Restoring motivation

226 the best we’ve been in years this year, and we thought that after the teamwork and everything from our last regional, we have a shot at some award. So our team’s leadership voted on going to Championships whether or not win an award, because it would be a valuable experience for everyone involved, and we don’t have money to book flights to Atlanta ($700 during spring break) less than 2 weeks before competition. We had to tell the team we were registered so we could book flights by next week.

Here’s where the problem comes in: The motivation for many of the new members to do well at the regional was the thrill of going to ATL. Now that we’re going whether or not we win, most of them seem to have lost the spark they had after our last regional, when we watched Frog Force get the gold. Unless the veterans can somehow get that enthusiasm back, we’re not going to be able to represent ourselves as well as we’d like, and drastically reduce our chance of winning anything.

Are there any other teams that have been faced with this problem before? Any advice on what we can do in the next two weeks to get back the motivation?

Think of some other factor to be motivated by, I guess. Say that you’ll have a team party or a teacher will shave their hair or something.

However, it is bizarre to read that, because every team I have been on has been motivated simply by desire to win. We wanted to go out there and do the best we could. Winning the regional or winning awards are just gravy, because just getting as high in the rankings as we could was the best we could do.

Every year we are qualified for the championship long before the season begins (HOF team and an original FIRST meember) but we are a prideful lot and enjoy winning awards and banners too much to just simply mail it in.

I think the students are probably still getting over the last regional. Its only been 4 days since Great Lakes ended, and its easy for a team to hit a bit of a lull after a competition.

We tried something new this year that I really liked. The Monday after Great Lakes, our officers held a post-regional pros and cons meeting. It gave us a chance to acknowledge all the good things our students did, and also gave us a list of items we could improve for the next regional. With their targets clearly defined, it will be very interesting to see how our team performs at Buckeye.

So, my suggestion would be to use a pros and cons meeting as a reminder that your team is looking to kick some butt at West Michigan, and then ride that momentum all the way to Atlanta.

Good luck, and I hope to see you at the Championship!

I, too, think there is a period to rest and re-group/re-focus after a competition, especially an intense one. Then the veteran team members lead by example, guiding the new members into the preparation for the next competition. It could be some team building exercises, making some signs together, strategy meetings, something that feels right for your team. The new members haven’t been through the full process and don’t know how to sustain the motivation without your guidance. Learning to work together as a team can be one of the hardest and at the same time, one of the most fulfilling aspects of FIRST. Next year these new team members will be helping to mentor and encourage just as you doing are now.

Edit: I thought about this a little more and wanted to add. Winning awards is something all teams dream of and work towards in competition. Success is not necessarily winning an award - it can be shipping a robot in a crate, submitting a care written Chairman’s essay, understanding, respecting, and supporting each other when things are going really wrong, really fast. Success is a part of working towards the goal of achievement and awards. Our team alumni know that we are the team they helped foster and grow. When we gather together and cheer, the '04 alumni and the '07 seniors have the common bond of having built this team through hard times and through good times with the goal of doing the best we can with what we have, learning to enjoy the process and the competition together. This is a motivation we use when re-grouping and re-focusing during the lull. Just a thought. :slight_smile: