I have noticed over the past couple weeks of competition, that the normal “sophomore slump” found in other sports, definatly DOES NOT APPLY to FIRST.
A lot of teams in the 15-- and 16-- range, have some absolutely fabulous looking robots. I would just like to applaud these 2nd year teams for doing an amazing job and stepping out of that “rookie” skin and into the lions den. You have all done a fabulous job.
Actually, I think its a testament to our (15 & 1600’s) rookie year… In my 10 years in FIRST, I have not seen a stronger set of Rookies. We first realized this at the first Finger Lakes Regional. There were so many amazing rookie robots… generally rookies are discounted, and arent very good, but 90% of the rookie teams were strong, and beating the veterans! I think there were 5 of the rookies in the top 15 teams.
I’ll be honest, I think the mentoring, and the kids who graduated from HS FIRST are starting to come out, older teams are helping start regionals and FIRST teams, and the effort has skyrocketed. Rookies now “get” FIRST after only the first year.
That drove our rookie class to work harder, be bigger, be better. Our team even came up with the slogan “the new breed” Its a breed of rookie teams that are surpassing many veteran teams (not that we dont love our roots!!) in what they can accomplish. There is all the new creativity, and a new-found drive to do more, and there are no limits, there is no one saying “this is how we do it” or “we’ve always done it that way.”
So I just wanted to thank you for this thread… I think the sophomore slump may have been kicked for the 2005 Rookies!
i think that your right, there are so many graduating seniors that continue participating in FIRST in college that a lot to teams have that experience. I also think that since FIRST is a team “sport”, and you don’t have to rely on an individual which is what the sophomore slump usually refers to. But none the less its a testimate to the rooks and sophomores for making some amazing and competitive robots
One of the things that I have always loved about FIRST is that it is the only sporting event (if I might call it that) that I can think of that is sustained much more by the players, both current and retired, than by the spectators. That isn’t to say that FIRST doesn’t have a cult following of spectators and extremely devoted volunteers and family members. Not only is FIRST built upon and maintained by the students involved in it, it is the only organization of this nature that I can think of in which the sponsors who gratiously provide for it care more about the growth of the players than the publicity they might receive by generously donating.
I know many will agree that they have been deeply effected by their experiences with FIRST, and plan to continue their involvement for many years to come. FIRST robotics is not just a game, it’s a way of life.