Average score per match and cycle times

In my two seasons of FRC, I have definitely seen this to be true on my team:D But I think it is definitely important to set these high goals so that the team is always striving for more during the season.

I guess that begs another question, how do teams avoid falling into the “carry” strategy trap and having their robot attempt to do everything, ending up with a situation where it does nothing well? Obviously there are some teams that can pull this off but not everyone for sure.

It all comes down to understanding your team and what you guys are capable of. The general rule that many successful teams follow is to be the best they can at one particular task instead of the master of none. There are and will always be teams that can do it all but even so, being really good at one particular task can make your team competitive enough to go head to head with these teams. The 2013 world championship alliance is a great example of this design strategy.

The real trick to that is to be able to do the minimum everything required to win a match assuming similar opponents. Then on top of that be really good in a defined role for the game being played.

Look at our 2015 robot, a lot of teams made fun of the fact we could only do stacks of 5. But we had our can grabbers and those were our focus, that was our high end role, beat the other guy to the cans every time without fail.(admittedly maybe not the best example, but still)

Don’t rely on everyone all the time, but don’t do everything all the time either.

Prioritize what your robot needs to be able to accomplish, and then stick to that priority list as best as possible when designing and fabricating your robot. That’s not to say you can’t also grab some “low hanging fruit” from your lower priority items, but try to avoid designing around lower priority items. Don’t compromise the tasks you NEED to be good at in favor of adding in additional low priority functionality.

On 3481, after analyzing the game we talk about setting realistic goals based on what we know we can actually accomplish. This year we challenged ourselves to be a high goal shooter. After perfecting the shooter we just kept trying to increase the amount of high goals we could score per match. So I guess it is important to specialize in one aspect of the game and work on it until you perfect it, and always try to better your bot.

Always prioritize tasks and stick to them. You can re-prioritize as you go along depending on how your strategies changes or any major updates that would shift your team, but you should always have a unified top priority typically starting from basic game play up.

It is important to step back from the chaos of the season and look at the bigger picture and do so without being emotionally attached to a strategy or concept. Setting goals like being the best at high goal shooting is a focused strategy, but you have to remember all of the other sub-systems you need to have perfected if you can be the best at high goal shooting. If your drivebase is just “okay” chances are you’ll struggle at crossing defenses or navigating around the field. If you focused on making a simple collector you’ll have trouble acquiring game pieces which will reduce the number of shots you can take. If your shooter controls have too many variables your shots will be inconsistent. If you are working up until the end of build season without time to test and debug your drivers will struggle on the field learning how to use your robot.

Many of these lessons I’ve learned over the years from mistakes we’ve made by not keeping ourselves prioritized and lacking a cohesive effort to field the best robot WE can as a team. Many times fielding your best robot means it won’t be the best robot on the field. This isn’t a bad thing. If everyone fielded the best robot they could at their events and kept improving their machine FRC would be more fun & exciting. Always field YOUR best machine and never stop improving.

We had to scale back our efforts drastically in Week 4 of build season so we could compete at our first event with a completed machine. It was a little deflating knowing younger teams in our area were doing more than us but we perfected what we had and never stopped improving it. What we started our season with was far from what we ended our season with.