Roller Derby My New Life

Assessment Anxiety Repost for the newbies

Wrote this back in 2013 but it is still just as relevant

Just finishing up Yellow Rose Derby Girls assessments and I handled it much better this time around. This is a necessary tool to learn where you are and what you need to work on in order to improve. I have always been a very very bad test taker. I freeze up and my brain shuts off. I can barely recall my own name and it has been that way since I was in grade school. I have successfully gotten out of my own head and settled down to doing what I know to the best of my ability. Trying out for a team is nothing more than doing your assessments and showing your skills and abilities.

It occurred to me that I was mostly afraid of looking like a complete idiot, and people laughing at me and generally just scared to fail and succeed. I know that is really lame and silly. Derby has taught me how to better deal with my own fears. We all start out afraid to fall and what is the first thing they teach you?? How to fall! Face it you are going to eat the track…a lot and the key is to learn how to not get hurt when you fall or take that big hit. These assessments show you what you need to work on. Ok so it feels like you need to work on everything and it is overwhelming and upsetting.

This is why we practice and do drills over and over until you are sick of them. But you are going to get out of those drills what you put into them. Be honest, if you are not giving it your all each and every time you get on the track, then you are not improving and you are not mastering the skills.

Remember that it takes time and hard work to improve. There is no substitute for that and there is no short cut to get there. In order to improve you have to move outside your comfort zone, but do not take chances until you are ready mentally. Push yourself a little each time and it does get better.

Next up is learning the rules of the game! You must look at them and watch derby being played. The other best way to learn the rules is to be an NSO or Non Skating Official. If you are not bout ready then go to clinic for NSO’s and Refs. These are held by various leagues periodically. This way you contribute to your team even if you are not playing in the bouts yet.

Remember that Roller Derby is a sport and you are becoming an athlete!! An awesome Derby athlete!!

Hip checks to all until the next time!

Roller Derby My New Life

Stuck in Your Head

So after talking with some team mates and encouraging them I was reminded of how easy it is to get stuck in your own head.  We all do it, we are the only one out there that can’t do cross overs, can’t do turn around toe stops, struggle with the snow plow yada yada yada!  It wasn’t until I was injured and couldn’t skate but went to all the practices that I could to observe that I realized I was not the only one with struggles.

We tend to look at the girls that have been doing this for years and expect to be just like them in a few short weeks or even months.  I know I was intimidated by the girls who could skate fast, do cross overs and generally looked like they were completely comfortable on skates.

I grew up roller skating, taught myself how to skate backwards, do turn around toe stops, spins, learned how to jitter bug on skates (can’t do that now lol) and thought of myself as a decent skater.  However, I had been off of skates for years, was a couch potato and a little over weight when I started roller derby.  I was quickly humbled, when I got my speed skates (which I had never been on before) and hit the track thinking to myself, “I got this, no problem” and promptly fell on my bootie bruising my tail bone.

WOW, what just happened??  I discovered that I didn’t know anything about derby and speed skating and even though I knew how to skate, I had so much to learn.  It can be a bit discouraging and I spent my first year going to Rec league practice once a week and learning everything I could in that short time.  I finally realized, (even after I was told by others my husband included) that this was not going to get me where I wanted to be.

I finally made the committment to go to more practices, speed practice being my only other option at the time and start working out and eating better.  Now I began to look for more opportunities to skate and got me some outdoor wheels so I could skate in parades and such.  Speed practice helped me out immensely, coach Mel can make you a better skater.

With assessments coming up it is important to remember to get OUT of your head, do the skill to best of your ability, take the advice and coaching.  DO NOT compare yourself to others, (I know that is the hard one).  Everyone develops their skills at their own rate and everyone started at different levels. This is a tool to help you understand where you are, what you need to work on, and where you are trying to get to.  One other thing, it is easy to practice a skill you can do well, not so much for the ones you don’t do well. The important thing is to keep trying, keep working hard and quit being so hard on yourself.  Remember you crawl before you walk, you walk before you run in all of you life adventures!

Until next time!! Hip checks and derby love to you all!