Gracious Professionalism Award at Kokomo Competition

I had a great experience at our first district event in Kokomo last weekend. Our media team put together some great posts on Facebook at:

One of the highlights of the event was receiving the Gracious Professionalism award from FIRST Robotics. You can read about it at: Below is a quote from that page.

Gracious Professionalism®
Dr. Woodie Flowers, (1943 – 2019) EAB Chair Emeritus & Distinguished Advisor, coined the term “Gracious Professionalism®.”

Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It’s a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.

With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended.

In the long run, Gracious Professionalism is part of pursuing a meaningful life. One can add to society and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing one has acted with integrity and sensitivity.

The award was a surprise to all of us and I had to think back over the past few months of all the times we had other teams over to our facility to help them with their robots. We helped them troubleshoot problems and gave them access to our playing field so they could practice shooting and climbing skills. We also hosted two other teams during the reveal of the game in early January and helped one of the rookie teams get off the ground. At the event in Kokomo we worked with two other teams on what we call scouting, where we gather data on robots during each competition.

At PhyXTGears, we don’t think twice about lending a hand to others. Our students overcame almost insurmountable obstacles and performed beyond all expectations, with innovation and perseverance at Kokomo. I watched other teams lend us a hand, and our students helped other teams. At my first competition with PhyXTGears at Kokomo, I personally made new friends from other teams. They taught me about robot competition and welcomed me into the FIRST community.

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