Compete with sports

Just wondering for people who coach or mentor, how do you compete with other programs like sports or something? Because our state is opening back up, and hawaii is kinda a football island, some of my kids wanna go to play football or basketball. I’m giving them the options 2 days out of the week but some are giving me resentful looks like they’d rather ditch robotics even with everything we did last year…. Maybe I’m just venting more than anything

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You could come at it from an educational perspective. You can say to the ones who want to do engineering or something “hey, basketballs gonna do nothing for your future, this is better and it gives you experience, plus colleges like it”. To the ones who want to become an NBA star I don’t know anyone like that so I wouldn’t know how to handle that

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Careful not to pit sports against robotics. Both have value. A stronger statement is that both bring important skills and in both you have options for scholarships and with robotics good career pathways that pay well and high demand. Pro sports is challenging pathway.

Just remind them they are good and can do both well (who needs sleep!)

Also this problem exists with scheduling around performing arts programs - plays / musicals etc.


I guess you should really think about giving students incentive to continue robotics. It’s really important that someone has the motivation to do robotics, rather than feel like they were forced into it. That produces better work ethic, positive attitude (most of the time), as well as great results!


Ultimately it’s a choice the students have to make. For those who value robotics more than sports, they will stay with the program, but obviously not everyone is like that. People all have their own interests and values. If a student values sports more than robotics, so be it. We can’t and shouldn’t try to control what they decide to do. If they’re caught in the middle, maybe you can take an approach like @UvuvwevweOnyetenye , but in less of an aggressive manner.

All you can do is open their eyes to what benefits each side gives and allow them to make their own decision.


I coach at a school where all my students are required to play sports at least 1 of the 3 seasons. It makes practicing very hard, but I’ve learned to be flexible with it. I was someone that did both robotics and sports as well, and there’s value in both


I agree with @AliA . It’s a choice the kids have to make for themselves. This is something we as coaches deal with every year. The fact of the matter is that in life we cannot always do everything we would like to. We have to prioritize, and this is good practice for the kids to learn to make healthy choices later in life. I have found that some sports dovetail nicely with also doing robotics. Many of my team members swim and/or play water polo- both practice early in the morning. I have also found that cross country and track are also very easy to do concurrently with robotics. Unfortunately, I have found that at our school neither basketball nor football works well with also doing robotics. Both of those sports practice every day right in the heart of when we have competitions.

When I have a student talk to me about wanting to do both, I explain it this way to them-- your football coach doesn’t want you to miss practice because you play a needed position, and the success of your team relies on having all of the positions there to practice together. Robotics is no different. You have positions on your team, and your teammates need to be able to rely on you coming to practice so you can work together to reach your goals. Then I ask them to think it over and choose what is more important to them, and I make sure that they know that if they do choose the sport (that doesn’t work with robotics) I will completely understand and there will be no hard feelings. They are still always invited to be a part of the Robotics Club at our school and participate in the events and community service opportunities, but they can’t be on a competition team.


Well said. From a student point of view, it’s difficult to be able to balance multiple activities, whether it be robotics, sports, or other extracurriculars. I’ve chosen to focus more on robotics, and so I don’t participate in school sports that require a much greater time commitment than say an outside of school activity. Some of the kids on my team participate in Autumn sports, since the time demand for robotics isn’t as heavy, but they don’t do sports in the winter and spring when our season is really in high gear.

I also have teammates that do theater which runs year round. They can’t really come to many meetings, and as such they aren’t as productive even when they are there because they aren’t as caught up, but I can’t fault them for that, it’s their choice of how much they want to prioritize robotics. The best thing I can do is make sure that they feel included and welcome to attend meetings when it is convenient for them and to document our process well so that they can get caught up as quick as possible.