Running a roller derby team could easily be a full time job in itself so you’ll find that everybody needs to pull together for your league to become super awesome… so I’ve been thinking of ways you can help out and be an asset to your team.
- Volunteer! Use your enthusiasm and off-skates skills to support your team. Everyone else is a volunteer and when everyone chips in then the league runs like a well-oiled machine!
- Trust your team mates. On and off the track, trust that your team mates are doing their part too… you can’t do everything yourself and to think that you have to shows either a massive ego… or that you are maybe having difficulty trusting that others are doing their jobs too.
- Understand, it’s not about you. Really, just swallow that little pill. It’s not about you. You can be the best skater on the team, but trust me, a true team is greater than the sum of its parts, and the team will survive without you. Do your part, keep your ego in check and you will be fantastic.
- Encourage and praise your team mates, from your freshies up to your travel team. Everyone needs feedback at times. Praise is not the same as coaching, try to refrain from ‘coaching’ others, unless they ask for advice. But sometimes just being told that someone has recognised the effort you’re putting in can be an amazing lift.
- Work really hard, and never give up. You may have read a recent blog by our lovely Kill’Her Instinct about the ‘talent myth’. Put in the hours, push yourself and keep on keeping on… that is how you will get to where you want to be, not from magic gear or potions, but time on skates and effort!
- Take responsibility for your own progression. This links in with 5. You will have opportunities to learn from your team mates and coaches, but they can’t do the work for you. Instead of asking for feedback when you hit a plateau, first reflect on what YOU think you need to work on, then come to your coach with an idea that they can help you with. Sometime it can knock your confidence if you ask for feedback, and you don’t hear what you were expecting.
- Own your mistakes. Whether that’s apologising when you loose your cool or acknowledging when you muck up a drill, but particularly don’t be that skater that blames your trip to the penalty box on an official, or blames your team’s loss on the officiating. It doesn’t reflect well on you and can affect more than just your personal reputation.
- Believe in your self, and your team. OK, so this doesn’t mean that you need to go around saying your league can totally beat one of the world’s top teams, but believe in the strengths of your league, believe in your potential and where you want to be. There’s nothing more demoralising than verbalising thoughts like ‘we’ll never win’, ‘why are we bouting X, they’re so much better than us’. It sucks the energy and fun out out of roller derby and you don’t get better as a league if you don’t stretch yourself.
- Remember that everyone is a volunteer. Try really hard not to get cross if something isn’t done to the timescales you think it should be, everyone in your league is a volunteer, most have jobs, families and a whole load of stuff going on. This relates to 2, trust it’s getting done.
- Professionalism goes a long way. No it’s not a professional sport (as much as we’d love it to be!) and no one gets paid (unfortunately!) but we act professionally. Be just as respectful as you would be to a work colleague because we all want the same things: to play roller derby and to be part of a growing and progressing league.
Written by Bunnie Suicide