Ready For Champs? Read This First
So your team is going to the St. Louis Championships? Congratulations! I know your team deserves it, and I bet that you are excited. There is something that we want to remind of before you do head to St. Louis. We want you and your team to thoroughly enjoy your experience at champs because we know how fun it can be, but if you don't have the right mindset, you won't enjoy it to the full extent.
This idea of "preparing mentally" for things can sometimes be a little confusing and vague, but stick with me and I will explain it in detail.
One way to prepare for champs is to ready yourself mentally. What do I mean by that? Well, let me explain it to you through an experience of mine. Back in 2013, during the game Ultimate Ascent, my team had to opportunity to attend the championships in St. Louis. We were all very excited and ready to win the whole tournament, which we envisioned, but didn't actually happen - I'm sure you know how it goes. #dreamers. Anyways, I was one of the drivers of the robot, so as you can imagine, I was pretty excited to be on the field with so many legendary teams. My mind was set on winning our division (Galileo) and I was determined to give our team the best chance at winning. Now, naturally I am a person that likes to take charge of certain situations, and let me tell you, this was a situation I was born to take charge of; I was ready to drive our robot and go all the way! The problem was, I couldn't fully take charge of the robot because I was working on a team, and specifically, I had another person I was working with when driving the robot. I had to work with him to make our robot succeed on the field, which had been a problem a couple weeks earlier at another regional because we both had different goals and visions of what success looked like. So with that said, fast forward the weekend of champs. Me and my teammate still didn't see eye-to-eye on how we should go about driving the robot. So, the whole time at champs was spent in conflict with each other arguing about how we should or shouldn't drive the robot, and how we could achieve the most success. We didn't make it into the top eight and we didn't get picked in the alliance selections. Needless to say, it wasn't a very fun time at all. I wasn't happy about how we turned about because we didn't "succeed" in the way I thought we should have. I also didn't enjoy meeting new people as much as I could have, I didn't enjoy the experience of driving with veteran teams like 610, 1477, 1114, and 118, and ultimately, I didn't thoroughly enjoy the tournament as a whole. I was so set on succeeding that I couldn't actually enjoy the experience. I kept arguing with a teammate instead of letting it go and loving every second of the time I had at champs. What I should have done is mentally prepare myself for what was to come: conflict, arguing, and differing goals. I should have prepared myself before the tournament and told myself, "Whatever happens, I will still enjoy the experience to the fullest, even if things don't go my way." Might I suggest that you do the same? Don't do what I did. Prepare yourself before the champs on April 22, and remind yourself to enjoy your time there because most teams don't get the chance to do what you will be able to experience. Even though succeeding and wining is important in robotics, don't get caught up in it and forget to have fun with your friends and teammates. So at FRCNation, we challenge you to have fun, work hard, and make memories at this years FIRST Robotics Championships.