Congratulations, and thank you for coaching a team of students that are interested in STEM! Coaching a robotics team can be an intimidating concept for some new coaches, but we are here to support and encourage you on this journey!
Learn about coach training with PD+ for REC Coaches, the VEX Coach’s Community, team resources, and the VEX Library.
Welcome to Coaching a VEX Team
What is a Coach?
Simply put, a coach is an advocate.
The REC Foundation keeps all programs student centered. That means your main job is to support your team by scheduling practices, ordering equipment, assisting with conflict resolution, and being a cheerleader for your team.
Who can be a coach?
Anyone with a passion for helping students.
We see many different types of coaches that range from educators in a school environment, to a parent who is coaching out of their living room, to a high school student helping younger teams. If you have the desire to change the life of a student, you can be a coach.
What kind of experience does a coach need?
Being a coach doesn’t mean that you are an expert in building, coding, or even selecting a strategy for your team! No engineering background or previous experience is needed. We have the resources and support staff to assist you, every step of the way.
Where Should I Start?
Reach out to your Team Engagement Manager
TEMs are coaches’ advocates and the go-to source of support for all things team-related, including registration, grants, and general team support.
Go to an event
Experiencing a competition first-hand is an indescribable opportunity. Look at teams’ pit areas and take notes of interesting or fun ideas to bring back to your organization. Watch matches and look at robots to learn some best practices for building, and witness student-centered designs in action.
Talk to other mentors and students
Each team and organization runs differently, and each can teach you something new. Set up a visit to talk with another organization’s coaches, and bring your students to network with members of their teams. You can search for teams and events in your area at RobotEvents.com.
How Do I Get Support?
The REC Foundation and VEX Robotics both provide support to coaches. Who provides that support depends on whether you need assistance with your team, event, equipment, or curriculum.
What is the difference between REC and VEX?
The Robotics Education and Competition Foundation (REC Foundation) is a non-profit organization that provides coaches with Team Engagement Managers (TEMs) and Event Engagement Managers (EEMs) to aid in the development and sustainability of Teams and Events.
VEX Robotics designs, produces, distributes, and supports all of the hardware, software, and game elements for the VEX Robotics competition. The VEX Game Design Committee also creates the game manual, enforces rules, and supplies the REC Foundation with support to ensure the success of Event Partners.
Go to support.vex.com to see the available support options.
Go to library.vex.com for online product documentation.
Who should I contact if I need help?
Interviews with Coaches
VEX PD+ for REC Coaches (Coach PD+) includes a catalog of Professional Development videos, a Professional Coach Community, and much, much more. Community is the best resource a coach can have, and engaging with a diverse community of educators and coaches is one of the best ways to grow. Access to Coach PD+ offers the kind of support you can usually only get from a personal mentor! Engaging with Coach PD+ will help ensure you are never isolated from the support of like-minded professionals. With Coach PD+, you are a part of a community with other professionals like yourself—where there are no ads, and no kids.
- Free with an REC Foundation team registration
Coaches' Summit Videos
The REC Foundation hosted a virtual Coaches’ Summit for participants who have a VEX IQ Competition team, VEX Robotics Competition, or VEX U team! The Coaches’ Summit included topics that addressed the upcoming season and ways to improve your program. The REC Foundation staff presented topics that included a deep dive into this season’s game, event Judging, community building, and more. We worked hard to create tools and resources for your competition teams to be successful this season.
- CEO Welcome
- Resources for Coaches & Where to Find Them
- Resources for Students and Where to Find Them
- From Pre-K to College – Building a VEX Community in Your District
- Paying for Your Program
- Community Building 101
- The Secrets to Becoming a Better Coach
- Strategy Dictates Design
- Scaffolding Strategies for Effective Coaching
- Sharing Best Practices: Student-Centered Programs and Honoring the Code of Conduct
- REC Foundation Drone Program – Bell Advanced Vertical Robotics
- REC Foundation Drone Program – Aerial Drone Competition
- Day One Wrap Up and Networking
Competition Day Videos
- VIQC Game Discussion
- VEX Robotics Competition Game Discussion
- The Qualification Process
- Refs, and Judges, and EPs, Oh My! Who's Who at an Event
- Judging–An Integral Part of REC Foundation Competitions
- The Judging Process – Demystified!
- Becoming an Event Partner
Code of Conduct
The REC Foundation considers the positive, respectful, and ethical conduct of all students, teachers, mentors, parents, and other event attendees an important and essential component of all REC Foundation-sanctioned events.
We expect the following behavior and ethical standards at all REC Foundation-sanctioned events:
- Act with integrity, honesty, and reliability
- Behave in a respectful and professional manner with event staff, volunteers, and fellow competitors
- Exhibit maturity and class when dealing with difficult and stressful situations
- Respect individual differences
- Follow all rules as listed in the current game manual(s)
- Student-centered teams with limited adult assistance
- Safety as a top priority
- Good sportsmanship, which includes supporting your alliance partners
These expectations apply to all team members and all adults associated with a team including, but not limited to, teachers, mentors, parents and guardians. This Code may also apply to behavior outside of REC Foundation-sanctioned events where inappropriate actions are related to an event or participating individuals.
Read more about the Code of Conduct
The REC Foundation has consolidated all the resources a team needs into one place. This site will become your go-to place for information on starting a team, game manuals, policies, equipment, events, robots, coding, and the engineering design process.
Team Resources includes information on:
- Getting started
- Design process and engineering notebooks
- Forms and policies
- VEX World Championship
Learn more at library.recf.org
Documentation, resources, and information about all things VEX—organized and in one place. The VEX Library is the place to find detailed information on building, electronics, coding, and troubleshooting.
The VEX Library includes information on:
- How to use VEX electronics
- How to use VEX mechanical products
- Drivetrain and mechanism design
- Installing and using VEXcode
- Coding tutorials
- Troubleshooting guides
- Safety guidelines
Explore the contents at library.vex.com
This collection provides resources and articles to support classroom and competition students in their STEM journey as they get started with VEX.
- Welcome to VEX Robotics
- Interviews with VEX Students
- Code of Conduct
Explore the content at students.vex.com
This set of resources and articles helps parents and guardians encourage and support their student’s STEM journey.
- What other VEX parents have to say
- Welcome from a VEX parent
- More parent interviews
- Understanding robotics competitions
- Supporting STEM students
- Code of Conduct
Explore the content at parents.vex.com