I can’t find a thread specifically about stress at competitions, and it’s something I’ve been wondering about since Chesapeake. Our entire drive team got pretty stressed during the competition, before just about every match, even the practice matches. Every time one of them was even slightly nervous, they made me freak out(silently; I don’t think they realized how bad it got).

My question is, how bad does your team stress out? What do the coaches do to keep them calm right before matches? What kinds of things do you do after the day’s competiton is over? Our drivers went back to the hotel and played Halo 2 a bunch, but I made a note to bring tons of extra-strong stress balls next year to keep on the robot cart.

Our drivers were selected more for the fact that nothing stresses them out than the fact that they were the best in practice. There were people on our team who were better drivers but nobody who could take the stress and still perform as well. That should be one of the most important factors in deciding your drive team.

Trust me, as a new driver last year I was scared when going out into matches. This year I am a lot more lax about the whole thing because I am used to it. The stress doesn’t even bother me. They will get used to it after a while and will learn to ignore everything they don’t need to focus on. The only annoying part is the long wait right before your next match when you are Q’d up. In that case the stress balls are good to have :rolleyes: . But don’t worry about it, just remind everybody that this is supposed to be for fun. Winning is not everything and its not worth going crazy over it. After matches are over, let strategy group worry about compiling all of their information and everyone else should take a break. If you do this, you will find that you are re-juiced for the next day of competition. (Okay, I guess the strategy guys get a break too :stuck_out_tongue: ) But just remember to wear you GP on your sleeves and have a good time!!!

GO 1403!!!

I concur. Our drivers were chosen for their utter lack of human emotion. Well, not really. But they don’t stress or get over-excited or bummed that easily. I personally probably got more stressed than they did, but I’m always stressed about things anyways.

haha…the word stress means nothing to me. I do not stress out when I drive…nor am I stressed out before the match. It’s wierd because I never seem to get stressed out.

Stress? STRESS? How about having nearly the whole team sick at a competition, with half of them out, now THATS stress.

(j/k VCU guys)

There are many things our guys do, including me, first is to have a plan, second is to chill out before the match (iPod shuffles really work nicely here) and then stay calm. You NEED to remember, from a competition stand point, that once you are behind the barrier with the bot on the other side on the floor, it’s all chance. You can weigh the cards in your favor with a great auton, great robot, etc, but in the end it’s chance, and unless you run away from the controls, nobody, I mean NOBODY can say it’s your fault.

Respect is the key.

Now, as for the Chairmans away, well, hehe, that’s a whole 'nother story. :slight_smile:

I think the key is that when you go the competition you need to look at it as a fun event. As long as you have fun during the competition, it really won’t matter how you did.

You all may also be a little stressed out because this is your first season, as time goes on you’ll probably gain a better sense of calm. I’ve never experienced being a member of a rookie team, but I can imagine that there is a lot of stuff that our team has done so many times that its second-nature while you all are going at it for the first time.

My advice is just go out there, do what you can do, and learn some stuff in a really fun why while your at it.

Stress is always a hard thing, and will be always present in compotition. The key is to focus it into a driving force that will push you into the win.

Being that this is my first year driving I got pretty stressed out at competition this year. Even before the first practice matches I was really stressed out, because I wanted to do good. The time when I think I get the most stressed at competition is when the robot isnt working and we have to fix in it like 5 minutes, but for driving stress, I just tried to not put that much pressure on myself and just try to concentrate on each match, and just take one match at a time. Towards the end of qualifying matches I didnt really get stressed out, but when the time came for eliminations I got very stressed out and it was very hard to calm myself down, but overall to relieve ur stress just have confidence in ur bot and ur driving skills and just do what ur supposed to do

This is my first year as a driver. I transferred High Schools just for my last year of high school. I’m a rookie this year on team 85, which makes it a true honor that they have chosen me to represent our team and drive. Driving can be a stressful thing if you let it be. The best way I’ve found to look at a match is to look at it as if your taking 6 weeks of hard work, sweat, money, time, and energy for a joy ride.

To get ready for a match I go over the plans with the co-driver on last time then sit back and jam to the great music their playing. Some of the most fun and best matches my co-driver and I have had, we lost do to lack of rows, penalties on our allaince, etc. You just can’t let it bother you. I really enjoy driving, its an awesome experience.


I belive I do very well under stress I attribute this to my experince in Radio controles car racing. One of my elders and good friends would teach me how to be cool under pressure. During practice he we would put our cars out together, and he would set up several difficult scenarios such as passing in difficult turns, dealing with slower cars on the track and one of the most difficult things to do, which was keep a car which may be faster from you from passing you and doing it cleanly. Basicly what I had to do was when he would pull up behind me I would have to tighten up my lines and trry my hardest to go full wick and make few mistakes. Over time I found that a reasonable amount of pressure would help improve lap times and in the end get me race wins.

As far as the robot goes, it is fairly easy to keep stress to a minimum. What I think is a great asset to the driver is a good coach, simply someone who lets you know where you need to go, and that everything is going okay. At this point the coach and I have gotten along fairley well, and I trust that he is going to keep me and the operator calm.

I will be honest with you though, right after the qualifying matches ended and I saw that we were 2nd seed, some of the pressure started to catch up to me. Also the looong 2 hour break between the qualifiers and the qtr finals made me think alot. What really calmed and eased me was spending time away from the hectic pits, and the crowds and just sitting in the stands alone, listing to the music which was playing on the stadiums sound system (Simple kind of man by Lynard Skynard really calmed me down). So at nationals I for sure will bring a CD player to listen to.

Stress? What is this stress you speak of?

The only stressful thing i’ve had is the guy who plays human player on our team. I’m positive he doesn’t try to do this, but when he tries to get his voice louder, (for when we’re on the field) his voice starts sounding angry… quite stressful for the people around him.

On my team, I get stressed for th students. So, the drive team doesn’t need to get stressed. (They all make fun of me because I get nervous for the team)

But seriously, I (we as a team) don’t put a whole lot of emphases on winning. I mean, it’s nice. And if we loose because we did something stupid (like not hook up the arm) then I’ll “stress” the importance of using the pre-flight check list.

I hope that I let the drive team drive without a lot stress, as there shouldn’t be alot of pressure. The stressful part is over - the compition day is just for fun.

In our team we have two drive teams and we alternate drivers every match so there is no streess for either of the two teams. (Both teams are ecxellent)
I do relize i feel a little nervous when im in the 15 seconds of auto mode specially in the finals but once my hands are on the joysticks I close all my surroundings and focus on what im doing. Also having two drive teams allows me to take half of the responsability which also means more fun at the stands.

An advise to the stressed drivers: Don’t feel like you are responsable for winning or losing, just do your best and think that if you do what you do is because no one does it better than you so as long as you do what you think is right you and your team should be happy.


Pertaining to driver stress:

Our drivers this year were both football players and I was an ex-baseball player soo we are all used to the tension. Plus doing the can-can with our semi’s alliance partners helped too. :stuck_out_tongue:

As the coach I must admitted that I Freak Out at a lot on people due to the stress but, after the day of practice I’m able to clam the drivers down.

I think that, like R81 Honda said, the best way to prevent stress is to be prepared before you even go out there. - know what your robot’s strengths and weaknesses are, try to imagine every game plan you can, and try to think of ways you can salvage the game if one of your bot’s weaknesses is revealed.

also, don’t think of competition as a “do or die” situation - think of it as an “I hope I win, but the important thing is that I’m having fun” situation. if you make winning your first priorety, you’ll more than likely stress out over every little thing and end up losing more than you win (not to mention it won’t be fun anymore). but if you chose to accept the fact that you probably won’t win every match, but that you’ll do your best to try, you’ll have fun, and your stress-level will go down, which will allow you to think more clearly and have a better shot at winning.

Im a first year driver on a second year team, stress does tend to get to you

however as mentioned above, just relax, usually i just find myself dancing, not well but none-the-less dancing, and the shear stupidity of it calms me down :stuck_out_tongue: , and after competition i often resort to halo 2

Haha Koza you are awesome !! Rookie of the year drive no matter what happens at nats. If u stress u don’t show man your doing great. Dave Guzman( who posted earlier) if I am Drew the man with the tetras. U my friend are Dave master of the joysticks. Our Drivers rock!! :wink: Oh yeah good luck to all the drive teams remember it’s just a game and have fun!