Adults on the Field

Could you share this interview?

Can some elite team post their reveal video so we can move on from this thread about a second hand account from something that happened 9+ month ago and a topic discussed many many times before?

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Less recent than I thought but here it is

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My team has an adult drive coach, he’s one of our 4 coaches. We’ve been asking our head coach if we can have a student instead, but he won’t go for it. He said FIRST has gotten much better about addressing stuff like that, but has seen adults yelling at kids and telling them to break down their robot a certain way for finals and go on without them. For that, he likes having an adult with us as a backup.

I’m sure this is not true in the literal sense; I think if I searched for a top team with a student drive coach I could find one (no true Scotsman arguments notwithstanding). Of course you didn’t mean it like this. But I’d also be interested to see just how true this is. Does anyone have data on which teams use student vs. mentor drive coach, or if not can it be included in the next team survey someone creates?

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Maybe I am not the norm but I would just stand up for myself if I feel I am not being respected or treated fairly, I feel like that is a skill kids on drive team should have or be able to develop.

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I bet that would be hard to find…although it could indeed be included in future surveys.

as for anecdotes…you can get all of those you want. We had student drive coaches from 2008 through 2013, and won two regionals those years, and since 2014 I’ve been drive coach, and each year I ask if any students want to step up to replace me. No offers yet, so I’m still drive coach.

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I bet you’re a great drive coach but maybe consider the power dynamic there. You know the situation better than I do so I trust your judgement.

I agree 100%, but you never know what is gonna be said or can happen in a very stressful situation

As a former student Drive Coach and current Adult Drive Coach, I have an interesting perspective to share on this topic. But I’m not going to do that because I’ve already done so in more than a dozen similar threads before this.

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I am with an all-girl team and they specifically said that they want an adult drive coach with them to avoid being bullied. They did not say who they felt had bullied them in the past.

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Understood. As I said I am not privy to the details of every team, so I don’t want to pass judgement. Just that I would personally not see a lot of HS students having the guts to stand up to an adult and say “I can do a better job than you”.

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Every team is different. The Head Mentor of the team my younger son was on asked him to alternate with him as the Coach. One of the local up-and coming powerhouse teams had a grade 10 student as their Coach for the whole season a year or two ago. I know both my son and the other student wouldn’t have a problem standing up to what the OP described but I also know a lot of students and some adults would have a problem standing up to that.

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This happens, and is an unfortunate dynamic. Make absolutely sure your drive coach is someone who can stand up for your drive team, and inform the event staff if someone is being abusive.

449 uses alumni coaches, partially for this reason.

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A counterpoint; some of the most surprisingly un-gracious or professional things I’ve heard said behind the glass or in planning have come from the lips of student drive coaches. It’s not like high school students have any sort of monopoly on politeness or grace under pressure. Teenagers can be colossal jerks, and are just as liable to get hot headed under the pressure of an event.

The difference, obviously, is that adults are adults and have no room to not act like it. Things I’ll let slide or gently correct from a student are totally unacceptable from adults. If any one, drive coach, adult or otherwise is abusive or bullying it needs to be brought to the attention of event staff.

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One of the local “white gloves teams” told us to “go away, we are busy” when we were speaking to them about their robot in their pit. We weren’t 118 or 148 but we were in a position to be able to pick them.

Is it safe to assume that you did not pick them?

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It was in 2015. We were looking for robots to cheesecake. The head CAD student was a really mellow guy but he was so offended that he wanted to pick them, flip their robot upside down and attach a piece of polycarb to the bottom of their robot so that we could use their robot as a ramp. I pointed out that their elevator was pretty tall so he thought sawing it off would be a good solution :wink:

These things get hashed out here every year. I’m only chiming in because yesterday I talked with my two student and one adult drive coaches and am trying to suss out who would best handle a belligerent adult drive coach in the heat of a round. I’m cool with putting in an adult as a buffer if necessary, and I’m cool with prioritizing kids in leadership roles whenever possible, and I’m cool with winning and providing my alliance partners with on-field leadership. Whatever works.

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I don’t see the issue if they just don’t lose. Oh wait…

Ignoring the whole student vs mentor coach issue which comes up every year and isn’t too far separated from the “mentor built robots” issue, it’s not good if any team member felt uncomfortable because of anyone losing their temper at them. I suggest that if this happens again you file a Non-Medical Incident Report at competition. This complaint goes to FIRST HQ, who should investigate and handle the issue. You can get a paper form at the event (probably at information or pit admin) or fill out the online form.

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