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Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition® are central themes to the FIRST experience. But these ideas expand far beyond robotics, and can be used in every aspect of life.
Gracious Professionalism® is a term coined by Dr. Woodie Flowers, a professor at MIT and FIRST legend. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of competing while still being respectful. This means that even though you may be against someone in a challenge, it does not mean you should talk down to them, make them feel like losers, or consider their ideas less than yours. Rather, it means that everyone has something to gain from the competition and encourages an atmosphere of knowledge and respect.
Coopertition® is the idea that all teams should do their best to assist and work with each other, even if you’re competing against them. It includes an attitude of kindness and constant respect, for every team and person. Coopertition® is about learning, teaching, and becoming better through working with others. No matter who you’re competing against, it’s important to enable them to be the best they can be. Through this process, you can better other teams and your own.