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Unread 11-08-2011, 01:13 PM
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Good vs. Great Drive Teams

I am really looking forward to this years game but would like to pose a question. What do you think in the past has made the difference between good drivers and great drivers? What skills or qualities made these drivers so awesome? Practice, natural born talent, a combination of many things? I am interested to get some feedback on this.
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Unread 11-08-2011, 01:22 PM
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Re: Good vs. Great Drive Teams

Disclaimer: I have not been part of a "great" drive team, but I've watched many of them.

Practice would come second only to a complete and thorough knowledge and understanding of the game's rules. Knowing one's robot's capabilities, and how they can work within the structure of the game with the other two robots on the alliance, creates a "great" drive team.
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Unread 11-08-2011, 01:23 PM
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Re: Good vs. Great Drive Teams

I think practice has an enormous influence on driving skill. I think, with enough practice, just about anyone can be made into a quality driver. Of course, there are some inherent skills that greatly aid this process (focus abilities, hand/eye coordination, etc).
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Unread 11-08-2011, 01:25 PM
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Re: Good vs. Great Drive Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
Disclaimer: I have not been part of a "great" drive team, but I've watched many of them.

Practice would come second only to a complete and thorough knowledge and understanding of the game's rules. Knowing one's robot's capabilities, and how they can work within the structure of the game with the other two robots on the alliance, creates a "great" drive team.
Rules are very important! As a drive team member myself, its also important for all the members on the field to be on the same page. Knowing the robot and its extents is also a very important part of driving. For there are many elements that make a good drive team.
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Unread 11-08-2011, 01:29 PM
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Re: Good vs. Great Drive Teams

The drive team acting like one person with 4 hands and two* minds.

*This allows the driver and operator to focus on the robot and the coach to focus on everything else, like where the next ring is going to go.

The human player is not included in this because their role changes by year--some years the drive team needs to act like one person with 6 hands, 2 feet, and 3 minds.
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Unread 11-08-2011, 01:30 PM
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Re: Good vs. Great Drive Teams

Multiple competitions -- those who are in their second competition have worked out many of the bugs during the first. Also, if they played in eliminations in a previous competition, the team can be calmer, and also play at the higher level during the entire second competition.
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Unread 11-08-2011, 01:34 PM
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Re: Good vs. Great Drive Teams

There are a few things that, to me, make a great driver.

1 - As said before, practice. Practice and experience are two of the greatest things a driver can have. Knowing how to really work the robot is different from just driving it. As monkey can pick up a controller and push some buttons and make the robot move. A driver who has practiced the with the robot, who knows how it really work, can make all the difference. It doesn't matter how good a robot you build; if a driver can't effectively work with it, it might as well just sit there. And that required practice.

2 - Maturity. Being mature is another key component of being a great driver. There is a reason children don't get licensed to drive on the roads. To be great, a driver needs to really appreciate his role on the team, and the weight he is carrying on his shoulders. He can't just be a kid who picks up a controller and plays a game. Don't get me wrong, having fun is one of the major goals of FRC, but a driver needs to know that when that match starts, he need to be ready to play, and he needs to respect the robot he has control of. Another thing that is kind of connected to that, is a driver needs to be able to stay calm under pressure. Even the greatest drivers will make rookie mistakes if they lose their head in a match.

3 - The third thing, and just as important as the others, is being a good team player. A driver with a big ego will not succeed, because they will end up going off in a match and doing what they thing is best. A great driver has to be able to work well with both the coach and operator. Not only that, but they need to have a connection with them that allows them to effectively operate as a single unit, as opposed to three people doing three separate jobs.

I hope this helps! Feel free to ask if you have any questions!
-Leeland
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Unread 11-08-2011, 01:38 PM
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Re: Good vs. Great Drive Teams

I think it is really important to know how to carry out effective, constructive, respectful dialogue with the other alliances. We had the opportunity to work with some great drive teams who were especially good at that.

I also think positive chemistry within the drive team is important.
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Unread 11-08-2011, 01:41 PM
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Re: Good vs. Great Drive Teams

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Unread 11-08-2011, 01:44 PM
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Re: Good vs. Great Drive Teams

One thing that we did last year was to create a robot that was easier for the students to operate. The use of X-Box controllers allowed the two students that spent time playing games to pick up on the controls easily. Also the use of different sensors on the robot allowed us to take some of the guesswork away from the drive team and make their job easier.

So I would say the robot they are driving has something to do with it too.
Great drive system=great drive team?
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Unread 11-08-2011, 01:45 PM
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Re: Good vs. Great Drive Teams

Some great feed back already! I thought for sure someone was going to say building 2 robots but I guess that fits into the practice aspect.
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Unread 11-08-2011, 02:07 PM
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Re: Good vs. Great Drive Teams

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Originally Posted by DRAKE2751 View Post
One thing that we did last year was to create a robot that was easier for the students to operate. The use of X-Box controllers allowed the two students that spent time playing games to pick up on the controls easily. Also the use of different sensors on the robot allowed us to take some of the guesswork away from the drive team and make their job easier.

So I would say the robot they are driving has something to do with it too.
Great drive system=great drive team?
Easy to drive does not necessarily mean a good drive team. A good drive team will adapt to any robot given to them no matter the game or controls. But yes this is somewhat true in that it takes some of the load off the drivers. I myself was a driver for three years, its best to let the drivers pick what they want to use, and not just use something that you think will work for them.
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Unread 11-08-2011, 02:19 PM
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Re: Good vs. Great Drive Teams

1.) Tenacity of the drivers. They can't give up, regardless of how things are going in a match.

2.) Clarity of the coach. He/She should know the rules, the entirety of the robot, and be able to articulate specifics of the strategy in very concise terms.

3.) Practice. Don't leave home without it.
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Unread 11-08-2011, 02:36 PM
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Re: Good vs. Great Drive Teams

I'll say practice, but viewed through the lens of experience. Practice with the robot will help the drivers become skilled at driving. Working as a team with the coach (and to a lesser extent the human players) in actual game situations will create better drive teams.

The coach has a huge responsibility as well. The coach needs to be able to control the entire team's situation. This doesn't mean making discreet commands to the driver regarding the robot, but to have a firm grasp of the situation the entire team is in at any given point.

I also believe that a keen scouting ability gives a drive team a leg up. This allows the drivers to asses situations when a scout team may not be present. We all know the best game plans can tend to go awry. If they do, having some quick thinkers who understand their teammates and opponents capabilities could be the difference.

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Unread 11-08-2011, 02:48 PM
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Re: Good vs. Great Drive Teams

1.) Understanding of the rules. If you don't score high enough on the test you don't even get to try out

2.) Natural ability, some things no mater how much you practice you will just never get. The ability to drive just as well going forward or backward is one of those things. Another is being able to see where the gaps will be to cross the field like a great running back.

2A.) Great arm drivers are born not made. I don't understand why this is but every arm driver tryout I've ever seen it was pretty much unanimous who the best was, and they only got better with practice.

4.) Desire to succeed and never give up. Coming in 2nd in tryout 2 or 3 years in a row and still trying out working to get better? You've got the tenacity we want.

4.) Reliable robot. If the robot never works right you will never learn to drive it right and always be compensating for something.

5.) Be unflapable in the face of adversity. In the case a motor stops working or a mechanism breaks can they adapt the strategy to what they still have to work with.

6.) Takes direction from field coach and sticks to the plan. If you don't take direction you won't last long because we come up with strategy for a reason.

7.) Understanding the strategy of the game to prepare for each round knowing your opponents and what you must do to beat them.

8.) Trouble shooting. They must be able to fix the small issues that can come up with the field and setting up the robot while communicating with the refs and FTA if needed.

9.) Communication with the pit crew. If you can't describe or tell the pit crew about problems that you have with the robot they can't get fixed.

10.) Practice without all of the above, is moot.
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