BBrock293-My first suggestion would be to go to a BBQ Comp as a spectator and see what the other teams are doing-if you are able, ask them questions; you'll find folks that are willing to share their knowledge and others that will flat out tell you to get lost. I used to compete in Dutch oven cooking events and I would get all kinds of questions on temp control, recipes, etc.
You need to practice, practice, practice. Are you looking to enter in one category or several? If you are going to do a multi-meat comp, you need to be able to cook, plate and get your entry to the judges in the time allowed and still get the other meats going. Oh yeah-and try to figure when you are going to try and get a nap. Practice will be expensive and you need to do it more than just a couple of times. Get your family and friend to eat and critique you food. Their comments may be harsh but remember that you asked for their comments and build up from it.
For your first couple of comps, do a single entry and do what you do best. Are your ribs better than your pulled pork? Do you have a killer brisket? Basically-go with what you know.
Their are classes out there that will teach you what you need to know but they can be expensive. They can run from several hundred dollars to over a thousand and that doesn't include the cost of your meats. If the classes are outside your area, factor in the cost of your motel/hotel room.
Hopefully, some of our members that do compete will jump in and give you their insite to the Competion world of BBQ!