New to VEX Coaching

I’m not sure where to post this so I put it in the most general thread I could find. I was just given charge of the new VEX Robotics Team at my school. I have no experience with VEX robotics and could use some helpful hints about how to get started and organize the club.

Doug Cooksey
TVT Community Day School
Irvine, CA

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I recommend you join the Vex world coaches association on Facebook. Discussion in the coaches forum is mostly about running a robotics program. You must answer all 3 questions to join!

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First of all, you should be a bit more specific with what you want, but here is a basic tutorial:

  1. Get together a team. advertise, spread word, tell people it’s battlebots(jk), but make sure people know and want to do it.
  2. Buy your kits or parts on the Vex robotics website and familiarize your team with it. For elementary and middle schoolers, I would recommend IQ, and for high school and higher, I would recommend V5.
  3. Register your team on Robotevents for your corresponding league(IQ or V5)
  4. Get to know the competition on the Vex robotics website for your league
  5. Build your first robot, and then go to your competitions.

Forewarnings:

  • Vex robotics is NOT something to be taken lightly. You can be burnt, cut, bruised, etc, very easily.
  • Expect to lose some sleep preparing for competitions and/or building.

Tips:

  • Be consistent. Expect to practice and have your meetings at the same time every week.
  • Don’t be afraid to rebuild. a typical team rebuilds at least 10 times each season. When you rebuild, you can start from scratch and maybe even produce something better than before.
  • Go to as many competitions as you can. Get familiar with other robots and concepts, then rebuild your own and implement what you’ve learned. Competitions are also a way to improve your reputation.

Some Resources to consider:
Vexrobotics
Robotevents
Knowledge Base

wait did i just get 2 likes within 10 seconds

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Are they:
What is Your name?
What is your quest?
What is your favorite color?

Or is it:
What is your name?
What is your quest?
What is the velocity of an unladen swallow?

image

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African or European?

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Wh-What? I don’t know that…aaaauuuuuuugggggggggg!

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This should be a good starting point, my coach learned from this as well.

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I recently made a guide to new teams, but it is more designed for students than mentors. Still might find it useful though!

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Watch VEX videos on their YouTube channel - they have one on the HeroBot for this season which is a good starter to thinking critically about designs you see, find strengths and weaknesses, and how to improve them.

Go to competitions, and so should the kids, even if not competing. Learn from other teams and coaches there. Volunteer en masse (you will be the EPs BFF).

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There are many great mentors in vex.

For a start, you should try to get to know @Foster and pick his brain and suck as much of his experience as possible.
He has lots interesting stories to share.

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If your students need a good site for researching different robotics concepts, check out https://wiki.purduesigbots.com

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