Keep your pit area uncluttered and the energy flowing

(Repost from January, 2011)
Most of us intrinsically know that the way we feel and act can be affected by our environment. When our surroundings invite movement and flow of energy, we feel good. When they are closed in and crowded, we are stifled. Figuring out how to create a space that allows good energy flow is essential, even in the world of a FIRST® LEGO® League tournament.

At a tournament, your pit is your team’s ‘home away from home’. If it is organized and inviting, team members and visitors will feel welcome and comfortable. If it is disorganized and uninviting, it won’t serve your team well and can create a less than positive first impression.

Remember, your team’s pit serves 2 functions:
1. It is a place for your team to work.
2. It is a place for others to see what your team has done.

Prioritize what your team really needs to have during the day’s competition – and remove anything that isn’t needed. Although some tournament’s pit space might be small, there are still things you can do to have the area remain as clutter free as possible. Keep food and snacks hidden, keep extension cords untangled and extra equipment stored underneath or behind. Make sure your team members can move freely around the table and get to what they need, and politely ask parents, siblings and friends to ‘visit but not stay’ too long if possible, as you want to keep the area uncrowded.

When someone comes to your pit – and wants to talk with your team – make sure they can do so easily without  stumbling over littered clothes, backpacks and robot pieces/game mats on the floor. Also, although one or two presentation boards are helpful – setting up a multitude of boards can create an impenetrable wall that makes your team members disappear and your pit seem unapproachable.

Let your pit be a place of uncluttered action, excitement and flowing energy – where your team can work and shine!