I’m new to FRC and we managed to make it to worlds off of district points this year. However I’m looking to join a new team because ours is dysfunctional - even for a rookie. At the beginning of the year I managed to get on the coaches daughter’s bad side when I rejected her advances. After that she started treating me terribly and I was blocked from playing any significant role on the team. This is only one of the slew of issues that popped up over the season. The mentors made at least 90% of our robot and complained about it while they rejected anyone who tried to help. I’m not the only person on the team that feels this way and I tried confronting the team and mentors about it during champs with no success.
There’s another community-based FRC team only 15 minutes away where I could get a lot more support and not have to fight for my life. My question is, how do I go about asking them if I could join their team?
I did talk to them at champs and they said I could come to their workshop anytime if I wanted to see their robot.
I would think you simply just ask. Explain your circumstances and they should be understanding. I don’t know if they have an application process or anything like that, but it shouldn’t be difficult. They might have some other stuff like for instance if they represent a school, but it shouldn’t be bad. My team had home schooled kids and others from the local area so that shouldn’t really make a difference. Most FRC teams are understanding and open to new members.
In the perspective of FIRST all they care about is what team you are registered with at the start of the season on STIMS.
Go and visit, pull one of their mentors aside, tell them you would like to switch teams. If he asks why, give him the reasons. Most teams are constantly looking for new students, and would be glad to let you join.
I’ve had people/families switch to community teams I was on away from other teams. Just contact the team via whatever mechanism is available, explain the situation, ask if they may be interested in your participation and what they would need from you if so.
Make sure the people you ask have the authority to allow your participation. Sometimes, there may be some restriction that are not immediately obvious though community teams would generally have fewer restrictions than school based teams.
Knowing what you know about your current team, thoroughly check out the team you are considering joining to make sure there isn’t some aspect that would be a deal-breaker for you. Make sure you speak to several mentors and several students to make sure their stories are consistent. My sons and I have joined a couple of teams where we discovered their culture and values did not match ours.
Thanks for everyone’s responses. I was honestly expecting a lot of “tough it out” advice. I’ll contact them about visiting their workshop and ask one of the mentors if they would be willing to let me join the team. (:
We’re school based, so a bit more limited than a community team… that said, we had a student transfer last summer from another team, and she was one of our Dean’s List Finalist this year. We had another student transfer away to another school/team a number of years ago, and provided her a reference for their team to help smooth the way for her.
While most students do stick with a single team for their FRC experience, there are a number of reasons to change, and it does happen. Your best bet is to visit them first, see what they’re like, how their meetings run and how you might best fit in with them, before you make any decisions. I know our transfer student last year visited us at a meeting before she even toured the school - Her robotics experience was just that important
Yes. You may want to check out school-based teams too.
The team I was mentoring in the 2020 season had a student who transferred in from another team because of cultural issues. Friends who mentor that team had spoken to me about those cultural issues for several years before. Some schools have restrictions based on residing in the school district. One of my sons and this student got around that by serving as mentors since they had significant prior experience.
Another team I mentored for several years had students from many school districts and home school students.
Even mentors switch teams. And sometimes for the same reason (team culture). Tough it out if you wish, or go join the other team if you prefer. But if a team is beyond your help, and/or you don’t feel excellent participating, find a place where you do.
FRC is too time-consuming to spend it on a team that makes you miserable. Good luck!!
in all honesty mentors switch teams more then students due to jobs, and the mentor network
If you feel that your current team is not upholding gracious professionalism, I would say you should join another team if possible. One should no feel or take abusive behaviors from what supposed to be an inclusive environment.
Your best bet is to attend one of the workshop and ask to speak to lead mentor if you can participate in their team. We run a school team but if the school district allows it I would be glad to extend invitations to other students. We are lacking students every year and our program is free to join.