This is the year...

Sticky! :smiley:

This is the year that everyone will win an award for gracious professionalism and feel great about it!


That sumed up the meaning of FIRST. Thanks for reminding everyone what FIRST is about because sometimes I feel that people or teams forget what FIRST is all about. I feel that those are words that everyteam should live by and every team should have that hanging on their robotics room, on a website or on their forum. Thanks again for reminding everyone. I am now going to print that up and take it to our build rooom and pr room and post it on our team forum.

Thank you, you are an inspiration. FIRST needs more people like you. I just wish I could have read this 7 years ago when I started. I hope you don’t mind but I am going to make a poster of this for our robotics room. Such a simple message but somehow overlooked by so many for so long. I try to encourage these concepts with my students but I never found such a straightforward way to get the message out. Keep up the good work.

I second the sticky idea. I missed this the first time around.

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[Claps] 4ths the sticky.

Those are some very great words, and i will print that off and pass it around the team.


OK gang, roll call. How’d we do? My responses are next to the ***below

  • Relish you role, accept it as imperfect as it may be, and enjoy it. It matters not if you are a mentor, student, alum, or a support-person. You may never get a chance at it again. ***My role morphed as the year progressed, from last June through this May. Some of it I enjoyed, some I didn’t. It’s all about growth as a person, though.

  • Choose one person on your team, the one no one else is paying attention to, and inspire.

  • Choose another person on your team, the one who has really stepped up and hasn’t been noticed yet, and recognize.

  • Choose a third person in FIRST, from somewhere other than your own team, and do one of the above.** not being on a team, I failed to do this. Perhaps I’ve inspired that one person, though, in the past?

  • Only think of Gracious Professionalism as a standard to work toward personally.

  • Never use it as a gauge to point out someone else’s shortcomings.
    ** ah, another one of those life lessons learned. I was less than GP at one meeting I attended but did apologize afterwards.

  • Compete harder than you did last year.

  • Share more than you did last year. **I’m not about the competition ,but boy did I work harder than I did last year! And I’m sharing as much as I can!

  • Get to know a different part of FIRST this year, one you know very little about. **This is a huge understatement for me. Having only been a mentor on a team, and never having volunteered for an event, I jumped into it headlong and served on two regional planning committees and the conference planning committee and wow, what a different side of FIRST! My recommendation to EVERY FIRST participant, find a competition, demonstration, or off-season event and volunteer for it. Find a different FIRST program (there are four of them you know!) and learn all about it. Make it part of your FIRST experience every year.

  • Do/Learn one thing this year that betters your future.

  • Do/Teach one thing this year that betters the future of your team.

  • Do one thing this year that leaves FIRST in better shape than you found it in. ** In the last year I’ve learned that I CAN stand up before a group of people and facilitate a meeting, or give a presentation, or organize an event. I’ve spread the message of FIRST to hundreds of people at conferences. I’ve built a website to help support mentors of the FIRST robotics programs teams. I’ve met a lot of people along the way that I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

  • Have the courage to carry the FIRST message into the rest of your life.

  • Be willing to say, “I participate in FIRST because I want to change the culture for the better” even though you know many will not understand and may even laugh at you. **I talk about it incessently. My tiny cubicle walls are covered in FIRST posters and pictures and buttons and team giveaways. I wear my “Ask me about FIRST” button on my coat. Anyone who knows me knows about my passion.

This is the year!

These are most definitely words for every team to hear, rookie and veteran alike! This will go out to my team, any member who can’t come on the internet and read it personally.

Rich, this is the most inspiring post I’ve seen in months. You truly have the spirit of FIRST at heart.

I wish all of you teams out there, good luck! And try not to lose too much sleep this build (none of ya will listen, I bet)!

And get a pizza discount card. They help a lot.


This is the year that we finally make it to Atlanta!

I gotta print this out for our team! Couldn’t put it any better than that.

that is an excellent thought. every year kids put so many goals in front of them and when they notice that theres so much in there way or that they cant accomplish them all they get down and want to give up.but if we all work together as a whole as a FIRST family then we can accomplish our goals which end up being each others’ goals giving each other hope and something to look forward to knowing that he/she has the power and heart to accomplish the tasks in front of working together we can accomplish much more than going solo

Wow - that was deep


Very nice… =)

can you spotlight something that long?

There have been suggestions made to be able to spotlight entire posts. Hopefully, someday that will be a possibility. It is inspiring, isn’t it?

I “spotlighted” it in multiple ways. First, I sent the email to every team member I had an address for. Then, I printed out two copies, each for a window in our shop.

This is the best write-up I’ve ever read regarding FIRST.

Even though this is 7 years old, I think it’s still as applicable as ever. Thank you Rich for reminding all of us why we play this game.


Thank you for sharing this great series of inspiration. I am looking forward to another great year! For those interested, I created a PDF of the words from Rich. Please see the attachment if you would like to save or print the document. Go teams!

This is The Year.pdf (62 KB)

This is The Year.pdf (62 KB)