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Unread 04-03-2012, 12:30 PM
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Re: Mentors as Drive Coaches?

Really, you should read the existing threads. If you care to, you can read these threads to understand the perspectives you ask about.

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=67426
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=77390
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=91144
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=93881
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Unread 04-03-2012, 12:31 PM
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Re: Mentors as Drive Coaches?

Count me in the mentor does not belong on the drive team camp. I can see exceptions but not many. If you don't like it, I am not on your team & am not going to come & take your birthday away.

One issue I have seen is some (by no means all) mentor coaches expect the alliance partners defer to them because they are mentors when in reality they are just a partner drive team coach. Not to say that student coach act badly on occasion as well.
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Unread 04-03-2012, 12:32 PM
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Re: Mentors as Drive Coaches?

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Originally Posted by Will Andrews View Post
It seems to me that when the mentors get involved with the drive team they take away from the students. If you're telling the students exactly what to do in the matches then what's the point of even having the students drive the robots? Why not just let the mentors take over? Having mentors coach might make your team more successful but since when is the focus of the competition on winning matches?
Not all mentor coaches are the same. My driveteam has thanked me and our other drive coach multiple times for coaching them in matches. They have thanked us for guiding them.

Will, let's talk directly at the MAR Championships about this if you would like. I will show you multiple cases of driveteams who love their adult coaches. (including 341)
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Unread 04-03-2012, 12:34 PM
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Re: Mentors as Drive Coaches?

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Originally Posted by artdutra04 View Post

Thus, there is no right way or wrong way, only different ways. What works for one team does not necessarily work best for another.
There is indeed a wrong way. Teams that focus on what other teams are doing wrong are doing it wrong (no, this statement is not lost on me, I couldn't come up with a better way of saying it). Basically, focus on you and your team and impact your students to the best of your abilities. Don't worry about other teams, they are doing what they feel is best.

Live and let live.
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Unread 04-03-2012, 12:37 PM
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Re: Mentors as Drive Coaches?

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Originally Posted by Andrew Schreiber View Post
Live and let live.
This summarizes this topic perfectly.

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Unread 04-03-2012, 12:46 PM
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Re: Mentors as Drive Coaches?

The whole goal of FIRST is to get students working side by side with mentors and engineers. The more you take engineers and mentors out of these areas on the team you are really hurting the growth of your students and the passing down of knowledge. This doesn't mean coaches and mentors need to be everywhere but you get the idea.

In short, it comes down to your team and what works for you. If this was really an issue, FIRST would make a rule about it.
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Unread 04-03-2012, 12:51 PM
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Re: Mentors as Drive Coaches?

I''ll through my hat in ring here because I'm right on the edge of switching this up.

I started as a student in FIRST in 2003 and I had a bad experience with an adult coach. Since than every team I have been a part of has had a completely student drive team. However they also had the luxury of experienced students who could be drive team coach. I'm coaching a new team this year and none of the students have had that much experience (we're only a sophomore team). At lone star this week don't be too surprised if I'm on the field for at least the eliminations matches. I really don't want to be because I've always fought for student coaches on my teams but right now I feel like that stand is stopping my team from excelling and I would never want to do that either.

Will see how the event plays out and it will probably be a decision made by the drive team if they want me there or not, but before last week I had told them that I wouldn't coach when they asked but I'm leaning a lot further to doing it.
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Unread 04-03-2012, 12:55 PM
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Re: Mentors as Drive Coaches?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Schreiber View Post
There is indeed a wrong way. Teams that focus on what other teams are doing wrong are doing it wrong (no, this statement is not lost on me, I couldn't come up with a better way of saying it). Basically, focus on you and your team and impact your students to the best of your abilities. Don't worry about other teams, they are doing what they feel is best.
I completely agree with this. I have no problems if you have a student as drive coach. I do have a problem if that team tells my mentor field coach and strategist that they only want students present for strategy discussion and match planning. Please don't do this.
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Unread 04-03-2012, 01:04 PM
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Re: Mentors as Drive Coaches?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iVanDuzer View Post
Also, I was "behind the glass" once, over the course of my 6 years in FIRST. But I'd still say that I got the "full FIRST experience." A driver does not an inspired student make.
I was heavily involved on my team, especially directly in working with the robot. I was never on the drive team. Why? Other students were simply more qualified. I tried out for the spot and it really just wasn't my thing. I much preferred hanging in the pits, talking to judges and scouts, and then wandering over to the stands to watch our matches when I could. I don't think I got anything less out of my experience because I was not on the drive team. In fact, because I was not on the drive team, I was able to be a Chairman's Award presenter for my team (after a conflict between our Chairman's presentation time and a match at CMP in 06, we decided it was probably best to not have drivers also present Chairman's), which was another great honor and led to me being able to be a representative for my team off the field while my friends and teammates were representing us on the field. I sometimes acted as "drive coach" during off-season events, but, by that time, our drivers didn't really need much coaching and I was really just there as a placeholder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Anderson View Post
I don't understand that sentiment at all. Mentors add to the process. That's the very foundation of FRC.
This. Again and again this. This is also something that's brought up in threads about student-built robots. Mentors are there to be involved with the team. They're not just babysitters. As it's been said over and over, let teams do what works for them and just worry about yourself. We have had the same drive coach for many, many years. It works well for us. So we leave it as is.

I wish teams would stop criticizing others for the way they choose to run and organize their teams. I see so many posts on here calling out other teams for not being fair for doing things that are within the rules. A lot of times it has to do with such teams being more successful. Maybe, just maybe, they are the ones getting it right. Everyone has every opportunity to have a mentor act as a drive coach. It's not like they're sneaking around to get mentors on the field. So relax.
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Unread 04-03-2012, 01:08 PM
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Re: Mentors as Drive Coaches?

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Unread 04-03-2012, 01:08 PM
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Re: Mentors as Drive Coaches?

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Originally Posted by Nemo View Post
Please take the above post to heart. There have been numerous threads in the past that address this topic.
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Unread 04-03-2012, 01:17 PM
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Re: Mentors as Drive Coaches?

Once again I tried to make this thread focus on the benefits that coaching can bring to students rather than on the drawbacks of having mentors in the role. This is not an attack on any specific team and is merely what conclusions I can draw from my experience in this program. While being on the drive team isn't necessary for every student, I know that it can make a student's experience far more meaningful. The coach on our team was a fringe member of the team before he was given his new position at the beginning of the year and now he's one of the most involved students we have.
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Unread 04-03-2012, 01:20 PM
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Re: Mentors as Drive Coaches?

As a fairly involved mentor, I believe mentors should NOT be drive team coaches. If this is truly about engaging and teaching students, what greater opportunity for them than by having them function as coach, collaborating with alliance members, etc...on the field.
Over the years I have had to become more involved with our drive team, not to direct the drive team, but to intervene and serve as a buffer to overly zealous coach/mentors from alliance teams. Those mentors "have the strategy" and too often are focused on dominating student coaches and telling them how to win the match, rather than listening, discussing and teaching.
If it is about winning...than mentor coaches maybe the better pathway. If it is about teaching and learning, let the students coach!

It goes beyond coaching though. Too many times I see mentors (aka Woody Flowers nominees) become the center of attention on their teams. They lead the cheerleading, they are first on the field to recieve metals and trophies...
Don't get me wrong. Mentors are a critical and vital part of FIRST and inspiring students...,but they need to be careful not to make this too much about them, but about the students. There is a balance, but perhaps one element out of balance is the drive team. Let the students coach!
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Unread 04-03-2012, 01:21 PM
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Re: Mentors as Drive Coaches?

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Originally Posted by AllenGregoryIV View Post
Since than every team I have been a part of has had a completely student drive team. However they also had the luxury of experienced students who could be drive team coach. I'm coaching a new team this year and none of the students have had that much experience (we're only a sophomore team). At lone star this week don't be too surprised if I'm on the field for at least the eliminations matches. I really don't want to be because I've always fought for student coaches on my teams but right now I feel like that stand is stopping my team from excelling and I would never want to do that either.
This is a sentiment that I can definitely relate to as I see no problem with young teams having mentors as coaches to mitigate the shock students experience in their early competitions. I merely feel that student members of the established teams could really benefit from the experience of coaching.
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Last edited by Will Andrews : 04-03-2012 at 03:12 PM.
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Unread 04-03-2012, 01:21 PM
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Re: Mentors as Drive Coaches?

This topics comes up on an annual basis.
Maybe they should make one of the older threads a sticky so anyone who feels they can add anything new to the conversation can go over the tread to see if there is a point to be made or if it has already been made.
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