, eraser, board cleaner (I never assume this stuff will be available, and I never leave mine lying around)
  • Stopwatch (I know a lot of buzzers have built-in timers, but I like to time lots of things, and I don’t want to be limited to a countdown)
  • Question Sets (I generally pre-pull the sets I want to use for practice, so I don’t spend time fumbling around looking for certain authors or sets)
  • Quiz Portion (naturally)

I like to have the quizzers bring their books, quote cards, and any other study materials they’ve been given. Even if we don’t use all those things in practice, it’s good for you to lay eyes on them once in awhile, so you know they haven’t papered their locker with quote cards or something.

Practice times are usually not long enough, so you want to be as efficient as possible. Having a plan and being organized are great ways to ensure that you are getting the most out of every practice.