Home from scrimmage

Roller Derby is such a satisfying thing to play. I was sad when the scrimmage ended, I wasn’t nearly exhausted enough. It felt really good to be out there and my team mates are wonderful. It’s great when it feels like both teams are working hard, throwing themselves in with gusto, but no one is being nasty. Great vibe and a close game. PFM is a really nice learning environment and the last few practices I’ve felt new skills click into place.

As a writer it can be hard to tell when I’m improving and sometimes it’s hard to tell what to focus on. The world of the mind is a nebulous place and even if you set concrete goals it can be hard to tell if you’ve achieved the goal, or if it was a worthwhile goal to chase.

Not so with Roller Derby. I have specific physical skills to work on and specific mental skills to work on. I can frequently succeed and achieve short term and long term goals. It’s so nice to have so much specific, chewy stuff to work on (even if there is a monumental amount of stuff to work on). I fall down a lot. I fall down, I try to fall small and safe, then I get up again. Nothing like falling and failing to help maintain a beginner’s mind and sense of play.

My goals for today’s scrimmage were to be more aggressive, especially as a jammer, and to not close my eyes when I try to block someone or am about to be hit.

The scrimmage was so much fun and I achieved both my goals. It’s scary trying to push your way through or step through a hole in a wall, but it’s so thrilling when you succeed.

The one time I jammed (was the point scoring person with a star on their head) I got lead jammer, but I thought the other jammer got lead. I thought it was very strange that she didn’t call it off. I’m ok communicating with my pack, but I’m not good at listening to or looking for my bench coaches.

My goals for next scrimmage are:

  • Look for my bench coaches. Get into the habit of looking for them when I’m blocking, so that it’s ingrained by the time I start jamming. When I’m jamming it’s too mad to try to learn new habits. Plus, more effective communication is good communication.
  • Remember who my jam ref is! Sounds obvious, but nothing like fighting your way through a group of bodacious women to empty your brain.
  • Call off a jam. I’ve never called off a jam and I’d love to tap my hips sometime. Given I only jam once or twice a scrimmage it might take me a while to achieve this goal, but I want it.

Roller skating practice goals – these aren’t scrimmage dependent and a tiny smidge of what I need to learn and do.

  • Improve my plough stops. I just don’t like t-stopping, but if I want to avoid doing t-stops my plough stops need to be a lot better.
  • Learn how to transition and do turn around toe stops.
  • Get better at skating backwards, so transitions aren’t as scary.

Now I get to virtuously relax for a little while… then I should get back to my novel.

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