One thing we have tried to stick to in the past few years is to make sure that the drivers are NOT in the pit fixing the robot. They need time to decompress, watch match video, hydrate, strategize, etc. So if you or fellow drivers are “in charge” of elements of the robot, make sure there are other pit crew members that can handle it for you.
i agree, i only mentioned this because something like this can be noticed with a quick glance, especially if it is going fast enough to notice out of the corner of your eye, if you know what i mean.
Don’t forget your gracious professionalism even in the middle of an intense match.
Avoiding penalties benefits everyone on the field.
Me used to being a drive coach here’s the advice I can give:
- Get rest
- Listen to your Drive Coach and Operator (or manipulator)
- Go with your strategist for strategy so your drive team doesn’t get salty (I speak from experience)
- Make sure everyone on the Drive Team knows the manual
- Make sure driver knows how to avoid penalties
- Use Gracious Professionalism with your alliances and your opponents
- Communication is key
- Don’t stress
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Everyone has a bad match, don’t let that match ruin your concentration
- Like my driver said, stay positive. You never know whats gonna happen
- Get practice
- Take care of yourself
- And finally, have fun. I learned from volunteering if your not having fun you’re doing it wrong.
Hope this helped at all!
Drive hard! You can always fix the robot but you can’t replay a match. You’re going to get stressed and anxious but staying in constant communication with your drive team will keep you grounded. Always listen to your coach. They will have a better idea of what’s going on around you because you will be focused on your robot in particular. Don’t forget to have fun because at the end of the day life goes on. Goodluck!
all the above + stop by pits and find out how they have built their robot, what was their design strategy and build process.
don’t forget it’s a team sport and losses aren’t always necessarily something you can control, just try your best knowing you did everything you could and you’ll be satisfied with your performance
I can’t tell if “Burritoman” is trolling or not but either way, don’t follow his advice!
Drive your robot hard! Build your robot to take a hit and drive it like you stole it.
If there’s a pushing match don’t automatically back down! Sometimes the fastest way is straight through a defender. Maybe you could have some scouts tell your drive team which robots might be easier and harder to push around.
Don’t make your drivers have to remember which end of your robot is the front! Make it clear at a glance.
I hate to give Burritoman too hard a time but if his team changed how they drove there might be times that they’d make it out of the quarterfinals in a year with defense.
I don’t know why, but I feel like you might have been talking more about a robot that is more defensive style. I’m just making an assumption, call me out if need be. I made a mistake by not addressing that there are different playing styles and different things to look out for for different robots. I have more experience with robots with elevators, and they do have a different play style than say a defensive bot, where you can be more aggressive. With robots with higher center of gravity, you cant be running around being super pushy, that’s how you tip over. You should get to know what the robots main goals and purpose is, like did design intend for the bot to be a more nimble and quick robot, or more of something that is more rigid, not meant to be moved? In the end, it’s really just getting to know your robot, and seeing what you can do and can’t do. In my opinion, talking to other more experienced drive team members and coaches will probably get you your most valuable tips and information. The response that I had put previously was mainly what I remembered teammates saying to me last year, and me being rookie last year, that’s the information I found most valuable. It’s just that I didn’t realize that the styles could have changed so significantly in one or two years.
As an offense robot, if you drive like that and your elevator isn’t up, the defense already won.
Should you avoid pushing matches? Yes. But if you need to score at X, and there’s a defender there, drive smart and get them out of the way. (Easier if there’s a protected zone, which there isn’t this year, but still…) Back before bumpers were a thing, the team I was on at the time once “escorted” a harassing defender across the length of the field, dumped them into their own driver’s station wall, slammed a scoring object into place, and got out of there. (They got stuck on our defensive mechanism.)
Don’t go full speed–FRC games tend to come down to cycle time. More speed = lower cycle time = more points. If you’re NOT going full speed, shame on you–unless you’re actively maneuvering for a score or working on escorting a defender out of the way, or ramping up to full speed. Or, you know, playing defense.
The one piece of good advice is “remember which way is front”. Though I would add: remember that “front” may not be the same thing during the entire match. See also: Swerve drive, directional flips (some teams use them to make driving easier when the robot is pointed the wrong way), field-oriented drive…
Don’t get pushed around literally and figuratively
Drive in a way that is appropriate for your robot is something I definitely agree with. As you note, if your robot is super top-heavy that will change how you have to drive.
A couple of things to note keep in mind: a robot with elevators is not necessarily top heavy, and a robot that is good offensively might also be strong defensively. For example, at the event I was at last week the alliance captains of both the winning and finalist alliances played defense in the playoffs which was not often either of their strategies during quals.
I think you’re not the only one to be surprised by the contrast of this game with some of the recent ones. For example, see this thread: Defensive Free For All
That guy was at the same event I was. And like EricH, I fondly remember the roughness of the pre-bumper days. I still miss the ping of frames hitting each other. The sound would really pierce through the music and the crowd noise.
This is my second year on the drive team, and one of the most important things to remember is to stay calm. Getting nervous and frantic will not help anyone. But a bit of good, competitive stress is not unhealthy, as long as it’s not overwhelming. Just stay calm and do your job to the best of your ability.
Go fast in between scoring. Focus and slow down to score the game piece. Deep breath before every score. Relax. Also know the rules. I can’t tell you how many times i was in the question box as driver this and last season.
Always recognize your mistakes and things you did right, but don’t dwell on them. Also, don’t overthink things in the moment. If something goes wrong mid-match, don’t get scared, stay calm just roll with it.