The FIRST Mentality
A major part of FIRST is having good sportsmanship and helping others. This is defined as Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition. Gracious Professionalism is not just an idea, but rather a way of life for all FIRST teams. Whether you are on the field, in the stands, or anywhere outside the competition environment, FIRST teams are encouraged to be kind to and supportive of everyone on their team and on others. Gracious professionals in competition are like two friends in the same race: each wants the other to succeed, but that doesn't subtract from their desire to win. Gracious professionalism involves improving society through teaching and encouraging others, as though each person is a small gear in a giant, complex, machine. Coopertition is a major part of FIRST and even some of the games. Coopertition means helping a struggling teammate. It is working with others to solve problems. It is also learning from others and respecting their opinions. By cooperating, not only is everyone happier, but they are also more productive. It takes a true leader to remain calm and encouraging while still trying to win, which is the essence of Coopertition, and why it is a core value of FIRST.