Tips For Drive Coach/Co-pilot

Hello,
I have found some articles on driving tips but none on drive coaching. Our team is pretty confused by what the rest of our drive team should be doing and we were wondering if you have any tips for what the other 1-2 drive members in the alliance station should be doing besides the driver?

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Often, we have one member watch the clock and call time, and the other focus on talking to the other team to coordinate defensive strategy. Obviously both members also suggest when the driver should switch to a different tactic, but in general, it’s mostly helping the driver know what is and is going to happen on the field at any given time. And our driver forgets expansion a lot, so some frantic verbal feedback there never hurts.

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I always recommend to my middle school team that 1) the driver be in the middle, 2) have one team member standing in between the driver and the alliance partner, their job is to communicate to the drive information to the driver and alliance partner, 3) the third person is watch the whole field, keeping track of time and opportunities and communicates to driver.

Drivers get tunnel vision, they are focused at the task at hand - so having people to mediate the communication and apply game strategy reduces cognitive load on driver.

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Usually how my HS VRC team would do it was we’d have the driver and drive coach up there for every match, and then someone to record the match (usually me) up there as well.

The goal is the drive coach is to guide the driver during the match. There are different styles of coaching, ranging from outright telling the driver what to do, to simply being a second set of eyes to watch out for defense obstacles in the way.

Since most tournaments in our region were not live-streamed, having someone up there to record the match was crucial as we could watch back the videos to analyze our match performance and scout our opponents/alliance partners. This was extremely helpful in TiP, where we would use the match recordings to see what autonomous programs our opponents might run against us.

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As i driver i have one do time and one count the difference in disc and rollers and ill also have them notify me what the other robots are doing and if my alliance partner will need help. this really helps me know how riskey i have to play, how many more volleys i ned to shoot and wether or not i have to expand during endgame

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Thank you! I’ll try to implement these strategies at my tournament tomorrow!

Communication is key. Talk to your driver and see what he/she is comfortable with. Some people may need assistance on looking out for things in the field or need to hear the time or just may be comfortable with silence. You wanna have a that relationship established.

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As the driver, I like for the rest of the drive group to be focused on the match because I’m often focused more on our robot. They focus on the other robots and point out opposing alliance strategies (for example them driving to push us) or help communicate our needs to our alliance robot.

Since we have 2 drivers, we can only have one person spotting, or also called drive coaching.

Luckily, she is very good at this, so she yells out times, and what OTHER Robots are doing, not ours.

The biggest four things I suggest drive coach(s) call out are 1. Time 2. Rollers 3. When someone is shooting into the opposing high goal, so we can ram into them and block it. 4. When to clear out low goal.

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We have one timer, calling pre-agreed upon times. Usually 1:00, 0:45, 0:15, and 0:10.

We have one IGL, calling strategy for our driver, and the other team.

And we have the driver, obviously.

The fourth member of our team is in the stands, taking notes on the other team’s strategy.

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