Who is going to play what part? Me! Me! Me! Enthusiasm is great but no coach wants to be in the middle of selecting parts for team members and appear to have ‘favorites.’  This is a touchy subject for some groups and not for others.  Age of the team members, how long they have known each other, personalities, and type of problem all play a role—some kids just don’t care, some have huge passion for performing, some do not want to perform at all. I’ve seen all scenarios. If you have not thought about this yet, it is something to think through and determine how to approach the subject with your team. Begin with asking the kids ideas how they would like to choose roles. It may be an easy task with the natural flow of the team and you can applaud their excellent teamwork. It may be that two or three kids fuss over who gets the perceived lead role. Again, hopefully they will determine how to resolve this. Another concern is the roles that are being created. Are there enough roles for those who want them? If not, can a role be added? Are there too many? How can this be handled?—Remove a role, change costumes…help guide the team through solving this with questioning, but do not decide for them.

 

Primary/Div I–With a younger or newer team you can have every member put his name in a hat and pick and let her choose. You can also determine by asking each child what part she wants to play and see if they can come to an agreement. With some preplanning you should be able to give your kids confidence in their ability to solve this. For your own sanity, make sure that any large roles can be played confidently by the team member and that this team member and family have shown dedication to practices and Odyssey so that you do not find yourself figuring out to change roles at the last minute when the team member does not make it to practice. Younger kids often don’t have the flexibility to relearn lines easily and the whole team can get frustrated—not fun after an entire season of preparation.

 

Div II, Div III, Competitive—At this age, discussions should take place fairly early on about how characters will be chosen. In sports, decisions are often made on talent, or time invested. Teams might consider which team members have put in more hours and are more invested. Where one team member may have greater interest in her basketball team, a team member may be more vested in Odyssey as his extracurricular. Or, does one team member have a body type better suited to the role. Or, does a team member have a talent that will enhance a role?