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New Team Guidelines

New Team Guidelines

Over the years, we have seen and talked to many new teams. Thinking back on our own start, we then realized that a lot of teams starting out need good advice on how to begin their season. Starting an FTC team can be a difficult task, and getting it off the ground and running is even harder without guidance. We decided to create a large list of advice for fledgling teams to help them become great teams.

Here is the list:

Starting a New Team
     Find other people to join your team - this can be through a school, neighborhood, or just friends
     Decide on a coach, assistant coach, and mentors - usually the parents of the team members
     Try to gain sponsors to fund your team; the robot and outreach can get pretty expensive

     Start as soon as possible
          For many teams this is the beginning of the offseason (or summer)
     Reach out to small businesses through emails
          Follow up with an in person meeting where you can do a demo
     Do events at locations to spread FIRST, robotics, and STEM
          Try to put your own unique spin on these events
          They can be at expos, libraries, schools, 
     Create social media accounts to spread awareness of your team
     Make a trifold for people to look at during events
     Be prepared for every outreach event
         Try to create a schedule for how the event is going to go
     Be flexible; not everything will go as planned

Robot Design
    Start by determining what the robot needs to do
         This usually includes movement, scanning, and grabbing of some sort
    Create sketches of potential ideas
    Discuss the ideas with your team and narrow the list down to only a few
          List the pros and cons of each; make sure no idea is rejected immediately
     Build prototypes of the decided ideas and test them out
     Pick the design that was most successful and make it better

     Create a scouting document to make a profile of each team’s abilities in the robot game
          This helps for gaining information on alliance partners, opponents, and potential alliance partners in the elimination rounds
     Schedule practice ahead of time
          These tend to fill up very quickly, and it is good to practice before actual rounds to test out both TeleOp and Autonomous
     Determine drivers, driver coach ahead of time
      Do team building activities to build chemistry
          This can be something simple like laser tag
     Allow team members to take a small snack break when they want during the meetings
          However, make sure not everyone takes it at the same time; this will hurt productivity
     Create appealing team shirts
     Have some sort of prop that represents your team
         Ex. a pin with a picture of a circuit on it for representing the Circuit Breakers

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