Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Marr's Golden Rules to Derby Bootcamp

In celebration of my first 6 months of derby, I've come up with (cue for the trumpets: ta-ta-ta-taaaaa!) MY very own RULES to derby bootcamp! Tighten those skates, strap on your (no, not the strap-on bleeeeep! but the pads) cover your head with your helmet and sit back AND READ. Then follow the rules. I beg of you to:

God gave you knees that bend, use them wisely and often. Stay low, bend down, and if your back doesn't hurt (that lower portion?) then chances are you're just not bent down low enough. And when in doubt for why a skill is just not working out for you: chances are, it's because you just aren't assuming the derby stance.

Look behind you, around you, not just ahead of you. The action is behind you. Its all about what's coming up - the jammer passing you, the blocker getting ready to catch up and *ouch* slam into you. Use that neck of yours and turn around. Practice doing laps where you are constantly looking behind you. And, then look behind you from the other side. Get used to it - the more you practice looking behind you the more you'll actually enlarge your perception width.

Come on, share with Sugar Bear! And I'm not talking about your candy bar or your Pacifico, although THAT would actually be nice... Share the info. Tell your teammates what's going on. Even if you are looking behind you, there are things you may not notice, "Jammer - coming up!" "On your inside!" You get the drill, don't ever assume others know what you know. And it'll make you a better teammate - others will know they can rely on you and they'll (hopefully) want to play with you more.

We all fall down. All of us. It's not if you fall that matters, its what you do after you fall. Your team relies on you and needs you. Every player on the track is actually indispensable to each other. If you fall and stay down, then you are letting your team down. And every time you let your team down, they slowly learn to not count on you. And that sucks. You may still be in bootcamp (like me) so now is the time to make it a habit. Get the fuck up. Fast. Quick. If you're hurt, then get off the track - the least you can do is not become an obstacle.

Derby is a sport. And most sports involve speed. Hurrying isn't solely about how fast you can skate but how fast you react. And as long as you're still in bootcamp, this often means how quickly you respond to your coaches commands. I know, "command" sounds harsh and military'ish. But, it is called bootcamp for a reason after all. Practice time is so limited, add up those wasted minutes it takes everybody to get on track and in a pace line when asked, and those minutes quickly build up to hours. Hours of wasted time waiting... Again. Take everything you do in bootcamp to build positive habits. A positive habit is easier to keep up than to undo a bad one. (Yeah, trust me, I've got the flailing arms to prove you I am so friggin right here!)

I so wanted to stick to a pretty number like 5 or 3. But I could NOT end this without talking about the primary rule to learning anything in life. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for what YOU learn. And that - is golden enough, I don't need to explain it.

Simple enough? These are my rules and I'll see you at the track!

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