Drive Practice Plan

Driver Practice and Testing During 2022


The overall motivation for driver practice is to increase the number of matches that we can win in a season. Winning matches = more blue banners. We can design a great robot capable of winning matches but without a drive team that robot doesn’t win matches (yet, prove me wrong programming).

Over the course of a season, our drivers will play a guaranteed ~10 matches at every district event. If we play well and make eliminations that will add an average of 5 more matches for every district event. Our team typically only goes to two district events. Each match is 2 minutes and 15 seconds of driver time. So a driver is guaranteed to have 45 minutes of driving time if we don’t make eliminations. If we make eliminations twice that number raises to 67.5 minutes. In order to master driving the driver will need much more practice time than 67.5 minutes spread over the course of a few weeks. In 2022 the drivers from 1678 spent 150 hours practicing with their robot during build season, if we want to win against competitive teams (1678, 148, 6800, etc…) we will need to increase the amount of time spent driving the robot.


The drive team will gain practice through regularly scheduled driver practice sessions. These sessions will be a combination of drills, solo game play, game emulation (defense + teammates?), video review, and discussions. It’s important to look back on your previous performance to find areas to improve upon.

Practice Sessions

Suppose we are using the off season practice schedule outline below.

  • Tuesday (135 minutes of driving time)
    • Driver practice from 4:45 – 5:30
    • Discussion break from 5:30 – 6:00
    • Driver practice from 6:00 – 6:55
  • Wednesday / Thursday (60 minutes of driving time)
    • Regular Meeting from 5:00 – 7:00
    • Driver Practice from 7:00 – 7:30

By adding additional time at the end of each meeting and creating an additional meeting dedicated to driver practice we have 195 minutes of practice time each week. It should be noted at this point in time we do not have “the drivers” picked yet so this practice time will be spread amongst ~5 different students. This would mean each student would get 39 minutes of practice each week. They would have the same amount of time driving in 2 weeks of practice.

We are planning on getting 6 weeks of practice before build season starts. We then get the additional ~7 weeks of practice during build season. The practice schedule will have to be modified as Tuesday becomes one of our regularly scheduled meetings.

For 2023 I’d like to target getting 100 hours of practice with our robot during the build season. This is a lofty goal for us. There are 7 weeks for build season, and 7 weeks of competition (assuming we make it to worlds (yay 600 team worlds this year!). During the first 7 weeks of build season, we are still trying to put together a working robot we should assume that we will not get as many hours of practice compared to the competition season. We will be targeting a 40:60 percent split of hours of practice in build season and in competition season.

Proposed Build Season Schedule (6 Hours a week, or 40 hours total)

  • Tuesday 8:00 – 9:00
  • Wednesday 8:00 – 9:00
  • Thursday 8:00 – 9:00
  • Saturday 3:00 – 6:00

Proposed Competition Schedule (8.5 Hours a week, or 60 hours total)

  • Sunday 2:00 – 5:00
  • Tuesday 8:00 – 9:00
  • Thursday 8:00 – 9:00
  • Saturday 2:30 – 6:00

Game Rules

Knowing the rules is important so you don’t become captain penalty. Captain penalty is the robot driving around and scoring more points for the opposing alliance than their own. No one likes captain penalty, thus no one picks captain penalty ☹️.How do we prevent penalties? Well we start off with reading the rule book. Every page, no really, every page. Then we will have a rules test that you must score a passing grade of 90% or better on.

How Practice is Going

Above is our driver practice plan that we’ve started implementing this year. Its pulled from Notion so there might be a few formatting errors. We’ve been using this plan for the past two weeks. We’ve bounced between driving our practice robot and our competition robot because we keep having to do maintenance on them.

Been driving the wheels off…

Currently we have a few different drills we are running and one fake game we play. These need to be documented still, look for them in another post. I plan on making a few simple goals so we can use last year’s game pieces to play a simplified version of Rapid React.

Of course we can’t show any improvements if we don’t record any stats about each run, so here are the high lights from last Tuesday:

  • 54 timed runs
  • Figure Eight Course
    • Michael had the best time 8.53 seconds (Course Record)
  • Two Lap Course
    • Michael had the best time 12.02 seconds
  • Fake Game 1
    • Michael and Emiliano tied at score of 8 cycles
    • Diego got the most DQ’s(for hitting cones)
    • We should really really bolt the driver stations down they keep falling.






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