I am about to give a good deal away, for free. Free information.
What is normally the number one question a team has when in the presence of a derby idol? What do you suggest for teamwork?
In a moment I will tell you exactly how to build a cohesive team on and off the track.
First let me regale you will a story of a road trip to VA. We all decided to go to the after party before starting our long drive home post bout, just for dinner and a drink with our host team. We all meet up in the parking lot and walk in the bar and start assembling tables for dinner. At the adjacent table sat the opposing team’s bench coach two teammates and two family type folk. Their bench coach turned and said, “You guys all eat together?”
Most of us didn’t know how to respond, being the jackass I am I just said, “Well yeah.”
Building your own team:
5. Spend time together – – Even at practice, most of us have our close teammates that we talk to daily and have inside jokes and all that other nonsense, but when you’re at practice the whole team is there. Talk to someone, especially if their personality doesn’t jive with yours, they might say something that makes you understand their perspective a smidgen more. Ask them how their derby project is doing if you can’t think of anything nice to say. Skate with girls you don’t normally work with, help them build skills and trust for you on the track. Eventually you’ll be doing something on the track and hear this voice in your ear “I am here! I am with you!” You won’t even have to turn to know who it is or what they are doing. Or you’ll see a look you’ve seen time and time again at practice and immediately know that you need to help get a goat, or elevator doors, or hammer and nail a Jammer.
4. Don’t allow for arguments. – – There are going to be arguments. I know I’ve been in them, but one person is going to have to concede, wrong or right. I have had to concede before, and swallow that bitter lump. If you’re right the opinion will change in due course, if you’re not right then: Lesson Learned. If you see an argument blooming between two people, assess the situation and help the parties build a compromise, they are your teammates so act like you care about both of them.
3. Actually Listen. – – I can’t believe I have to list this so close to numero uno, but no one listens anymore. Don’t anticipate and build an rebuttal before the sentence is completed. Actually think about what you are hearing. For example, I get asked a good deal of situation questions. “If these people are in these positions on the track and X is happening what do I and what should we do?” Almost always the first time I hear it, I have heard wrong. I always ask a follow up, or just ask them to repeat slowly so I can focus. If you have a teammate who makes a good deal of excuses, listen to everything but the excuse. If you have a teammate who repeats the same info/opinion/idea over and over again, point it out that they are saying the same thing, maybe they are just used to not being heard.
2. Maintain your attitude – – No one can drag a team down faster than a negative nancy, or set a team up for failure like spaz, or build a bad reputation like yelling and emotional explosions. My problem is my temper, it’s one of the main reasons I am in roller derby. If your emotional state is all over the place it’s not a good idea to hide it from the team and then explode on them when your fuse is gone. That goes for tempers, hurt feelings, bruised egos, all emotions. Don’t keep that shit to yourself, use your derby wife/bestest teammate to keep you even keeled. If you get to your emotional capacity, just take a walk, or leisurely skate, get your head together. I take a leisurely skate, I personally have a habit of saying or doing the things that hurt the most, and I think that is an ugly trait. I take myself away from the situation and think of a way to convey my true issues rather than allowing my mouth to vomit insults. ANYWAY– Keep yourself even for the team, because sometime in the future someone on the team is going to need your help, and you want to be there for them.
1. Make an Effort – – Solid teams don’t just happen. It takes constant work, and constant apologies. If you can’t apologize you probably can’t be part of a team. Every team is going to go through slumps and highs, at every point the team mindset is going need work. Just won a game!? Great! How are going you going to bring your star players back to earth and elevate the players who hate on their skills?
Just lost an important cog in your team dynamic? What are you going to do to fill her gap and deal with the emotional loss?
Just added new skaters to your roster? How are you going to help them over the stigma of being Fresh Meat on the track?
Teams who look like a bad ass family from the outside have an internal hierarchy that you must use step 5 to build. 1-4 are how to maintain that bond and emotional and physical trust.
Take this advice, because it’s damn good, no matter how much of a bitch you think I am.
My team is my family, and I love those bitches so much sometimes it hurts.
CVRG I would FUCK YOUR COUCH all night long!