Where do you stand on Adult vs. Student Drive Coaches? (Edit: My original title was causing confusion amongst people)

  • Drive Coaches should only be students
  • Drive Coaches should only be adults
  • The current mix is fine

0 voters

I’ve heard a lot of differing opinions on this recently, so I’m curious to see how the CD community views this. Please note this thread is not intended to cause controversy, but rather to gather numerical data.


Where’s the option for “Drive Coaches should only be ChatGPT bots”


Curious where you are hearing a current debate from?


It’s a settled debate in my mind.

Let each team do what they feel is best for them.


Different teams have different needs. I’ve had student drivers that, at times, wanted the support of a mentor standing behind them. And I’ve had students that were knowledgeable, confident, and assertive drive coaches.

The problem comes in with adult drive coaches who use their status as an adult to overpower students on other teams. Adults in drive coach positions, be aware of how your age impacts discussion between teams, and make an effort to ensure everyone has a voice!


Mainly within my team and people I have personally communicated with.


in my opinion, My team tries to be as most student driven as possible so we always have a student drive coach and its usually president/vice-president of the club.


Where is the monkeys or fish option?


During one of our events, we were the alliance captain during elimination matches. The adult drive coach from one of our picks attempted to usurp the captaincy. Our drive coach politely reminded the adult that she picked his team. After a short conversation, the adult acquiesced.
Had our drive coach been less assertive, the adult would have run roughshod over her.


Sometimes I have a student who can fulfill the Drive Coach role exceptionally well, and it’s an opportunity for leadership and growth. We still ‘coach’ that student even if there’s no mentors on the drive team. Sometimes, I think my drivers would really benefit from adult mentorship on the field. There’s not even a one right answer for my own team (we’ve done both, but usually student), so there’s definitely not one right answer for all FIRST teams. Sometimes, my students coaches have found that a few adult coaches are overbearing, but that’s life. They learn to work with lots of different types while contributing the best way they can to the alliance.


As a student, I would prefer to have a student drive coach. That said, it completely depends on whether or not we have a student that can fill the role well or not. In the time I’ve been on the drive team, we’ve had both student and mentor drive coaches, and it doesn’t really matter when you are on the field as long as your drive coach is good at what they do.

Unfortunately, some adult drive coaches can be overbearing or at least problematic when coordinating an alliance (so can students but seemingly less frequently). Not having an issue with teamwork is an important part of a competent drive coach.


Personally do what your drive team needs and what your teammates (students and mentors) strengths are. Some drive teams need maturity, a level head, a strong voice, or a strategic mastermind. Those traits may belong to a mentor or student on your team. If all is equal I would choose the student over the mentor.

As others have said, make sure you have someone on the drive team that has a backbone to present what is in your best interest. Additionally make sure you either don’t have abrasive personalities or have someone else on the drive team capable of keeping them in check. in our selection process abrasive personalities and not team players is the only real No Go for the drive team…


We’re having Twitch Plays Drive Team this year


My most common reason to put a team on our DNP list (by a wide margin) is that their adult drive coach is a jerk.
A less common reason is that their student drive coach is a jerk.
Way down here is anything physical about the robot.


I’ve posted this in these threads before.
My school mandates that there is an adult from the school on the field .

that is what we do.


This is a very interesting stipulation. Have they ever explained why this is a rule?

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Just as in a basketball game, or a soccer game, there is an adult coach present.
My administration wants an adult who is a certified staff member with the children in case of any situation.
It is probably a liability issue for them. or at least a cya.


We’ve run student drive coaches in the past on my highschool team (when We’ve had exceptionally mature and strongminded students interested in the role).

On the team im running now, we’re planning to run with a student coach for the first time; And while our coach exemplifies the qualities I mention above, my (our) biggest concern for the season is them having to deal with certain adult drive coaches.

I’ve experienced my fair share of inappropriate and/or unruly coaches on the field before, and while its one thing to act that way to another grown adult (still not ok though), its a whole other matter to be acting that way towards a youth in this program.

Im truly hoping we can get through the season without any form of incident :pray:


As a team with who has had exclusively student coaches for a while now, we have run into this issue quite frequently. A logical argument often works, but there is always the option of getting a mentor involved for extreme situations.


I prefer that my kids lead from the field. However, I’ve seen overbearing adult drive coaches and I definitely don’t care for it. Typically I take the media badge or the tech support badge so I’m nearby for support, but I let one of the kids lead from the front.