I’m looking for ideas/ ways to keep my team busy and focused now that the build season is over. What are some suggestions for ways a team should prepare for the competition?
Scout teams that will be competing at your competition.
Driver practice if there’s a robot to drive.
–If there isn’t, build one.
Watch matches being played.
One of the most important?
Seriously, people underestimate just how taxing those three days can be. Plus, you’ve just spent almost every waking moment for 6 weeks building and testing that robot, along with school and maybe even work.
Make sure everyone takes some time to enjoy themselves and their loved ones.
Prepare for awards. Refine Chairman’s presentation if you’re doing one. Train your students who will be in the pits how to talk to judges. Prepare team giveaways, team shirts, etc. Finish your bumpers if you haven’t already. Get your scouting system figured out. Assign roles at the competition for photographers, scouts, pit crew, etc. Plan your pit layout.
We mostly rest. We should do more, but build season is taxing enough.
rest, drive practice and if you have 2 bots let software test and improve especially autonomous.
I’m probably just reiterating what has been said already…
Rest, training, and fundraisers.
Six weeks plus three majorly active competition days can take a serious blow on your health and body.
To keep a team going, you have to constantly pull in and train new members.
Money and public relations are a big part of what keeps teams going - make sure you keep up both, even during off-season.
I would say slowing down is a good idea-- at least with official/required team events. After build ends, our team’s required meetings drops off significantly, but we still keep time open for “other projects,” which this year included quite a variety of things. Here’s a list (Not all of these are entirely competition related, but many of them are):
- Our shooter team is iterating on their semi-finalized design (it’s our holdback weight)
- We finished up a new battery cart (the old one was flat out unsafe)
- We’ve been drilling on setting up our new pit (it’s slightly more difficult than last year, but a million times nicer)
- Our climber team is working on a third level solution (it’s not going on the robot this week, but they think it’ll be an interesting design challenge)
- Our media team has been working with Team 2512 (Duluth East Daredevils) on a media project (stories in the local newspaper!) for the Lake Superior/Northern Lights Regionals
- Chairman’s has been practicing and creating presentation aids
- Media has been working on the Chairman’s Video
- Our electronics team had been working on creating light-up gear for team members to wear at competition
- Scouting has put together a system and determined what we’re actually looking for
- We’re assembling a new robot cart (we created a parts list and got the parts pre-fabricated)
- We’ve been working on various other additions/attachments for our robot
- We’ve hosted a STEM Career fair thingie at our home high school (lots of fun, we’ll be doing that again, and it was great for showing members how to interact with people at competitions)
Almost every one of these things is member-organized or voluntary-- we’ve found that while it’s a good idea to scale back on the amount of meetings we hold, many students are at their peak level of involvement and love to soak up as much robotics as possible.
Really my personal opinion on what any team should do is ask its members-- if everyone wants to rest, that’s great! I think you’ll find that a lot of team members can come up with some pretty creative (and beneficial!) ways to prepare or other projects that can help the team.
There is soo much to do, resting is the one of the last things on our minds. We have been meeting 20 hours/ week trying to itterate on our practice bot. There is also lots of work to do on chairmans, scouting, preparing pits, and doing outreach events we couldnt during season.
Thanks for all the responses! If anyone’s got any more ideas/suggestions, please keep 'em coming
We took the day after bag and tag off this year, just because it was such an exhausting build season, but over the last few weeks we’ve been building an identical practice bot for practice/testing purposes, iterating our designs, organizing our tools, making new parts, scouting other teams and their strategies, as well as coordinating our own team and getting ready for competition. We’ll be spending this week finalizing everything for the robot, and then packing.
We’ve taken the shooter and electronics off the competition robot and set them up on an off-season prototype drivetrain. That way, we can work on software, shooter and driver practice until competition.