Lance – you are right, managing an alliance effectively is an incredibly important feature of the game that most teams largely ignore. The best teamwork I’ve seen on a team of mine was a while ago, but their division of labor was:
- One base driver
- One game system operator
- One coach
They divided the scoring areas up and gave them shorthand names. A typical play might be:
Coach: “Score two in six”
Drivers execute play while coach talks to alliance partner and watches the field.
Lead driver: “Done” (although the coach usually could see it)
Coach: “Move right, pick up four and score in two.” The coach has seen his alliance partner on the left and directs the drive team to the right to avoid alliance-partner blocking.
The drivers don’t think about strategy, just tactics, and the coach only worries about strategy and alliance partner teamwork. It was extremely effective (most times…), especially if the alliance partner had an organized drive team, but I have had a lot of trouble getting other teams to really use it. Every time I hear a coach yelling, “lift your arm, lift your arm!” I know they have not figured out effective division of labor.
Oh, yeah. If the coach is watching his own robot scoring, he’s wasting time. He (or she) needs to be figuring out the next play, and the drivers need to do what they’re told.
Just my 2 cents.