Since I’ve started posting a blog, I’ve gotten a lot of messages from newbies and fresh meat asking about derby, how to get better, how to feel confident, and how to cope with derby in general. Because the beginning of the year brings a new crop of Freshies, I thought I’d hand off some unsolicited advice!
#1 Welcome to derby! You made it! Now the hard work really really starts. It is imperative that you put in as much time as you can on skates, because even though the league gives you time to learn skills, you are ultimately held responsible for your progress. If your plow stops are not what they should be, you need to hit every open skate possible and work work work on your skills!
#2 Derby isn’t how you get into shape; you have to get into shape FOR derby. That means you have to do cross training. I suggest you ride a bike, run, lift weights, walk, do yoga, dance naked in your living room, I don’t care, just get out there and do it!
#3 Don’t get butthurt if the veterans don’t talk to you at first. Derby is a sport where many people are really driven and self focused. Also, derby is a sport where many people join originally with great enthusiasm, and then eventually fade away. Sometimes it’s hard for veteran skaters to build relationships with newbies and have them walk away after a couple of weeks. My newbie class had six members, and only two of us are still skating, so do the math.
|Ballz and I were the last two standing….uh, skating. This picture is before we had derby butts.|