How to help combat un-involved team members

I have seen a lot of forum posts that have in some ,way, shape, or form,brushed upon the topic of team members who are not very involved with their program. I have delt with this issue in the past and felt that I didn’t know a good way to handle it, ive also seen that sometimes it has to be handled differently for bigger or smaller teams.

so i just want to hear what you have to say about trying to fix this problem, not only for me but for anyone else who may need it.


If you have a b team put them on that, if not set a required # of meatings to show up to to be in the team


Well, I find this to be ineffective. Simply showing up doesn’t necessarily mean active involvment as I have many team members who show up but fool around for most of the time. What I can say is that there needs to be a leader somewhere who is willing to put up with these kinds of teammates and guide them to an active role.

No one likes a controlling team leader, that is not a good way to showing anyone the best parts of STEM. Rather, STEM (robotics in this case) should be driven by curiousity. You have to make your teammates curious to learn more, and let them explore for themselves. For some teams, this means assigning roles in things those members are actually interested in. For others, it can be working fluidly between roles with no real structure. The choice is up to them.

The biggest take away here is communication. The best teams communicate and build strong friendships. You don’t want meetings to feel like a burden, they should feel fun. Talk to your team members on what they want to do, and allow them to have (productive) fun. I hope that helps.


To be honest, I personally don’t really care if people don’t show up. They have payed the fee so its basically free money for us lol.


If your team would not benefit with them involved then kick them out. If they are not involved they likely are unmotivated to be involved with VEX which means that they will likely be just dead weight for your team. In addition, sometimes a simplistic answer provides a clearer path to those who are still trying to find their true future for themselves.


Maybe you could have someone teach them vex, if the cause is that they don’t understand anything.
Some of my teammates didnt do much, but I took some time to teach them and they started being productive


My Middle school I went to robotics at basically “evaluated” everyone after every year. And they but the motivated good people on good teams so there would be no dead weight. Put the others on teams they would work best with. And if you missed a lot of meetings or you were dead weight, then you would just be kicked out. There’s no point to trying to make someone do more when they just don’t want to and are dead weight. The simple solution is to just remove them.


Personally I would recommend meeting people first and laying out your expectations. Typically this will scare away the ones who aren’t motivated.


We had this problem last season of people just coming to hang out in our lab especially during lunch build time. They were technically on the team but didn’t really do anything so like @ZackJo recommended we laid out some ground rules and expectations and that weeded out the commit ed ones from the non-committed ones. I wish we had done that at the beginning of the season and I believe that it can be a very effective tool to either get people involved, or weed them out.


A lot of schools have policies that you are not allowed to remove students from programs. My school I mentor everyone is allowed in and the participation is driven by either them working on robots, a different one of our stem programs, or we give them direct work with expectations. Usually they will sort themselves out or leave on their own.


We had this issue and the moment that the offenders resigned our team took off. We won tons of awards and placed really high in worlds. If the kids are not helping the team, then you should kick them off of the team if you are able to. If not then you need to give them some incentive. Something like not letting them drive is a good one. Another is to task them with building a second robot to practice against.


i had a kid like that last year who sabotaged us at wrlds
when me and my partner moved up 2 edr we just had the club leader tell him he wasnt ready and had 2 stay in iq for 8th grade

that wont always work but if one of ur team mates is a bum talk 2 them do the previous things like @mvas said like them involve them or whatever find there intrests r. mabey there parents are making them do it or making them uphold ther comitment to the team and dont realize their kid is dead weight

just talk 2 the guy/girl or have the club prez or somone talk 2 um and tell them hey this not cool ur team leader has tried to get u on board and ur still being unmotivated/uncoropitive u need to help by helping or help by leaveing because u r hurting the other students


I should have noted this from the start, but I am not dealing with this issue anymore. that was a turning point problem. All though I still feel this post is necessary for anyone (or myself for future reference) who may need it. But thank you for all the suggestions, I feel like I can actively apply some points from this for some people on my teams who are very involved and want to do this but don’t quite know there place in on the team.


If someone is uninvolved, closed minded, or simply not focused, they may just have been given a roll that doesn’t suit them. For instance, a member of my team was disconnected for the majority of the itz season and focused more on model UN because that’s what he was passionate about. The next season, we put him in charge of scouting and it really opened his eyes. He’s now a productive addition to our team.

My point is, if someone isn’t involved it’s very convenient to take the easy way out and remove them from the program. However those individuals aren’t always entirely the problem. Before dismissing them (unless you just know they’re a waste of time and those people do exist) maybe consider if they’re in a bad role that doesn’t suit them.

A last point is that sometimes kids are quiet and not productive simply because they’re not given a proper chance to express ideas or make suggestions. It’s easy to mistake shy for lazy, and the best leaders are keen on making those distinctions instead of dismissing the problem.


Much of the time, when a team member is not involved, they may not be interested in the topic of robotics. I’ve had the same with my other robotics members. From previous years.

I would say the first thing to do is make sure they have a path to involvement. Ask them to work on something that needs to be done. They may be goofing off because they don’t know what else to do.

Ask your mentor for assistance in how to work with them as individuals. Some people will never be involved. Some will be involved but only if they are nudged in the correct way. Accepting only the ones pushing in will be a huge limitation in life.


let me make sure I read that right. Because you have a lot of experience in said field, they dont want you to be a part of it?

Impacting your grades is different then having to much experience. If it did truly compromise your grades then the school is trying to look out for you.

That makes no sense. I have over 20 teams and I need experience and new blood every year.


Where are you? You maybe able to join an independent team or something