- You are worth so much. Your team needs you. Your bench coach needs you. Your trainers need you. These people can’t do the things they do without you. Maybe you don’t get that self-worth in your life outside of derby as much as you should be, but here, you rock!
The importance of taking care of yourself! Mentally, physically, emotionally. Take care of your body; treat it like a temple, and it will do great things for you. Drink that glass of water or else you’ll be dehydrated for practice. Run that extra mile so you’re strong like bull. Say no to your friend who wants to get “one” beer the night before a bout.
Learn when to dance it out. Jitters before practice? The jam whistle? Dance that shit out and others are sure to join. In fact, if they don’t join, they’re doing derby wrong.
The real opponent is yourself. You are your biggest critic. Did you not make it through your initial pass as a jammer? Were you a “lone wolf” during scrimmage? That is OKAY. Everyone is still and always will be learning. Take this in a positive fashion and challenge yourself without being too hard on yourself.
You will have your teammates' backs, and they will have yours. You have met the people who truly care about you and your well-being. They are your biggest cheerleaders and are the people who pick you up off the floor. You would do the same for them with no hesitation.
If you don’t follow the rules, you don’t win. We all know this: you spend more time in the sin-bin than you do on the track; eventually you are going to foul out of the game. But that’s okay; a lot of people don’t know the rules when they first join derby. It’s better to try and get a penalty than to play it safe. Luckily, we have awesome refs to explain our mistakes and help make us better skaters. Yay refs!
Choose a goal and accomplish it. Whether it’s something small, like smiling more in practice, or big, like skating 27 laps in five minutes. Choose something attainable every day and then crush it.
Recovering is just as important. Stretch. Drink water. Refuel with yummy food. Just because practice is over doesn’t mean you should let it all go down the drain. And yes, a shower beer is fully acceptable as a method of recovery.
Slow the game down. Being aware of your surroundings and always expecting the next play is good. It also helps you by not getting knocked on your ass because you weren’t paying attention. I give you this piece of advice from personal experience.
You cry, and then you raise hell. You are going to fail. And it will be okay. It is how you pick yourself up off that track, adjust your pads, and getting your ass back out there that matters.
Smax L Rose is a 23-year-old Vigilante who enjoys snuggling with her Great Dane, attempting to hit the high notes in “Welcome to the Jungle”, and drinking beer. Simultaneously.