Hey everyone, it has been a while but I have been moved to write some more. This probably will sound all preachy and negative but it is only intended to bring things to our attention and to consider our own behaviors within the context of a roller derby league and team mates.
I have been doing this roller derby thing for 6 years now. I have played, I have studied the rules and the players, I have watched more games than I will ever play in.
It is in my nature to study and observe people and I am driven to teach what I know. I usually take the backseat quiet position and observe, to learn things. Roller derby is a team sport where you have to communicate verbally. That was the single hardest thing for me to overcome. In my fresh meat days, I got yelled at a lot for not talking. I was scared I would say something wrong, or sound stupid. However, I have recently been informed that I am negative. I was surprised by this, but as someone who is constantly working on myself I have to consider that something I do causes me to appear negative and I will definitely work on this.
In the mean time to all my league mates, if you have felt this from me I apologize and would appreciate letting me know when I am being negative so that I can better correct this behavior.
I am definitely not a great player, and I am so much older than all of my league but I have knowledge and I have observations that I want to pass on to those who can play so much better, to help them and not cause them pain or make them feel bad. I might not be able to do a skill but I can see what others are doing and help with what I see, but it seems that this is not being received in the context that is intended and there is probably something wrong with my delivery. I have studied and am still studying coaching as this was something that I have considered doing as I won’t be able to play at the high level our league is aspiring to, and roller derby needs coaches. I obviously need to learn more.
If we do not communicate with each other on the track, we will not learn and progress and that is just as much for me as it is for others. I need feedback too, there are only a couple of people who tell me things I can do better, I by far need just as much coaching as the next person. I acknowledge that I will never be a stand out player but I want the league to succeed and have standout TEAM and be on the sidelines cheering them on to all the victories. Our All Star team needs our support. Everyone is important to our success and growing and we all need to take a little time to get know each other. Inclusion is the key, we migrate to our own comfort zones whether it is with our bestie on the team or keeping to ourselves, we all have the desire to be accepted but we all have to be willing to be accepting.
We are all quick to encourage and lift up our freshies but vets need this also. It is easy to get behind someone we see potential in getting them “all star” ready however, not everyone is going to be this and those others need just as much encouragement and to feel like a part of the league. There are many many roles to be filled for a successful league and everyone should acknowledge and embrace all of these roles and the people doing them. There is no rule that says you have to like everyone or be buddies with everyone, but everyone deserves respect and inclusion.
Hopefully this will cause people to think about these things.