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  #91   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-02-2013, 11:44 PM
Lil' Lavery Lil' Lavery is offline
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Re: The Stereotyping of Successful Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by PVCpirate View Post
Something I think is relevant to the discussion. Here in America, professional sports leagues have things like salary caps and playoffs which keep competition level and largely prevent "powerhouse" teams from winning the title year after year. As an example, the past 10 Super Bowls have been won by 7 different teams. Over in European soccer leagues, they don't have any of that, the top team after the regular season wins the league. Here is the same statistic for the top 4 leagues:
  • England - 4 teams
  • Spain - 3 teams
  • Germany - 5 teams
  • Italy - 3 teams
Less teams win, but it can be argued much more strongly that the best team in each of these leagues won the title each year. I would have to say that FRC is much closer to the NFL in this regard. Divisions, alliances, and eliminations ensure that we have different champions every year, and the widely regarded "best team" doesn't always win.
Naturally there will be more repeat champions in a ~30 team league than a ~2500 team league. The fact that a number of teams have won multiple championships in the past decade is ridiculous as it is.

Last edited by Lil' Lavery : 05-03-2013 at 11:53 AM.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 11:18 AM
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Re: The Stereotyping of Successful Teams

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Originally Posted by EricH View Post
Sorry, Adam, but I must disagree. I believe it's known as Parkinson's Law: Work expands to fill the allotted time.

What I mean is this: Expand the season to 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 weeks, and I'm willing to bet that you will STILL spend multiple hours a day, multiple days a week, every week, trying to iterate a newer and better item, reworking the robot between Week 1 and your first competition when you realize that your design isn't working out, doing a lot of things to make the robot perform better, or even just driver practice.

The ONLY thing that will be different is... wait for it...

... You'll have your competition robot to do it on. That means you don't need to build a practice robot. Assuming that you did that after bag day anyway (or before building the competition robot), you really aren't saving that much wear and tear on yourself, because you're still running into the "Just one more tweak" from 3 or 4 different directions, which leads to more late nights, more nights, later nights...


Basically, what I'm saying is that by allowing teams to work longer, they will do just that, resulting in even more burnout. It's just human nature. I would almost go so far as to say that it won't help the teams you're trying to help, it'll hurt them. Almost.
I don't want to drag this out, and maybe it's a topic of discussion for a different thread...

But, I can't believe that a "lower" level team having 24/7 access to their robot to practice with, iterate, etc... could be anything but a good thing.

I understand that will lead to more time committment and work for them, if they choose to continue to fill the time. But, is that worse than not having access to their robot and showing up to competition after competition not being able to execute the designed game tasks?

Maybe they needed another week to get a shooter working, or get a climber or drivetrain adjusted. It's pretty hard to do major adjustments and tweaking at a competition.

With more access to the robot, do they have to meet every day....or can they meet every other day? Can they adjust their schedules to get more time with the machine, but also a better mix of time at work and home as well?

As I said before, the top teams are already doing more anyways with a practice bot. 2056 and 1114 are practicing 4-5hrs every day. 254 is re-designing an already awesome climber to be even better. 67 is trying to get partially functioning climber working to it's full potential. This is already happening.

Basically, when there is work to be done...we put in whatever time is required to get it done. Example - Last year we rolled out of the gate at Waterford and the robot was essentially "perfect". After that we did not mess with it or tweak it at all (outside of some minor autonomous improvements), all season. This year was different. We were not ready and continued to work all season to get to the point we wanted to get too. We (67) are going to do what it takes to attempt to meet our goals. If we don't need to do more work, we won't. If we need too we will.

We've talked about raising the floor. Giving the "floor" more access to their machine does exactly that. Jim Zondag has data that shows more competitions and more access to the robot leads to better performance.

Will it just create a mean shift of performance for all teams? Yeah, most likely, but it may also tighten up the difference between the best and worst teams. We are probably approaching the limits on how much better the best teams can get.

This thread just seems weird to me, that a discussion about how 341 worked harder to be better, leads to an arguement that handicapping the best teams and restricting access (not having more access) to the robot for lower level teams is for the betterment of FIRST's mission.

IDK, maybe my perspective is just one sided.

-Adam
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Unread 05-03-2013, 12:16 PM
pathew100 pathew100 is offline
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Re: The Stereotyping of Successful Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Freeman View Post
We've talked about raising the floor. Giving the "floor" more access to their machine does exactly that. Jim Zondag has data that shows more competitions and more access to the robot leads to better performance.

Will it just create a mean shift of performance for all teams? Yeah, most likely, but it may also tighten up the difference between the best and worst teams. We are probably approaching the limits on how much better the best teams can get.
I have had the same thoughts about this for a while. If you take out the need for teams to build a practice robot it saves a ton of resources and tightens up the competiton.

"Six Weeks" is a fallacy now anyways. It's really six weeks to build 75% of your robot (by weight).

And software isn't included so if you want to keep up with the "elite" or just have auto code that works you need to build a practice robot so you have a platform to test your code on.

And bumpers and controls aren't included, so you don't need to worry about them until after bag day...

So when does "Build Season" stop exactly?

Last edited by pathew100 : 05-03-2013 at 12:16 PM. Reason: broken quote
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Unread 05-03-2013, 01:04 PM
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Brandon Holley Brandon Holley is offline
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Re: The Stereotyping of Successful Teams

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Originally Posted by Adam Freeman View Post
I don't want to drag this out, and maybe it's a topic of discussion for a different thread...
I want in on this topic as well- so I'm going to make a new thread.

-Brando
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Unread 05-04-2013, 02:10 AM
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Re: The Stereotyping of Successful Teams

Once again no multi-quote thingy... really need to learn that trick.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Lavery View Post
Naturally there will be more repeat champions in a ~30 team league than a ~2500 team league. The fact that a number of teams have won multiple championships in the past decade is ridiculous as it is.
Wins really don't matter regarding team bashing. What matters is how well the team being bashed appears to do. To continue using a sports analog, but changing sports to hockey because it is awesome and I don't know spit about football, look at the red wings. They are the single most hated (and loved) team in the NHL, but they only have 11 Stanley cups. Compare that to Montreal which has 24. The difference is that the wings have made the playoffs for what 23 seasons straight and are always at the top of the league.

Blue banners don't breed contempt. Not getting a shot at it when others almost always have a shot at it does. This is another reason that districts are good, more blue banners + semi-same number of events per team = more shots.
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Unread 05-04-2013, 10:55 PM
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Re: The Stereotyping of Successful Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Malik View Post
Once again no multi-quote thingy... really need to learn that trick.
Protip, just copy the [quote] tag that appears at the top of your text field when you quote someone

In this example,
[quote=Ivan Malik;1272186]

Then copy and paste whatever you want to quote after that, then close it with a [/quote]

[quote=Ivan Malik;1272186]Blue banners don't breed contempt.[/quote]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Malik View Post
Blue banners don't breed contempt.
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Unread 05-05-2013, 12:00 PM
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Saw this in another thread, so I'll cross-post it here without the poster's name:
Quote:
They should split all of FRC into two divisions, professionally built robots (e.g. robots built by NASA and GM and Boeing) and a division for student build robots. Teams that just assemble their robot from a kit that a profesional company built for them should not be allowed to compete with the student built bots. Having an alliance of GM, NASA and Boeing beat an alliance of student built robots benefits non of the students.
O_o
I think the rest of this thread already sums up why this thought is patently wrong, but the above post was made after the inception of this thread, so I think it speaks to the general nature of the students/parents/mentors who make these generalizations.
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Unread 05-06-2013, 01:11 AM
philso philso is offline
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Re: The Stereotyping of Successful Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrokid248 View Post
Saw this in another thread, so I'll cross-post it here without the poster's name:

O_o
I think the rest of this thread already sums up why this thought is patently wrong, but the above post was made after the inception of this thread, so I think it speaks to the general nature of the students/parents/mentors who make these generalizations.

It is very sad when I see/hear people making statements such as the one that Aviana quoted. I have to wonder if the person making the statement is using the "superior resources" of teams such as 118 as an excuse for not having put in as much hard work or thought as the elite teams do. It saddens me to see/hear this since this attitude will most likely hold back the person holding this point of view.

I noticed that on Thursday and Friday evening at CMP the teams that were still working in their pits were the teams that eventually won and the teams that everyone was putting their money on. They were either making improvements or doing maintenance work. When the team members are so willing to back up their passion with hard work, success is inevitable. This is true in so many fields. If there is to be a stereotype of successful teams, this should be it.
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Unread 05-06-2013, 01:39 PM
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Re: The Stereotyping of Successful Teams

Hi, we are a 3rd year team and work out of a 2-car garage and build our robot out of 1/4-20 bolts and aluminum extrusion. We worked really really hard, used a solid strategy and design process, and after countless iterations of our robot's design we won our division at championship.

NASA or not, you can strive to be the best you can.

The Robonauts have an incredible group of friendly, dedicated, and inspired kids. They recruited more and more students- and have a huge, well organized team that inspires the FIRST world year after year. Why would you ever hold that against them?
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Unread 05-06-2013, 02:20 PM
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Re: The Stereotyping of Successful Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by NXTGeek View Post
Hi, we are a 3rd year team and work out of a 2-car garage and build our robot out of 1/4-20 bolts and aluminum extrusion. We worked really really hard, used a solid strategy and design process, and after countless iterations of our robot's design we won our division at championship.

NASA or not, you can strive to be the best you can.

The Robonauts have an incredible group of friendly, dedicated, and inspired kids. They recruited more and more students- and have a huge, well organized team that inspires the FIRST world year after year. Why would you ever hold that against them?
I love your guys' story. It's so inspiring, especially after Einstein with you this year. 303, too -- I don't know their whole story, but they went through a lot of sponsor & school changes in like 2007...and now they host their own district event! 1640's moved homes like 11 times in 9 years. I'm sure there are so many amazing that touch down on Einstein each year.

I think we should have a site to archive these team stories together.
Particularly for Worlds' award winners (HoF, EI, engineering and team awards, Einstein, etc), but really for everyone. It'd be a great place to direct the perhaps under-educated in our community to gain a lot of inspiration.
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Unread 05-06-2013, 02:49 PM
Lil' Lavery Lil' Lavery is offline
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Re: The Stereotyping of Successful Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Malik View Post
Wins really don't matter regarding team bashing. What matters is how well the team being bashed appears to do. To continue using a sports analog, but changing sports to hockey because it is awesome and I don't know spit about football, look at the red wings. They are the single most hated (and loved) team in the NHL, but they only have 11 Stanley cups. Compare that to Montreal which has 24. The difference is that the wings have made the playoffs for what 23 seasons straight and are always at the top of the league.
The Red Wings are the most hated team in the NHL? Maybe ten years ago...




/off-topic
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Unread 05-08-2013, 01:14 PM
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Smile Re: The Stereotyping of Successful Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ_341 View Post
Team 341 was recently stereotyped in another CD thread and we have been quietly disrespected like this for about 5 years now. So, I feel the need to speak out. But I promise this post has a positive outlook.

In 2005 our team became frustrated with losing on the playing field and funds were very low. At that point we had a choice to make. We could either, blame other teams and complain about all of the resources that the “elite” teams have or we could decide to work our tails off. We chose to be positive and just try really, really hard to improve.

Unfortunately some teams in the previously mentioned thread have not made that choice, as yet. While I can certainly understand the frustration that comes with competition, using another team as a punching bag really disturbs me deeply. I am upset mostly because teams, that don’t know anything about Miss Daisy’s history, make assumptions based on stereotypes. FIRST stereotypes are dangerous and are usually developed out of a need to target a source for built up frustrations.

I am not replying in an attempt to embarrass or attack anyone, so please do not take this personally. I just want to set a few things straight about the so-called “Elite” Miss Daisy. My hope is that maybe in understanding our team, you may look at other successful teams differently. I am sure that we also know very little about the inner workings of other teams.

Stereotype #1: “Miss Daisy is Rich”
I am the founder of our team and for the last 11 years, the team has basically run on my credit card, which gets frantically paid off in May with sponsor funds and fundraising. Many years we finish the season with almost zero left in our account. One year I was $5,000 in debt until July. I probably lose about 1 to 2 thousand dollars of my family’s personal money every year. Yes we have very kind and generous sponsors, but we are not what you think we are. Every year we start with almost nothing and fundraise like crazy. I won’t insult your intelligence by saying we are poor, but we are certainly not the rich team that you imagine.

Stereotype #2: “Miss Daisy has an unlimited machine shop”
No. We have a very small lathe, a small mill, and a cut-off saw. That is it. The vast majority of our robot each year (over 95%) is designed and built by our students in a high school woodshop with rickety tables. We succeed by using our resources wisely and knowing our limitations. We have mostly won by choosing very effective strategies and not by having the best machine on the field. In 2012, we built our best machine ever. Some visitors to our pit were visibly disappointed to find that our machine was a pile of extruded aluminum and urethane belting, just cleverly arranged and programmed.

Stereotype #3: “Miss Daisy is designed by Corporate Engineers”
We do not have any outside engineers that come to us directly from our sponsors. Every Engineer, CAD mentor, or Media coach on Miss Daisy is a former FIRST/341 student, a friend of a student, a team parent, or a teacher. We do not have a single engineer or professional on our team that is not in that category. Our fantastic engineering design mentorship comes from our former team members and their friends. We are an absolutely home-grown organization.

Stereotype #4 : “Miss Daisy always wins everything”
We had an anomaly in 2003 where we made it to Einstein. It was an amazing experience.
Do you know when we won our very first regional? The answer: 2007
That’s right. It only took us 7 years to figure out how to be a consistent winner. Before that we had never even been in the finals at any regional and had only made it to the semi-finals twice. Yes we win quite often now and I am very proud of our performance over the last 7 years. But it was due to the dedication and sacrifice of many students, just like any other team.

Summary:
In 2005 we made it a stated objective of our team to strive for sustained excellence both on and off the field, while maintaining all of the GP standards that we so deeply believe in. We collected resources, paid closer attention to winning team models, adopted a philosophy of continuous improvement, and always, above all else, treated other teams with the respect they deserve. We helped teams in need and looked up to “Elite” programs with admiration. We still do this.

Every team in FIRST can make this choice. Be positive, help others, and work like a maniac behind the scenes. This approach will bring you joy and satisfaction, whether you win or not. Attacking or mocking other teams will only lead to more frustration. I hope this explains who we are.
I am also hopeful that this post will make teams think twice before stereotyping another team. Instead, I strongly urge everyone to spend their energy learning from successful teams. Learning and striving creates positive energy.

As always, Miss Daisy wishes everyone a great off-season.


I just want to well spoken, it's really sad how criticized you can get in the world of first. This is our 3rd year and last year people were saying our robot was mentor build. last year we had only one engineering mentor. everything on the robot was student CAD, student build, we work in a two car garage. so we understand what you are talking about
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Unread 05-08-2013, 04:06 PM
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Re: The Stereotyping of Successful Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Siri View Post
I love your guys' story. It's so inspiring, especially after Einstein with you this year. 303, too -- I don't know their whole story, but they went through a lot of sponsor & school changes in like 2007...and now they host their own district event! 1640's moved homes like 11 times in 9 years. I'm sure there are so many amazing that touch down on Einstein each year.

I think we should have a site to archive these team stories together.
Particularly for Worlds' award winners (HoF, EI, engineering and team awards, Einstein, etc), but really for everyone. It'd be a great place to direct the perhaps under-educated in our community to gain a lot of inspiration.
Thanks!
That's a great idea.
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  #104   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-08-2013, 05:03 PM
OZ_341's Avatar Unsung FIRST Hero
OZ_341 OZ_341 is offline
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Re: The Stereotyping of Successful Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterteam3476 View Post
.......everything on the robot was student CAD, student build, we work in a two car garage......
You should certainly be proud of all that you have achieved and how you achieved it. Your robot was really amazing, your team members were very cool and I was very glad to see you compete up close on Newton.

I do want to make one point however. A mentor from a very successful team recently sent me a PM making the point that teams with resources and mentors should not be ashamed of the fact that they have these advantages. That is absolutely correct. Especially when these teams are sharing their knowledge with others.

When I originally posted about some of our little known difficulties it was not to say that we were better because we had some troubles. I am not proud of the fact that we run out of money each year. I was merely pointing out that people make inaccurate assumptions about teams based on their level of success and that you really don't know a team until you ask. You should respect all teams, even if you do think they have more resources.

So, we should have respect for each other regardless of whether we are building our robot with a Waterjet or a Hacksaw. Construction methods will vary widely, but honoring your competitors should be universal.
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Unread 05-08-2013, 08:58 PM
MikeBrock MikeBrock is offline
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Re: The Stereotyping of Successful Teams

What is 341's total budget? (Sorry if you mentioned this, I couldn't find it)

I mean your operating budget for your entire program. It seems you have many large corporate sponsors, I'm just wondering how much they actually give. If it is a lot, what types of things does the money go to (besides the robot or registration)? We are looking for sponsors right now, but don't know how much to ask for.

Does your team build practice robots?
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