Have The Off-Season Blues?
Okay, now that the Post Traumatic Robotics Stress Disorder (PTRSD) has simmered down a little bit, you might be wondering...”Man, the off-season is too long. Do I really have to wait eight months for the next game release? What am I supposed to do until then?!?” Never fear my fine fellow FIRSTer, the off-season can be just as fun as the competition season. If you have the off-season blues, you might want to consider these few ideas:
Off-season? Don’t You Mean Demo-season?
Yes it’s true, there is a way for you to work with your previous season robot during the offseason! If your team hosts, or gets invited to, any sort of FRC demo throughout the year, I’d highly recommend participating. Even if you’re not a driver of the robot, It’s always a super fun time to not only see young kids captivated by the way the collection of metal and motors move about the competition field to do pretty complex tasks, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to talk to parents and teachers about how their kids can get involved. And if you ask me, this is way better than going on YouTube and re-watching every single robot reveal/competition video and pretending that the season is still happening. Plus, if you love talking about your robot, you’ll love doing demos.
Hang Out With Your Teammates
Another way to help with the off-season blues is to simply hang out with your teammates or friends from other teams. Yes, despite popular contrary belief, it’s totally okay for you guys party, play games, and talk about robots to your heart’s content outside of regular meetings. Because let’s face it, robotics kids are pretty cool. For me and my team, we liked to have game nights with other teams where we got together and played board games, card games, and ate large amounts of pizza. And at one point we actually bought a build-it-yourself 3D printer kit and met on one of the days we normally had meetings scheduled for during build season. This way we could all hang out and work on something that could ultimately be used the following season. Which actually leads to my final recommendation.
Work on Your Robot During the Off-season.
Do you have an idea for a swaggy swerve drive? Or maybe you’re considering using a new-type of building material on your robot? The Off-season is the probably the best time to test out and play around with these ideas. Since you have all summer, it’s okay if something doesn’t work out as fast as you’d like it to - you will have more time than you normally would during the normal build season. And besides, you’re doing what you love! Then, once you have a solid working prototype, you can then perfect it. So, when a new game is finally released, you’ll already be one step ahead.
Bo Russell - FRC team #2451 - PWNAGE.