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Unread 08-21-2018, 01:36 PM
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"Zem"asks:"How about the balance issue of teams capabilities, resources, and success"

This was pulled from another thread

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Originally Posted by Zem View Post
Sure. You know how some teams can do it all. They build two absolutely ineradicable robots that can do everything extremely well with lots of custom parts every year. They have lots of time to but together a jaw dropping autonomous before there first event. You look at them and just know that they will be rank #1 and win the event. Then they also get Chairman's, a Woodie, and Deans List and go to worlds every year. And they have a team with lots and lots of students and mentors.

Compared to the teams that have no money and can barley get a drive train and one simple mechanism to function.

This, I think is a problem.
You forgot "Mentor Built Robots"

This is an often topic and there have been hundreds of threads about this, but it's a slow August before School OPENS!!!!! So lets take a crack at it.

1) All of the top teams publish everything they know
2) All of the top teams have students and mentors that will talk your ears off about what they know and can help you.
3) Everyone has gone through budget travails they can tell you how to find more money

Every one of the teams will tell you it boils down to two things

Work Smart and Work Hard

Work smart is easy, FRC is over 20 years of "Did that and that Didn't work" coupled with "Did that and WOW Did that work!" Most of it' out there, go look it up, ask. You are at RIT/Connecticut area, you can's swing a dead Talon without hitting another team. Go on a road trip and visit them all.

As to the Work Hard part, that's all up to you and your team. But again look at the top teams at the end of build and the end of the season. They are crumpled around the robot on the floor, every last ounce of energy used up. That's why they give out blue banners, they cover the team up as they quietly sleep to get ready for the next year.

Which isn't really true, the top teams spent the summer looking at past errors, going to off seasons to try out new ideas and drivers.

Good luck!
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Unread 08-21-2018, 01:53 PM
Lil' Lavery Lil' Lavery is offline
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Re: "Zem"asks:"How about the balance issue of teams capabilities, resources, and succ

I think Zem could have created this thread themselves if they intended for it to be a CD thread topic, and not a suggestion for a roundtable discussion on FUN.
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Unread 08-21-2018, 02:09 PM
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Re: "Zem"asks:"How about the balance issue of teams capabilities, resources, and succ

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Originally Posted by Lil' Lavery View Post
I think Zem could have created this thread themselves if they intended for it to be a CD thread topic, and not a suggestion for a roundtable discussion on FUN.
Well Foster thought he would create it as a CD thread topic. Some people think differently.
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Unread 08-21-2018, 02:11 PM
Marcus Q Marcus Q is offline
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Re: "Zem"asks:"How about the balance issue of teams capabilities, resources, and succ

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Originally Posted by Foster View Post
....Work Smart and Work Hard

As to the Work Hard part, that's all up to you and your team. But again look at the top teams at the end of build and the end of the season. They are crumpled around the robot on the floor, every last ounce of energy used up. That's why they give out blue banners, they cover the team up as they quietly sleep to get ready for the next year.
....
The belief that the reason teams do poorly because they don't work hard/smart enough is so incredibly out of touch.

The fact is in FRC, you can have tons of hardworking students, tons of mentors, tons of resources and tons of money and fail. There are so many reasons for this, mentor issues, culture issues, time restrictions, lack of support from community, etc.

Many many teams are created each year on foundations that are inherently unsustainable. It's like trying to grow an evergreen tree in the desert. It might be possible to make it grow but it will take a lot of luck and an immense amount of resources. Even if it does take hold there is no guarantee it will continue to grow.

Unfortunately FIRST incentivises team creation over sustainability. I think there are a lot of thing FIRST and the FRC community could do to change this and there are good discussions to be had besides mentor shaming and student blaming.
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Last edited by Marcus Q : 08-21-2018 at 02:27 PM.
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Unread 08-21-2018, 02:18 PM
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Re: "Zem"asks:"How about the balance issue of teams capabilities, resources, and succ

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Originally Posted by mman1506 View Post
Unfortunately FIRST incentivises team creation over sustainability.


Additionally, the public image that many of the leaders of this program project is one of "there is no problem" or "this isn't that big of a problem". It's a HUGE problem based on the numbers.

The hardest place to start a FIRST team is where one has failed previously.
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Unread 08-21-2018, 02:20 PM
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Re: "Zem"asks:"How about the balance issue of teams capabilities, resources, and succ

Quote:
Originally Posted by mman1506 View Post
The belief that the reason teams do poorly is because they don't work hard/smart enough is so incredibly out of touch.

The fact is in FRC, you can have tons of hardworking students, tons of mentors, tons of resources and tons of money and fail. There are so many reasons for this, mentor issues, culture issues, time restrictions, lack of support from community, etc.

Many many teams created each year on foundations that are inherently unsustainable. It's like trying to grow an evergreen tree in the desert. It might be possible to make it grow but it will take a lot of luck and an immense amount resources. Even if it does take hold there is no guarantee it will continue to grow.

Unfortunately FIRST incentivises team creation over sustainability. I think there are a lot of thing FIRST and the FRC community could do to change this and there are good discussions to be had besides mentor shaming and student blaming.
Seconded.
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Unread 08-21-2018, 02:31 PM
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Re: "Zem"asks:"How about the balance issue of teams capabilities, resources, and succ

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Originally Posted by marshall View Post
The hardest place to start a FIRST team is where one has failed previously.
citation needed-- can you point me to the part of the FIRST sustainability study where this is explored?
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Unread 08-21-2018, 02:38 PM
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Re: "Zem"asks:"How about the balance issue of teams capabilities, resources, and succ

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Originally Posted by Nate Laverdure View Post
citation needed-- can you point me to the part of the FIRST sustainability study where this is explored?
I wish I could. I also wish I could tell you who I have borrowed that soundbite from. They know what's up and I appreciate them loaning it to me to use.
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Unread 08-21-2018, 02:49 PM
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Re: "Zem"asks:"How about the balance issue of teams capabilities, resources, and succ

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Originally Posted by Nate Laverdure View Post
citation needed-- can you point me to the part of the FIRST sustainability study where this is explored?
I can't back this up with data; only enough personal experience to believe it's true.

Teams get started to fulfill a growth number without a sustainability plan and they have no technical mentors, a pile of money for 2 years which seems like plenty but only covers registration. Then they go to competition and rank terribly. Without any infusion of FIRST culture they don't think about it as a success just to survive your rookie season, and it feels unfair that the top teams "are mentor built."

The adults/teachers/administrators involved leave the program with a terrible experience, so when they are approached about starting a new team they fight tooth and nail against going through all that again. It takes significant work to either go around these people or to change their minds that their experience wasn't actually bad it was just without the right context.
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Unread 08-21-2018, 02:53 PM
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Re: "Zem"asks:"How about the balance issue of teams capabilities, resources, and succ

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Originally Posted by RaMoore View Post
I can't back this up with data; only enough personal experience to believe it's true.

Teams get started to fulfill a growth number without a sustainability plan and they have no technical mentors, a pile of money for 2 years which seems like plenty but only covers registration. Then they go to competition and rank terribly. Without any infusion of FIRST culture they don't think about it as a success just to survive your rookie season, and it feels unfair that the top teams "are mentor built."

The adults/teachers/administrators involved leave the program with a terrible experience, so when they are approached about starting a new team they fight tooth and nail against going through all that again. It takes significant work to either go around these people or to change their minds that their experience wasn't actually bad it was just without the right context.
It's almost like if you gave rookie teams resources to start off successfully they'd survive longer. Oh, idk, like instructions for getting a the KOP chassis running within the first couple of weeks instead of moving for the first time at their first event.
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Unread 08-21-2018, 02:59 PM
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Re: "Zem"asks:"How about the balance issue of teams capabilities, resources, and succ

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It's almost like if you gave rookie teams resources to start off successfully they'd survive longer. Oh, idk, like instructions for getting a the KOP chassis running within the first couple of weeks instead of moving for the first time at their first event.
But that's just part of the challenge right!? Back in my day we didn't have any KoP chassis, and we had to build it up hill both ways!
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Unread 08-21-2018, 03:01 PM
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Re: "Zem"asks:"How about the balance issue of teams capabilities, resources, and succ

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Originally Posted by RaMoore View Post
But that's just part of the challenge right!? Back in my day we didn't have any KoP chassis, and we had to build it up hill both ways!
And remove the back drive pins from drill gearboxes too!
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Unread 08-21-2018, 03:03 PM
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Re: "Zem"asks:"How about the balance issue of teams capabilities, resources, and succ

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And remove the back drive pins from drill gearboxes too!
Wow, that brings back some memories...
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Unread 08-21-2018, 03:09 PM
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Re: "Zem"asks:"How about the balance issue of teams capabilities, resources, and succ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foster View Post

You forgot "Mentor Built Robots"

1) All of the top teams publish everything they know
2) All of the top teams have students and mentors that will talk your ears off about what they know and can help you.
3) Everyone has gone through budget travails they can tell you how to find more money

Every one of the teams will tell you it boils down to two things

Work Smart and Work Hard

Work smart is easy, FRC is over 20 years of "Did that and that Didn't work" coupled with "Did that and WOW Did that work!" Most of it' out there, go look it up, ask. You are at RIT/Connecticut area, you can's swing a dead Talon without hitting another team. Go on a road trip and visit them all.

As to the Work Hard part, that's all up to you and your team. But again look at the top teams at the end of build and the end of the season. They are crumpled around the robot on the floor, every last ounce of energy used up. That's why they give out blue banners, they cover the team up as they quietly sleep to get ready for the next year.

Which isn't really true, the top teams spent the summer looking at past errors, going to off seasons to try out new ideas and drivers.

Good luck!
As for the mentor build bots, from my experience it seems that generally speaking the unsuccessful team have mentor built bots because the mentor what the help the team to hopefully do better while the successful teams have there mentor teach there students before build season and just guide them through the decision making process. Maybe i'm wrong but this is how it seems to me.

I agree that working hard is a basic key element but I also think having the right attitude is as well. I have met some teams that to me seem to just not have the right attitude and desire to really improve and succeed. And that is why they don't get banners. I know teams that stop after build season and do not continue to work.

I wish I could so many teams but I don't have the time.

I do not mind that this has been made into a CD post. I think CD has a lot of great ideas that could help with this topic. The reason I did not do it myself was because I saw the topic of FUN for tonight and thought it would be appropriate to post it there. Also I would love to hear those people talk about this topic. And lastly I did not know where I wanted to go with this.

mman1506 said :
The fact is in FRC, you can have tons of hardworking students, tons of mentors, tons of resources and tons of money and fail. There are so many reasons for this, mentor issues, culture issues, time restrictions, lack of support from community, etc.

While this may be true I personally only know of two teams like this. I would also like to add that I am not "mentor shaming and student blaming".

I guess what I would like to know now is dose anyone have ideas of how to improve this problem besides educating teams on how to do better. For example the way the game is played or rules that would help this problem. For example in 2014 you only needed one good shooter and one decent one on the alliance. The third team just needed the ability to pass the ball. I think this was a good way to help low resource teams do well. In 2017 there were a lot of team that just had a drive train, a climber and some sort of holding device to catch gears from the loading station and deliver them to the peg. They could not even let go they needed a pilot to lift up the gear. I think games like this are great. The game allows extremely simple robots to do well.
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Unread 08-21-2018, 03:30 PM
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Re: "Zem"asks:"How about the balance issue of teams capabilities, resources, and succ

People get so focused on "Good Robots" and "Good teams" and try to make better robots and become better teams.

Good robots come from good teams, good teams come from good programs.
FIRST Rewards teams that focus on the program.

If you want a better robot, focus on your program.
How do you interact with your school(s) and teachers? what can you do to make this better?
How do you interact with your mentors and their employers? what can you do to make this better?
How do you interact with your students and their parents? what can you do to make this better?
What about the people in your community not in the above 6 groups?

It's important to remember that all of these relationships arn't static. You can change a toxic relationship with the school ( the "our school doesn't help us at all" problem, show up to a school board open meeting with parents/mentors and make a stink, then do it again the next month). you can also loose a great mentor and sponsor by neglecting them and not sharing what you are doing (Stuart from 2011 this is aimed at you).

Coming from the Dallas area I've watched 1296, 2848, 3005, 3310 all build great robots by building great programs (148 has been around so long I just see the results of a great program). and watch out for 5417 and 5431 they are making lots of investments in their programs that will pay out in the next several years.

Note all of this takes time ( more than a season) and resources while you are building a better program you may want to scale back the time and effort resources spend on the physical robot.

and after reading RaMoore, yes FIRST need to realign the FRC rookie grants with the realities of their competition.
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