Everyone is talking resolutions and big plans for 2014 these days. Hard to open a magazine, the intertrons, or the boob tube without facing someone’s list of goals for the 365 days ahead. I was planning to write a resolutions-themed blog post of my own, in fact! That is, until I got brain-smacked by a quote I read:
“Losers have goals. Winners have systems.”
OK, so it’s maybe a bit harsh, but the nugget of truth is there. It’s actually pretty important to have a goal, but without the system in place, your goal may be forever out of reach. January is not a time for willpower, deprivation, or major changes to your routine that will almost certainly be impossible to maintain long term. Nope! Not anymore. January 2014 is for setting up your systems, so you can be successful all year long.
To get you started, here are my top 6 “systems” that I think all of us should install, for our very best chance at killing it in the year (and years) ahead. Check out the links and videos for more in-depth info.
Jump on board and start using sports psychology to your advantage. The most accessible options (with lots of writing and research on the subject) are through positive visualization, and affirmations. Read my thoughts on affirmations in one of my most popular posts of 2013, “Stop Sucking, Start Winning.”
Watch footage with your team. Sure, you could just get together over some beers and hoot and holler over a great bout. But an effective, targeted footage review can do amazing things. See: London Rollergirls. So watch skaters that are better than you. Watch what they do well, and where they fail. Analyse the hell out of it. Play jams over and over and break them down. Don’t just ooh and ahh over how amazing your favourite skaters are – figure out exactly what they’re doing, and then implement it. Read my full blog post on how to do it right.
Spend time on strength training. Training for roller derby isn’t just about doing cardio! Strength is the biggest differentiator I see between fresh meat skaters and seasoned vets – strength leads to power, and power means acceleration and agility. Read Lilith NoFair’s guest blog series on Rocking the Big Rocks, part 1 and part 2.
Get your warmup dialled. First, make it a dynamic one. You can watch my videos below of both on-skate and off-skate warmup routines by clicking these links. Second, once you find something that works for your team, do it at every practice, AND before every game. See item #1 above, about sport psychology. Repetition and familiarity will put your brains in “go” mode from the minute you start your pre-game system, because you know it backwards and forwards. Result: calm nerves and deep focus on game day.
Always always ensure you’re working out with optimal form. Watch this video, work with an expert from your league, or invest in just one or two hours of personal training if you’re not sure you’re doing it right. Never waste time or risk injury by exercising improperly. The full blog post is here.
Finally, the very best system of all: Data!! Get real with your derby fitness goals and actually take the time to plan, record, and review your efforts, whether it’s your workouts or other steps you and your team have in place (like any of the above!). I write all about why this is critical here, and give lots of practical examples.
OK, now it’s your turn. I want to hear from you in the comments below – what are your goals for derby in 2014, and what SYSTEMS are you going to put into place to make them real?
Let’s kick some ass this year, shall we?
xo Booty Quake