I participated in ACM ECPC last year and i got the 95th place. now I'm practicing by solving problems on different online judges and by participating in CF rounds and TC SRMs.. I don't know what should I learn now and what should be my priorities. So, i think that i may need a coach.
My suggestion to you would be to sign up for: http://train.usaco.org
This is a guided training curriculum with an online judge and texts/tutorials. Also, you can get the book "Programming Challenges" by Skiena and Revilla which also has a similar format (texts + practice problems).
If you are looking for a structured training program, one of these options would be a good idea.
Whether or not you "need a coach", I am not sure how to answer that question! Having a coach is good, but you still have many options in the absence of one. Also, didn't you have a coach for ACM ECPC? Was this not a team contest (unless I am mistaken)? You could also work and train with your team to improve!
Anyway, I recommend USACO and/or Programming Challenges if you are looking for structured training. Good luck!
Indeed, it's confused to explain how i don't have a coach and how i participated in that contest.
but now I'm going to sign up for USACO and i will get that book.
Thanks, dojiboy :)
A coach would be great, but if you are not able to find one, I would suggest to learn while you compete.
Asumme you have participated in a CF round and you were not able to solve a problem, you should read the editorial and once you know what was this problem about, lets say graph theory or dynamic programming, read about it and practice with similar problems (you can use the tags).
That's what i am partially doing now. but increasing the topics and absence of coach and the soul of the team make me confused about what should i do and which topic should i learn before another one.
Indeed a couch is great for sitting, I have a very comfortable one and it is a great spot to solve programming problems.
You can do without a coach, but you will need to follow a plan when you practice. I was training on my own in the summer of 2013 and the results were great. My team's ECPC rank was 18 and ACPC rank was 16. Here is the plan that I followed. I studied new topics from Steven Halim's book "Competitive Programming" and solved some of the assigned problems. This book was my coach. I participated in CF and TC rounds to monitor my performance.
tip: do not leave problems that you stuck with, read editorial and learn how to solve them.