what do you guys do ?

what do you guys do about lazy people on the team ?
what roles do u give them id they honestly can’t help out in a positive way ?
make them search the net for stuff ??? what??
give me ideas, i sure can use them :slight_smile:



Lazy people… my favorite thing ever! I’m on of them but not when it comes to FIRST. To deal with lazy people soem of the stuff that has worked well is doing things like actually giving them a semi-important job and matching them up with a mentor to help them, this way they must do work and become constructive or they let people down. Also place your team on a point system to decided who gets to go to competitions, warn students if they are lazy and don’t do work they won’t recieve points for their time and won’t be invited to go to competition with the team. Other ideas for getting them to help out is talk to them, find out what they enjoy doing and letting them pick their task within the team, they may want to do animation, or design team logos, or maye be creative and want to do chairmans, find out what they liek and they will be more inclined to actually work. I hope this helsp some, and don’t worry, you’re not the only one battling lazy teammates :slight_smile:

**Also place your team on a point system to decided who gets to go to competitions, warn students if they are lazy and don’t do work they won’t recieve points for their time and won’t be invited to go to competition with the team. **

I really don’t like this idea. FIRST isn’t supposed to be about who is more important or who did more work. If people can’t spend as much time working on FIRST or just don’t spend as much time working on FIRST (for any reason), should they not be given the full opertunity to get as much out of it as the rest of us?

I’m all for stopping certain people from going to competitions and other team events. This shouldn’t be done by limiting people unwilling to devote thier lives to FIRST. Instead, ask them what they can do, if they do what they say they will do they go. If they don’t do what they say they will you can assume they don’t care and leave them behind.

Just my opinion,

We keep a time sheet every day. It’s in Excel, and people just click a button and their name, and it records their time in and out. This way, we can track who is present when, and for how long. We don’t set a minimum time, but we can tell who shows up, and we remember who does work and who plays Minesweeper all day. With this data, we decide who goes to competitions (especially Florida last year). This motivates our few lazy bums to come to meetings and participate in whatever area suits them best.

There is a distinction to be made between lazy people and people who are unmotivated. As a mentor, I try to keep my team members interested and active. FIRST isn’t supposed to be about teaching or leaning, it’s about inspiration… but we don’t do it that way. I insist the guys I work with learn something they didn’t know before so I add projects…like building a 2 minute coundown timer with a large display…to our efforts to support the team. I personally love digital electronics and if that rubs off it’s great.
Matching “lazy” people with a motivated student on a project is also a great idea (Someone mentioned that in an ealier post). I’ve had one instance of that and they did great.
SO my solution is to keep them active and if they insist on being lazy it will show up in a place that will disqualify them from travel or result in a safety violation that will get them banned from the team (we stop them before they can get hurt… you gotta watch EVERYBODY when they’re in a machine shop…).
That’s a bit harsh but after 4 seasons of problems, we put together a code of conduct everyone had to read and sign so they are aware that their inappropriate actions carried consequenses.

Best Wishes

Steve Alaniz

“I like lazy people… they make me look good.” - Ted Forth

So far, the best solution for lazy people is the threat of putting them on the electrical team if they keep being lazy.


Our team requires that each student sign in at the beginning of the work day. When they sign out, they must have an adult initial next to the time.
We also work on the three strike system. If they don’t show up for a building session and don’t have a good excuse they get a strike. Three strikes and they are off the team.
The students must also put in 90 hours over the 6 weeks.

Wayne Doenges

In a volunteer organization like a FIRST robotics team, there really isn’t a way that you can force someone lazy to do something productive.

It really boils down to the initiative of the individual member.

As a leader, there are several things that you can do to make your members more interested. If robotics sparks an interest they will work longer then you want them to (put school work aside) for the team.

Chances are when you say “lazy” member, you are probably refering to a new guy. If the guy is new, then you have to ask several questions.

  1. Is the new member overwhelmed by what is placed upon them? Most 1st year members will have a hard time thinking independantly and need a mentor to help them along. (There are some exceptions to the rule of course)

  2. What do you define as lazy? Are they unwilling to help when you ask them to do something? Or they unwilling to stick their neck out. Sometimes you have to meet lazy people half-way. Give them something to do.

If you think about it, why would anyone stick around for robotics if they truely are “lazy”? Meaning when you ask them to do something they can’t give you a good reason why not. I think it’s simply a waste of time. You have to be careful not to lose good members by not giving them an opportunity to do something.

Remember, I am refering to the culture that is set in our robotics team, it may not neccessarily apply to all cases. But this is just some food for thought. But I find it hard to believe that there are truely lazy people on a team that requires some amount of devotion and initiative to get on the team.

Well, on my team, we do “logs.” Pretty much, it’s a time sheet. We have different groups (mechanical, electrical, web design, etc…) and group leaders. Everyone is responsible to sign in with their group leader. The logs record the times each person works, and when the sign out, they write down a general idea of what they did (worked on webpage, design, etc…) and this way we have a record of what people did along with when they did it. This helps us (teachers and mentors) to know who’s doing what.

Now, as far as “lazy” people go, it depends on what you mean. For example, someone who isn’t mechanically inclined may seem “lazy” because he/she doesn’t really know what to do, and trust me I know by experience, a lot of times (especially when you’re getting closer to ship date), people tend to just do things themselves rather than show someone else how to do it. I know they’re not trying to be mean, but with such a time limit, people try to get things done relatively quickly. Those people I like to make a scout at a competition or perhaps someone who’s a gopher for tools or easy things like drilling holes to get your robot lighter.

BUT, I also know by experience what I would consider “lazy.” A couple of years ago, we had people on my old team who would come in, go on a computer and sit there and play Sim City 2000 and expect to get credit just for being there and every once in a while do inventory or animation or something. Those type of people bother me. And I’m not really sure what to do with them. Luckily, I haven’t seen any of them this year.


Each of the past few seasons we’ve had over 100 kids sign up for Team 25- mostly because they think it is a free trip to Florida.

However the numbers rapidly thin when they are told that they have to fund raise for their trip and participate in functions. Each student has a personal account which banks their profits for their own trip so the lazy ones end up bankrupt when the bills come due.

Quite frankly, as the teacher who is accountable for the students, I don’t want to babysit kids who have nothing to do with the functioning of the team and come out to simply fool around. It is a nuisance and unsafe.

Each person on the team is given an OPPORTUNITY to participate and prove their worth to the team. Sometimes the tasks are simple, like opening an e-mail account, registering with SME or showing up for a meeting. If these simple things prove too hard it tells me that that person is unreliable and probably will not be helpful to the team in the long run. Ultimately, as the team advisor, I confer with the other adult leaders and we define a roster.

Members of the team should be proud contributors to the group, just like on a sports team. If a person wants to be just a spectator they can show up for the competition and cheer their home team on.

Greg T. is a bit idealistic in his posting above. If I was working my butt off to raise funds and build a machine so the team can participate I would be very resentful of someone who didn’t do their part. If time is a major issue then maybe being on a FIRST team is not for that person.

Every team can use a cheering section…

*Originally posted by smokescreen *
**So far, the best solution for lazy people is the threat of putting them on the electrical team if they keep being lazy.

-smokescreen **

Ok im insulted…

we used to have a point system, before i was on the team, and our leader didnt like it, he said it was a waste of time to keep track of all that stuff and then going at the end and realizing that they knew already who would make it and who wouldnt…

I like how our team runs our policy…we have a copy of the student handbook at our site…this could be a good basis for rookie teams to start with

Its in Adobe PDF form
Technokats Team Handbook