AS part of our PROJECT ALAMO ROBOTICS RISING (PARR) initiative 3481 Bronc Botz and San Antonio Competition Robotics Alliance (SACRA) have been mentoring and supporting NINE Alamo Region FRC rookie and low-performing-veteran teams. SIX of these teams have received continuous very hands-on mentoring, work help, and providing parts/supplies since December 2015. The other THREE teams have received various levels of help.
In fact, this past weekend 3481 Bronc Botz hosted THREE of these teams simultaneously at our Shop/HQ while we also worked on our own robots–FOUR teams, including 3481, in a shop at the same time was quite an experience. There hasn’t been a weekend since January 9th that we haven’t had multiple FRC teams at our shop.
We’ve loved every minute of guiding and helping these FRC teams to either debut higher as rookies or for returning teams to up their game performance on the field----the goal for every team we’re mentoring is to “Play Saturday Afternoon” in the Alamo elims by being picked and not have to sit in the stands watching others play----I suspect our actual results will vary widely as this a learning experience for ALL of us…
We originally were going to give at Alamo Regional an FRC ROOKIE OF THE YEAR award to one of the rookie teams we’re working with, but as we worked with the low-performing-veteran teams, some that have been around for years and have never made elims, we found that they didn’t have much more experience/capabilities than rookie teams so we decided to include them in the award selection bucket hence the name change to FRC WOOKIEE OF THE YEAR because, yeah, we like STAR WARS.
**So, ANNOUNCING the inaugural 2016 Alamo Regional FRC WOOKIEE OF THE YEAR award given by 3481 Bronc Botz and SACRA to the team that best utilized the help and support given to them by the Bronc Botz team members to improve their on-field performance and improve/escalate their “team chemistry” for the benefit of their future seasons.
The winning team will receive an engraved trophy and t-shirts for each team member listing all the teams 3481/SACRA worked with this season and “FRC WOOKIEE OF THE YEAR” on the back and the winning teams’ number and name on the front of the shirt–maybe even a picture of a Wookiee if it doesn’t lead to getting us sued.
We plan to make this presentation at Alamo Regional in the winning team’s pit.
That is a great idea. This year we are helping out a couple of teams, both have been around a while (one 2 years and the other over 10). The 2 year team has been struggling and the 10 year team lost its main mentor this year (he went to work for Dean) and they have always had a high turnover in mentors.
These kids are every bit as dedicated as the big teams but do not have the resources. In a lot of ways it takes more determination to show up knowing you are going to be hard pressed against the big teams.
This entire endeavor has been eye-opening this season… last season we started mentoring teams but after a first one-on-one meeting it was almost entirely done over phone calls, email, texts and you end up helping some but not being truly effective with these teams.
This season we decided to step it up and get very hands-on IF the teams would show the interest and commitment to travel to our shop.
The things we’ve learned about attitudes, approaches, expectations, resources, drive–that varies so greatly among teams has been a real eye-opener.
It’s been more a challenge than I thought it would be to know how to effectively mentor each team as each one has its’ own vibe and “chemistry” but also has been very rewarding and enjoyable experience.
Hopefully, with what we’ve learned this season next season we’ll be more effective mentors/helpers.
This is by far the hardest part, we have teams in out lab almost every weekend as well but it’s always the teams the need the help but don’t ask for it, accept it when offered, or find a way to get that I’m the most worried about.