Ready or not…

2014 Championship.

To go or not to go to your first event? That is the question. There is really only one answer.

(Make sure you read all the way to the bottom. No, really.)

It’s almost time for your first-ever FIRST® LEGO® League event, and your team is feeling really insecure.

You know what?

Don’t go.

You’re not ready.

Your Project doesn’t have enough sources. Your Robot doesn’t do what you want it to. Your attachment keeps failing. You never got around to making a prototype. Your team spirit is at an all-time low. You don’t know any other teams.

Don’t go. Don’t do it. You’re just going to be disappointed.

DO NOT GO.

You don’t have to. It’s probably a bad idea. You don’t want to embarrass yourself. It’s a waste of time. Who cares? There’s no point. Forget about it. Don’t give it a second thought.

UNLESS…

You’re curious about meeting other teams. And seeing how they solved the very same Robot Game missions you worked on all year. Then maybe you should go.

And your Project solution, you were excited about that, weren’t you? You and your team thought of something really new. No one has ever approached the problem you picked in exactly the way you and your team did. Everyone you told about it said, “I can’t believe no one has ever thought of that before.” But you did.

In that case, you might want to go.

Don’t go unless you care about learning about the problems you didn’t even think of, unless you want to meet a ton of new teams from all over your city, your town – maybe even your country. Then maybe you should think about going.

Do you like music? And dancing? And silly hats? And having fun? Do you like hearing people cheer for you – people who don’t even know you but like your robot’s cool attachments? Do you like being inspired and understanding that even the biggest problems have solutions if the right people are taking the time to look for them?

Then maybe you should go.

If you believe kids can be inventors and programmers and designers and scientists – you should go. If you understand that failure is a pathway to success, you should totally go. Because failure teaches champions. You know that, right? You can’t really lose.

Maybe you should go if you want to hear where your Project could be improved so you can produce it someday, if you want to meet real-life engineers and scientists and researchers and learn a little bit about what they do. You should go if you want to celebrate all your hard work – because there was a lot of it, wasn’t there? And you did it! You and your team were committed! You should go if you want a chance to high-five everyone else who did it, too.

You know you should be really proud of that work, that commitment, right? Regardless of what the rubric says or the final score in the final round. You have a lot to be proud of. You know that, right? You do. Even if you don’t go. But you should go. Be proud and go.

If you care about your home, your country, the world, the future and how kids your age – kids just like you – are shaping all these things and making them better. Then maybe you should go.

You know you have to go, right?

Seriously. You have to. You’ll love it.

And you won’t even remember you were afraid because you will be having too much fun.

What have you got to lose?

Nothing.

What have you got to gain?

Self-respect. Self-confidence. New friends. New ideas. A new outlook. A new experience. Encouragement to see the Core Values in action.

Everything.

You need to go. Make sure you go. You have to go. You want to go, right?

Don’t miss it. Trust me on this one. You won’t regret it.

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