Team Spirit

I was wondering how other teams have kids in the stands always cheering and paying attention. I noticed this as a problem with my team at the NJ Regionals. While everyone is up and cheering for their team and the robots of friends, I found our team to be dead. :mad:

what do you guys do to ensure the people in the stands are alive?
Being the mascot i was dancing up a storm and i was able to rally the team a few times but even that was a struggle.

do you guys have any suggestions that could help out my team for future regionals?

The only chance you really have to change their behavior is to institute such behaviors in your team and make such actions mandatory (we practice cheering EVERY MEETING. We start off the meeting with a cheer and we end the meeting with a cheer). Embed it into their conscious and perhaps they will take it more seriously and will be more alive.

Over the years, our team has been pretty small, but we’re still pretty spirited. I think the reason for this is the fact that a couple of the older students go all out, kinda like you have been by being the mascot, but you’ve got to get a couple other people to back you up and be loud with you. Then the younger students follow. The reason this is is that no one really wants to look dumb or out of place, and if they see the “cool older” students cheering they will cheer. A good use of peer pressure! :smiley: Our team also have these flags that we like to wave at competition, that way we don’t have to be extremely loud, but waving the flag still shows our presence and our spirit. So that’s my recommendation is talk to a couple others and have them help you out, and just continue to have fun being the mascot! Best of luck!

I’m sorry Ed, but I don’t agree with your stanpoint.

From my 2 years in the stands, I find cheering among your own team to be contagious. If one or two people start cheering, the rest of the team will as well.
I contribute cheering to me so involved in FIRST. I can still remember 2003 Nationals in the Galileo division… We were sitting in the front few rows. The team was dead in the stands until Ben, Matt, and myself decided to start cheering. We were forced to sit down for matches, but still made as much noise as possible. The rest of the team caught on, and we soon had 30 people singing, dancing and cheering for 2 days straight. It was so fun, and what excited me to find a bigger role on the team the next year.

For most of our years, we were fairly well known as not being especially spirited. Excepting '95 and '96, we were pretty much just watching robots and keeping track. I feel this year is different because it’s a game that involves more strategy, and when we do something especially advantageous, we will now stand up and cheer for it.
More than anything else, it’s all about how much the team wants to cheer. Forcing people to cheer works only if they want to cheer, so we’ve just gotten by on willingness.

The cheering and spirit is fun to be part of and contagious. FIRST events are great because you can be silly and spirited and everyone understands that it is ok.
There are also teams that feel passionate about FIRST and what they are doing, but will never receive the spirit award. There are teams that are quiet and personally I feel that is ok. They are still enthusiastic. I have mixed feeling about institutionalized spirit.
There is a place for all types of students and teams in FIRST.
It’s great that you feel comfortable being the mascot for your team. Next year you could recruit some friends who like to cheer and bring them along.

I’d have to agree with Mr.Bottiglieri here. I think that the best method to have your team cheering at the event is to have them (inclusive of myself, I am a student), excited and involved as an integral part of the team. This doesn’t mean that students that are will always cheer loudly at events, but it certainly gives plenty of motive; My team normally goes hoarse by mid-day during the second day of qualifing matches :rolleyes: . Hope this helps


My team has (apparently) cheered in the past, but not lots and not everybody. This year we cheered almost all the time - before and after our matches, during our matches when someone on our alliance either scores or does something awesome on defense, and other random times, whether or not we are losing (or have lost). We also cheer during other matches when someone is doing really well, especially during autonomous. I think that all the cheering was based on the excitement in the air and that once someone started cheering it was contagious (I agree with it being contagious).

Cheering is contagious, so it depends annually on who is on your team.

As advisors, we do team building/fun activities with the students during summer camp, allow them to have fun at a summer picnic, and do more team building acitivities during kickoff week. This helps, I hope, them to feel comfortable with each other.

Our schoo isn’t very spirited during football & basketball season, so getting our students to cheer/dance/chant at FIRST events is a real achievement as it doesn’t happen elsewhere! We won the spirit award in PIT two years ago when our robot was basically “dead” and I told our team we could either pout or have fun and cheer for the others - they made the decision to have fun.

Oh, yeah, at camp last summer everyone learned three dances! No excuses for not joining in the between matches fun this year!

Don’t forget, the advisors “set the pace” too!

Personally, I don’t like forced cheers, and forced cheers aren’t fun for the ppl cheering. So I try to get ppl cheering by cheering myself as loud as I can and jumping up and down and dancing whenever I can.

The best time I had cheering was with 1156, the Brazil team. They were soo much fun!!! I just ran over to them n said “HEY!!!” n jumped up n down, n their entire team would jump n down n we’d start high fiving and yelling. Good times :smiley:

If you’d like to learn about spirit, I’d suggest asking the Brazil teams b/c you’ve got to admit, they are highly spirited ppl who can do the YMCA. lol

yeah I agree, forcing people to cheer is pretty lame. If your having fun then people around you will see it and want to have fun too.

A couple of thoughts on cheering…it’s all about psychology.

Think about what makes you want to be spirited. Is it your drive to see your team succeed? Is it your hope to make it onto the camera? Is it a challenge from other spirited teams to outdo their noise level? Sure, everybody says they cheer to cheer, but somewhere deep down everybody is motivated by something. As Tom said very well, cheering is contagious because the people that start it want to, and give others reason to go along.

Try slow. Talk to a couple students who have shown unique enthusiasm, and maybe discuss it with them. See what you can do to improve the situation with a couple people, and get them enthusiastic! You are a mascot - have you considered trying to get people to switch up the job too?

Another idea is to have team members write new cheers. I love our team’s cheers, but some years we come up with new things. Each generation is different, and newer members might have a cool idea for a cheer that they are too shy to share.

Finally - my biggest suggestion - is make use of spirited alliance partners when you can. They have experience and they’re loud, and they’re usually more than happy to help you join them.

I know when we were about to go (I was a driver), I mostioned everyone on our team to stand up while yelling as loud as I could. It worked pretty well, though I think we can (and hopefully will) do better in Atlanta.

One Method to increase cheering:

  1. Make up a cheer for your team. One person should be able to start the cheer and everyone join in.
  2. Teach the rookies the cheer as soon as they join.
  3. Cheer at least once every meeting (like when you stop talking and start working) and whenever you accomplish something during build (ex: the shooter prototype makes a shot)
  4. Cheer at the beginning of your matches.
  5. Cheer whenever your robot or team does something good.
    This cheer will become second nature to you team and even the most shy student (like me as a rookie) will come out of their shell (if only a little bit).

Also, learn the dances they play at competition (Cha Cha Slide, CottonEye Joe, Etc). Occasionally, take a break from building and dance :smiley:

But not eveyone thinks and acts the same (thus the problem with the other kids sitting and doing nothing so obviously not everyone is effected by this method). Everything Brian said in the previous post is what our team also does to encourage team spirit. It may seem like we’re “forcing” our kids to cheer but practice does make perfect so we do it at every meeting because we do take team spirit seriously.

Quoted for truth.

I was head cheerer for Team 1073 (for those of you who went to BAE–I brought the drums. I’m terribly sorry.)

Basically, you need one loud person, who would be considered obnoxious if they weren’t well liked, who is not afraid to risk making a fool of themselves by starting ridiculous cheers at every second during the matches. Start cheering alliances with other teams. Start a wave.

Don’t worry. Once you’ve primed them, it’s all about the head cheerer (not said to be a masturbatory or immodest, but that’s what I’ve noticed from my team, TJ squared, and others) and their willingness and ability to drag the rest of the team, kicking and screaming if necessary, into a spirited state.


Assign someone particularily loud and spirited to be the “cheerleader.” They should lead the team in their cheers and chants. Even something simple like yelling out your team number or colour repetedly can be helpful. The “cheerleader” does not have to be female, ours is male. It’s not like they’re going to be in a mini-skirt and pom-poms, although we’re thinking of getting pom-poms for our team for the GTA regional :wink:

well…i was one of the main “cheerleaders” for the devil duckies last year. there were 3 of us who were “designated” and we created some simple cheers that we adapeted from softball chants and real cheerleader chants lol.

i think that if you dont have your team in the crowd cheering either 1)they’re dead asleep 2) have lost their vioce from cheering or 3) just dont really care.

i think almost everyone on our team cheered, no matter what their posistion on the team.
I know one thing we did last year was make signs for our rookie teams who went with us on trips, we all mobbed together and cheered on each others teams.
We also brought a whiteboard to write our alliances team numbers on and hold up for more chants :] haha

but i LOVE cheering and being on pr…
and i was cheerleader so i wore a skirt…and had pom poms…BUT being a devil duckie…it was a red plaid skirt, fishnets(tights and armwarmers), boots our team shirt, red and black pom poms and the ocasional red hairspray and red and black makup! hah

if you have the older students in it…they will follow! (like, “if you build it they will come” haha)

So let me get this straight: Your username is Nightmare angel, and you’re a cheerleader? Somehow, this isn’t suprising.