Rookie Team Timeline

Hey all, I a coaching a rookie team this year and I am constantly worried that we are way behind and never going to finish on time.

As of last Thursday we have our basic chaise built and drive train completed and programed to the point where we can drive it around the gym and it works great.

Outside of that things like our manipulator and our minibot are still in theoretical form and are just starting to be built.

We meet 5 days a week for a total of 20 hours a week. Are we in serious trouble or are we just rookies that are going through what all rookies deal with.
I would say our other huge issue is that we really don’t have much in the way of mentors when it comes to programming which is kicking our butts, that and that we haven’t quite found a place to weld aluminum or mill any custom parts.

At the same time we are still having a blast, I am just starting to worry a bit. Any thoughts would be good.

You are about the same place we are, and we have been doing this for 4 years.

I think fear and trepidation are a bit normal at this point in the build, but keep focused and make sure everyone is working and you will be fine. Look for local teams in your area and reach out to them if you need help. Your regional director can help you find someone in your area to help you. You can find contact information on the FIRST web site:

And just one word of warning, you should be building a robot, not a lounge chair :smiley:

we have our basic chaise built

If you have your drivetrain working by now, I think you are doing just fine.

There are rookie resources out there that give sample timelines, so you can see if you are on track. Check out MOEmentum ( among others.

My first team felt like it was behind to. Trust me as long as the team works hard and works together you will get all the work done on time.

20 hours is pretty good. I do about 25 hours a week at actual meetings. (much more outside) I think that you’ll find that one 6 hour meeting is more productive than three 2 hour meetings or two 3 hour meetings. Generally it takes a little time for people to get back into what they were working on and start being productive. Just food for thought if you are trying to increase productivity.

Don’t worry, just keep working hard. This is our 4th year and we have everything prototyped and are now waiting on parts being machined (which may or may not be ready on Wednesday) and Banebots which should have been here by now. Some years you will get things done more quickly and others are slower but you will learn this with experience.

If you guys haven’t started on the bumpers I would. Until this year it was one of the last things we did and can actually become very frustrating. We started on them early this year (since we are waiting on parts) and so they are coming along much smoother.

We meet around the same schedule (after school and on Saturdays, I too am a lone coach and Sundays are the only day I will not give up). If there are any teams around you reach out to them and ask for mentorship etc.

My advice, be patient and remember this is a learning experience for all of you! Good luck and have a great build season… :]