“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” – Coach John Wooden, in The Difference Between Winning and Success
Our first ROBOT League meet was instructive, if not as successful as we’d hoped. It was one thing to show new members videos and
photos and try to explain what a full scale competition was like, but there’s no substitute for the real thing. But failure is the truest test of
TDTs guiding principle of “Character above competition,” or as John Wooden observed, “You can lose when you outscore somebody in a game. And you can win when you’re outscored.” What really matters is the character of a team, and how that character holds steady whether a team is winning or losing.
Sure, we’d have loved to win – who doesn’t?! But we’re very proud of team members, all of whom took the day’s challenges in stride and vowed to come back stronger and better at our next meet on December 8th. And mentors and coaches were deeply touched by team member families’ expressions of warm gratitude at the team dinner after the event – evidence of the real value members place on the academic experience Team Duct Tape offers.
The best tribute to the team’s healthy mentality, though, was their complete avoidance of blame, their thoughtful evaluation of
problems at their post-event meeting this past weekend, and their immediate focus on needed improvements, from improved structural integrity of the robot, to stronger interview skills.
So it’s nose to the grindstone – and the drawing board – this week and next, with extra meetings, drive practice and some outreach events sprinkled in, and we’ll see if we can add some wins to our successful team!