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!