This FIRSTer, like many others, is having a difficult time coping with the transformation of the old team. Watching from the sidelines, this FIRSTer questions whether the new path the team is taking is truly what is best. I know that this is an issue that has arisen on more than just this FIRSTer’s mind, as I have personally discussed it with others from other teams. Please share your thoughts, comments, concerns.
Ten years ago I started on my team as a high school freshman. I wasnt as involved as I wanted only periodically attending meetings and I did not attend the regional. Back then it was very much a student designed student build machine, from the tech ed room at our school. The next year some machinists from our sponsor became involved, we worked together, we traveled to their site, they traveled to ours, and we ended up doing extremely well that year. As the years progressed our sponsors did more and more and left out us kids a lot more. The team was doing very well winning a lot of awards and doing well at the regionals, championships and dominating offseason. In 2004 after some health issues sidelined our advisor (at that point I was an alumnus) our team barely held itself together, a lot of the kids didnt like the amount of work the sponsors put in and wanted to be more involved. We held a meeting and resolved our issues. More and more as the years progressed I started to see the team change, gone was the team that was awestruck to be competing at the same level of chiefdelphi and Beatty. In came a team expecting to just walk into a competition and be handed trophies. Gone were the meetings where we got our work done, and still had a lot of fun, it became more and more about winning and less about the experience. Now when the team doesnt do well its because someone like a ref or even all of FIRST was out to get them. They lack all dignity and tact and just expect to be the winners because they are <insert their team number here>. It is never constructive criticism directed towards them, its always bashing and teams hate them because they have to play that much harder to beat them, instead of just lying over and losing in fear of the team. I find myself ashamed to associate myself with them, they were my team but more and more I dont want to admit it. This letter isnt meant to point out and accuse them of anything, but more of a hope that they read this, and remember what it was like when they competed in FIRST for the right reasons, not competing to win, with a facade of gracious professionalism. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ FIRST-a-holic Anonymous mailbox is a place to share your concern and frustration about your FIRST experience anonymously. It is the perfect place if you just want someone to listen, or ask for advice when you don’t know what to do. Submit your letters today at the FIRST-a-holic anonymous mailbox forum. If you wish to respond to this thread anonymously, please PM Beth or Bharat with your response and thread title. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~