Sure, I’m always here to tell you how many push-ups or burpees to do, and how to become more agile. But sometimes you can also make big strides and improve at roller derby by working out your mind…
[PS: Photo courtesy of my fave skate shop, www.rollergirl.ca!]
Watch The Big O.
Watch the big O. Watch watch waaaaaatch! Watching roller derby is crazy good for your own roller derby. Just ask the London Rollergirls… They came to East Regionals (remember those?!) in 2011 having played only four WFTDA sanctioned bouts, ever (all of which they lost, to top-20 teams). They placed a very respectable fifth in the tournament. By 2013 they had ascended to be the first ever international team to make it to WFTDA Championships (and everyone had to stop calling it “Nationals” once and for all…). How? By watching footage, my friends!!
Texas does hard core footage analysis of themselves, and their opponents. I’ve heard top-level skaters say their goal is 1-2 hours of footage review per week. It’s amazing what the brain can do when you’re not looking — quietly connecting what you’re seeing, to what your body is suddenly doing.
For more ideas about HOW to watch to get the most out of it, check out my post from a couple years back, 8 Keys to Watching Bout Footage Like a Champ.
Here’s the schedule for the Big O – look at all the juicy loveliness in there!
I’ll be checking out Terminal City (of course!), plus some Men’s derby (the guys pull of some athletic stunts that we can learn a lot form), and Bay Area, Denver, Texas, Rose City… the list is way too long. Just deliver me some nachos on Sunday because I won’t be moving from the screen all day!
You can watch all the derby here: http://ecrg.com/bigo/
Change Your Mental Game to Break Walls and Lift Off Plateaux
If you don’t know my good friend Buffy Sainte Fury, you’d want to. I’ve had the pleasure of watching Buffy begin playing roller derby as a Fresh Meat and rookie, then eventually join me on the TCRG All-Stars, and grow into the team’s captain. Last year Buffy, skating as Kar Harvey, wowed the derby world with Team Canada at the World Cup. She had come from out of nowhere for so many observers, and everyone at the tournament kept talking about what an effective blocker Harvey is. She was devastating out there. You can even watch a sweet highlight reel her partner made to get what I mean:
But besides being a fucking great skater, Buffy is a really nice, thoughtful human. She has been quietly drawing and painting beautiful things, and writing her sweet blog for a few months now — things to keep her occupied while she recovers from a broken ankle (the ramp giveth, the ramp taketh away…). And she’s got some pretty great advice on there.
I want to turn your eyeballs to one post in particular – “Plateaux and Walls.” Here’s a snippet to whet your appetite:
“Having the ability to assess yourself in a positive way is an absolute must in terms of your personal critical development. You know your body and ability best. As much as you want to hear feedback from other people, you need to hone your perception of yourself. This alone will contribute to what kind of skater you can become. By leaning too hard on third party compliments or critiques, you aren’t developing your own mental drive and self-planning. There comes a balance with everything in life.”
The post goes on to provide a knife-sharp look at self-reflection, and one skater’s approach to the mental battle, challenge, and reward that roller derby can be. I couldn’t say it better than Buffy does, so I’ll just hug you and send you off to read her thoughts directly.
Aside: exchange the word “roller derby” for whatever else challenges you in your life, and it still all makes sense. Being a better athlete (not achieving the most, but being the best at who you want to be) will make you a better human in the other challenging areas of your life.
Help Yourself or Someone you Love Through an Injury
Is it cheating for me to incorporate another Buffy Sainte Fury blog post here? Well, girl’s on a roll, and this injuries and mental health post has been getting a lot of attention lately. Whether you’re the one on crutches, or you want to know how best to support a teammate who’s out of commission, she’s provided some insight on how to navigate the process.
And here’s one of my own posts from a while back – an oldie but a goodie, as they say. “How to Survive a Roller Derby Injury”
Unfortunately, every one of us out there either knows a league-mate who is injured, or is that person herself. So if it’s not you who needs these resources right now, please forward them to a friend who does. And bring her a casserole while you’re at it.
OK, OK, So you Still Want to Sweat?
You’ve got that killer instinct and you just don’t know where to direct it, eh? Good news – my Pump Up Your Jam training program starts up on Monday, May 4th. It’s a 6-week training program that will totally rev up your training and your skating. You can sign up here on the Shop page. Just a few spots left! Email me with any questions.
Get ready to transform your game this season – both mentally and physically!
xo Booty Quake
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