Roller Derby My New Life

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!!


Roller Derby My New Life

Left Turn Clinic

I have been pretty busy lately but I wanted to wait until after I attended this clinic to post again.  Houston Roller Derby hosted a Left Turn Clinic with coaches Mercy and Juke Boxx. go here to learn a little about these coaches and others for Left Turn.

This was a 3 day clinic that was the best derby training sessions I have attended.  I learned more about myself and what I could do and attempt to do in these 3 days than I have in almost 3 years of my roller derby adventure!  These trainers are not only awesome at derby but they are awesome teachers.  The clinic is run smoothly they know what they are doing and they communicate that very well to all levels.  I have so many things to work on now that it is hard to remember where to start.  I am so thankful that Nawty attended and took notes to bring back to our team, Yellow Rose Derby Girls!

This was not only a physical challenge but also a mind blowing mental experience as well.  I only bailed out on the scrimmage on Saturday because I had 2 bruised big toenails and I wanted to skate the whole time on Sunday.  (Not to mention my grand daughters cousin’s birthday party was also then).  Anyone who  knows me, knows that grand baby trumps even derby!

I would recommend to anyone who has a chance to attend one of the Left Turn Clinics to absolutely do so.  It is well worth the money.

Here are some things that I took away from this training:

  1. What is training?  Being taught new skills and trying the skill, this doesn’t mean you are going to master that skill today.
  2. LISTEN! I’m sorry did I shout that? Let me say that again LISTEN. If you are talking you are being a douch, you are not able to listen and you are preventing someone else from listening. I am just as guilty of this as the next person
  3. Work hard and push yourself, you paid for this remember!  You will only get out of it what you put into it. Cliche’ I know but it is true
  4. Participate, open your mind to new ideas and participate.
  5. Practice what you have been shown.  Practice, practice, practice, practice, practice!!  I did not say that enough!  Practice!
  6. Share what you learn. HUH?  Yes I said share.   Nothing stays secret forever unless it is never used, so share what you know the entire derby community will benefit
  7. One of the most important things is that when you being taught a skill that you have already mastered, you role is to help someone else master the skill, not show off how good you are.  Dial it back because if the trainee cannot ever succeed they will not understand what it feels like to do it.    This applies to team practices also.  You are a team and you win and loose as a team.  Going all out and hurting your team mates when they are not at your level means you suck!
  8. The next most important thing is to take instruction, constructive criticism, your team mate yelling at you to get lower, whatever the case.  This is to help you not to embarrass you.  How do you know if you doing it wrong unless someone tells you????
  9. It is ok to call someone out when they do something illegal.  If you get called out find out what you did, listen and work on not doing that again.  Watching yourself on film is very enlightening.  What you think you are doing is head, is not what is actually happening, sometimes.  It is hard when there are not enough officials to see everything at practice and scrimmages.  So those watching need to actively participate and give feedback after the jam.
  10. Learn how to bench coach, learn how to call line ups, learn how to be an NSO.  Study the rules STUDY STUDY the rules.  Watch games, watch the officials learn what they are calling and why.  Think about what football players do after the weeks game, they watch film!  They watch what they did, they study their position and they practice and know the rules.

I grew up when girls didn’t do team sports and we were told to “be Nice”, well that just sucks everyone should learn how to play a team sport.  Team work happens in sports, and in the real world of jobs.  You have to learn how to get along as a team, in all situations.   Unfortunately women are notorious for creating drama.  We take everything personal, we want to lash back.  We need to step up, get a tougher skin, think before we react.  Cool off if we get angry, and have the guts to tell someone what you felt and give them a chance to explain.  Usually it is how we take it not how is meant.  Conflict resolution is a necessary tool for life, learn it.  You will be much happier!

As always, much derby love!! I know there was some strong truths in this post but it is sent out with love for the sport and people who play and want to play, not to intimidate and put down.

Melody Kool