Are You Scrimmage Ready?

When I first started Roller Derby I would hear this question being asked at various times.  At first though I didn’t know what was meant by that.  How do I know and no one could really tell me.  I think it is very important for the trainers/coaches to have a really good idea of everyone’s capabilities before throwing newbies into the scrimmage.  safety for everyone should be the biggest concern and a big factor in determining if you are scrimmage ready.

Our team did something different for the first time at our scrimmage practice which was suggested by the Refs and worked out awesomely well.  We split everyone up between seasoned (advanced) skaters and the intermediates and newbies.  One jam was only advanced and the next jam was intermediates/beginners against each other and the next jam was 2 advanced skaters mixed in with intermediate/beginners.  We rotated this way the entire time and it not only worked out really well it was awesome to watch each jam be competitive and no one got hurt.  I personally had a great practice and I hope everyone else felt like they did too.  Having enough players to make this work is a key factor too.

It is difficult as a seasoned skater to dial back when scrimmaging with not so seasoned players every time and this was a way to get them out there so they could go hard and work on their game as well.  And then have the opportunity to help teach the other girls and provide guidance on the track.

As with all things in life you must study that which you want to conquer or become good at!  Every single practice will give you exactly what you put into it.  There are always those days, when I don’t feel so great, tired, cranky or just wanting to not do anything.  I have found out that if I make myself go to practice and get on the floor by the time warm ups are over I have renewed energy, better focus and much better attitude.  It is what keeps me going.  I love doing and helping and learning and teaching.  And most importantly I have learned not to give up trying something even when I am struggling with it!  So you will be ready to scrimmage probably sooner than you think but the harder you work on the drills at practice the better your scrimmage time will be!  Get out there and Get it Done!!

Derby Love!!

Melody

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!