Coaching the Mental Game

skatersOn my citywide website, I share resources for anyone who has a league or who is starting one.  I have a coaching guide with the below information as well as a TON of other helpful tools. http://www.seattlerollerderby.com/#!resources-for-leagues/c2ob

At Rollercon this year I’ll be leading a couple of on skates training, and one of them is called Coaching the Mental Game. Here is some of the information that I’ll be covering and it is part of my core philosophy. That being said, here are some Coaching tips!!  


The most important part of teaching beginners is to teach them to start thinking about weight transfer and their center of gravity. Beginning to shift their weight over one or the other leg will get them ready for t-stops and intermediate skating.

Coaches will probably know early on which skaters will not push themselves to make it through in the big picture, but I like to let that thought go with the hope that they will sur-prise everyone.

There is nothing preventing a skater from public competition or gaining strength other than the skater themselves. Every skater should be given the tools to let go of self doubt and gain self confidence; again, it is their choice to take the tools that are offered or not.

Make sure your beginners learn to weave, transition, look behind them and skate low while learning to have awareness of where their team mates are at. 

BEGINNING SKATER MENTAL CHECKLIST 

 Attempt to focus on self and others

 · Begin to think about Identifying Goals

 · Be responsible for own behavior; ASK for help

 · Honesty

 · Self Trust / Self Forgiveness

 · Ability to accept coaching advice

 · Keep an open mind

 · Stay focused on the benefits: stay positive

 · Be aware of adversity in the sport

 · Be aware of your team

 · Promise to try to do your best each time.

BEGINNING / BASICS 

SKILLS—NO SKATING EXPERIENCE NECESSARY 

OVERALL SESSION OBJECTIVES:

 · Introduce the concept that a team is as only as good as it’s weakest skater

 · Balance, squats, rotation with upper body looking in 360

 · Moving heels side to side off floor in derby stance

 · Teach lifting feet to Open / Close the door in 2 steps doing a 180 turn

 · Derby stance while rolling

 · Teamwork / communication are key

 · Warming up and stretching

 · A basic understanding of plow stops and t-stops

 · Knee falls

 · Pace line

 · Truck and trailer

 · Skater Stance

 · Stride with side pushes

 · Low and Wide

 · Shifting weight over lead leg / glides

 · Walls with minimum 2’ skater distance at shoulders

 · Standing / stepping on toe stops @ wall / heel side to side jumping at wall

 · People learn to ask for help/ no one leaves wondering if they “measure up”

 · Skaters “touching” each other

INTERMEDIATE MENTAL CHECKLIST ADDITIONS 

 · CONSISTENCY OF FOCUS

 · RESPONSIBILITY TO DO WHAT THE SITUATION REQUIRES

 · ABILITY TO COPE AFFFECTIVELY WITH ADVERSITY

 · GAIN AWARENESS OF OPPONANTS PRESENCE OR POSTURING

 · ABILITY TO DO YOUR BEST EACH TIME

Before introducing many “drills” you should make certain that skaters:

 · WANT to improve

 · Can identify exactly why they are skating

 · Can weave, shift their weight, maintain eye contact with other skaters

 · Have confidence in their ability to focus on the MENTAL aspect of learning

 · Skate powerfully, fast, and relaxed

 · Mirror each other in walls of 4

 · Transition

 · Think fast

 · Overcome self doubt

 · Weave horizontally in unison with another skater.

Have them strongly push and pull each other on and off lines, in waterfall drills and in walls. Make sure skaters are always prepared to assist with holding arms out and behind them as a rule when they are not actually reaching out and looking behind them for an assist.

Remind them to always reset immediately to a strong stance after doing ANY-THING.

INTERMEDIATE 

Skaters should be able to skate in a proper stance, perform crossovers, Plow Stop and T Stop while looking behind them. 

OVERALL SESSION OBJECTIVES: 

 Introduce the concept that a team is as only as good as it’s weakest skater

 Introduce some team strategy

 Warming up and stretching

 180 turn in 2 steps while rolling from forward to backwards skating (transition)

 A basic understanding of plow stops and t-stops, knee falls

 Double knee falls and return to skating within 2 seconds

 Pace line at increased speed and closer distance

 Worm through pace individually, then with 2, 3 and 4 skaters forward

 Reverse worm through pace line

 Truck and trailer with multiple people

 Skater Stance lower and wider

 Easy stride with side pushes

 Shifting weight over lead leg / glides easily on straightaway with each foot

 Walls with minimum 1’ skater distance at shoulders

 Side to side stepping away from wall

 Squat and coast through entire straightaway and turn

Remember, Kindness 

is NOT weakness; Discipline is not mean.

Overall Intermediate skill objectives: 

 Pace lines with speed and able to touch skater in front

 All stops, t, plow, and hockey

 Start drills

 Jammer drills

 Reverse direction skating

 Backwards skating

 Pack skating at increased speeds

 On and off skates endurance drills

 Worming at high speeds, reverse worming

 Sprinting

 Hip checks and shoulder checks

 Positional blocking scrimmages

 RESETTING with team immediately after each drill.

Able to coast, smooth striding in skater stance, easily perform crossovers, Plow Stop and T Stops

ADVANCED SKATERS 

OVERALL OBJECTIVES: 

· IMPLEMENT the actions that a team is as only as good as it’s weakest skater 

· Increase team strategies, waterfalls and pack skating 

· Introduce Hockey stops 

· Four point fall, 180 degree turn fall, baseball slide 

· Pace line with increased speed touching skater in front 

· Smooth stride, can run around corners 

· Low and Wide, easy line to line weaving 

· Walls of 4 shoulder to shoulder and touching neighbor’s skates 

· Transitions to backwards skating 

· Squat and coast through entire straightaway and turn 

· Scrimmages with full hitting 

· Giving and receiving whips, inside / outside / hip 

· Giving and receiving pushes 

ALLSTAR SKATER MENTAL CHECKLIST ADDITIONS 

  •  CONFRONTATIONAL ATTITUDE AND POSTURING- WARRIOR MIND-EYE CONTACT 
  •  BELIEF IN OBLIGATION TO AVOID INTENTIONALLY INJURING AN OP-PONENT 
  •  AGGRESSIVENESS UNDER CONTROL 
  •  ·ABILITY TO CONTAIN EMOTION UNDER STRESS 
  •  ABILITY TO CHANNEL NEGATIVITY TO PHYSICAL OUTPUT 
  •  RELENTLESSNESS 
  •  INTENSITY 
  •  EXTREME COMPETITIVENESS 
  • DESIRE TO CROSS TRAIN / GAIN TOP NOTCH PHYSICAL FITNESS 
  •  OBLIGATION TO TEAM 
  •  BELIEF THAT A TEAM IS ONLY AS GOOD AS IT’S WEAKEST SKATER 
  •  DESIRE TO FAIRLY AND LEGALLY OBLITERATE OPPONENT 
  •  ABILITY TO SKATE WITHOUT THOUGHT; ACTION AS FIRST RESPONSE 
  •  · PACK AWARENESS EVERY MOMENT ON THE TRACK 

 

*references (H.A. Dorfman 2005 coaching the mental game pg 167)

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North Seattle College Article

https://continuinged.northseattle.edu/blog/how-be-roller-derby-queen

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Veterans Day

On veteran’s day, which also happened to be the same day that brought the first noticeable winter chill, I saw an elderly gentleman lecturing a garbage can emphatically, with an index finger – as leaves swirled about his feet. Then he began to make obsessive sweeping motions with his hands, and I couldn’t look away. I kept staring from the window of a warm and cozy coffee shop that smelled of freshly roasted beans. I looked at this man, I mean; I really looked at this man. He had white wispy hair, and his frame was bent and worn, but it was apparent that he had been tall and strong at an earlier point in life. I wondered if he were a veteran; he could have been a veteran. He may have had children; he certainly must have had parents.

I wished that he were a dog. If he were a dog, tattered and helpless at the bus stop on a blustery, chilly day he may have been rescued. Passersby may have put him in their car, or brought him home for a meal and a warm rug to sleep on, or a shelter. Someone may have put him in a place where his hair wouldn’t blow in the wind, along with the leaves at his feet, and they may have even put an ad in the paper or a flyer on a telephone pole with his picture on it.

We’re not trained mental health professionals. It isn’t safe. It won’t help in the long run. I didn’t look away when I felt tears threatening to mess up my contact lenses, and when I knew I didn’t want to cry. But I looked away when I walked out the door and turned to go home.

Veterans day

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Roller Derby Five Years Later

I’ve been thinking about this blog lately and ‘Thank You Jerry Seltzer’ for inspiring me to re post your blog. That led  me to browsing my own posts and for the first time EVER I read some of my very first posts. I wanted to go back o the beginning to see what I was thinking way back when.  All I can remember is writing something in the early days about the derby endeavor becoming either “Triumph or Tragedy.” And I have no idea why in the world I can’t figure out why WordPress is making this paragraph with a gigantic font.

Wow. Ok.  I’m in awe of my 2010 self that was full of hope, revelation and enthusiasm. I wish I could tell her (me of five years ago)  about what was going to happen and that it truly did become just an inch or two away from tragedy.

I found this post from October of 2010.  My head spins as I comprehend the amount of time that has passed as well as  impressed by my fifty four year old’s excitement.  I’m actually startled that the  very same issues in that post are the same as what has been  churning around in my head lately.

2010:

• Why Derby?
• Why So many women?
• Sports Psychology
• How we impact one another
• Women and sports
• Derby as identity
• Empowerment
• How women’s backgrounds can affect their views on competition
• Women judging each other instead of helping each other
• Women overcoming abuse
• Awareness of girls in sports as empowerment

These items from my five year old blog  have still been on my mind but not as singularly connected to roller derby as before. The rest of that blog is re posted below.

I’m coordinating a derby program right now, in 2015 for Citywide, which is the sports program connected to the Seattle Parks Department.  When I was doing it on my own, we were tossed around from practice space  to practice space (especially during basketball season).  I was finally beginning to accept that it was time to let go of derby for a variety of reasons.

During my year of  breast cancer surgeries (four) and recovery times, the organization dwindled and I was much too exhausted to continue to push the giant boulder up the hill. That year was the final nail in my proverbial  financial coffin. OneWorld dwindled alongside my confidence and excitement; ultimately leading to a serious depression.

Last winter, Citywide contacted me to see if I would coordinate a derby program for the parks. My first answer was no, I told them I was done with derby.  The second time they contacted me I told them the same thing.  The third time when they asked what it would take I told them if THEY found a good facility in a good location and THEY did the promotion and administration that I would do it.  I’m sure it was a surprise to them when they ran up against the same hurdles that I had, due to lack of facilities.  We had a small session in the spring and they say they’ve found a new “permanent” home (that won’t kick us out for basketball season) and it will start in the fall.

I’m swimming to the surface of the muck and looking forward to Rollercon next week, where I’ll lead a seminar about “How and Why to Mainstream Derby” and coach some skills training sessions.  I’m also looking forward to the fall season of derby.  The plan is to offer skills training and ultimately host open USARS scrimmages that are available to any skaters of any affiliation.

Several of the skaters from OneWorld are now skating with Rat City, Tilted Thunder and Jet City. I’m proud that after learning skills with me they were able to try out and make it onto teams.

I still believe that derby should be open and available to anyone who would like to learn. I know it is empowering and my favorite part was watching people grow from self doubt to self confidence. Take a look at what people have said about us: http://bit.ly/1Kf0kUI

Here is what I see right now.  If you are able to let go of agenda, extraordinary things can happen.  Just because we thing something should look a certain way, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be just as wonderful if seen in a completely different way.

The mission continues as outlined in the list from five years back.

October 5th 2010

By George I’ve GOT IT!

After dancing around my obsession with derby I have finally pinpointed EXACTLY WHAT it is.

Along with thousands of others, I’ve been astounded by the derby explosion in the world. Along with hundreds (if not thousands) of others, I’ve had the notion that maybe I could actually carve out a job for myself doing something I love, seeing that I need a job and have a beautiful child to support.

What is viewed as an acceptable “by the skater for the skater” is a whole other topic created by people who have skate shops. Whatever! I support anyone doing whatever they want. I support my local skate shop, but don’t exactly understand why anyone would think that attempting to start an enterprise via a website would be any less worthy than earning a living selling skates, but I digress…………I’ll get back to that one maybe. Actually I probably won’t; I’ve got more exciting things to think about.

So here is the THING that has fascinated me, amazes me and winds me up:

• Why Derby?
• Why So many women?
• Sports Psychology
• How we impact one another
• Women and sports
• Derby as identity
• Empowerment
• How women’s backgrounds can affect their views on competition
• Women judging each other instead of helping each other
• Women overcoming abuse
• Awareness of girls in sports as empowerment

There you have it! My personal journey has amazed me and derby has seriously played a part in helping me to overcome the “on my knees” challenges of navigating this crazy planet and some of the above issues. I’m not done yet; I’m still a skater and have no intention of quitting now.

Regardless of my  personal story and how anything turns out in my life, this is issue is big, and what we need to do is help one another SEE how we impact and either empower or oppress our teammates.

We need to WORK TOGETHER to bring awareness to the table; that is really at the core of what it is for me.

Think of the girls who can have their lives changed by the mere strength of this sport. Not everyone needs this, or me by any means, but I need derby.  Women who are trying to escape from worlds that aren’t very friendly to them need support, and people don’t usually know what is truly going on for someone else.

This awareness can be the strength that people get from being on a team, from sisterhood; the very nature of roller derby is powerful and women taking on the world are incredible.

Hell Yeah.

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Rollercon 2015: banked track, 3 birthdays, ending Roller Derby Wars

RollerDerbyJesus.com

I have really been remiss in posting here….but so much going on.

Going to my seventh Rollercon, certainly a highlight of the year. It is no secret I loved banked track Derby; after all my family started it, I grew up with it and it was the game when we became a national favorite, sneaking up on established sports with over 15 million watching on television weekly, and over 3,000,000 attending games yearly.

All Leo Seltzer wanted was his game to survive, become a nationally played sport, and be in the Olympics. When he died in 1978 he no longer even talked about it. His creation had disappeared.

And then you all came around…..starting from one league in Texas (that word is kind of misused; they actually had, and still do, 4 teams in TXRD), and transferred to flat track by one very creative league (Texas Rollergirls) till today when…

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Balance

Five years ago I began to focus my life on trying bring the sport of roller derby to the mainstream. I saw a need for something that could teach ANYONE to gain skills and experience this sport.

I started OneWorld Roller Derby and grew that to having at one point 100 members, and three practice locations. I saw other OneWorld leagues forming in the USA and following the model.  Then, after a full year of breast cancer and four surgeries right in the middle of all of it with long recovery times, I watched my dream fall apart and eventually fade away as I was forced to take time off.  My investment was never going to come back.

As I watched membership and finances dwindle my heart broke more and more each day. It took me the entire year of 2014 to accept that OWRD was no more in Seattle.  It took me until today to even be able to talk about it.

What it comes down to is this: I’m incredibly honored to have met SO MANY wonderful people. I’ve been lucky to have watched people get stronger, lose weight, gain confidence, quit smoking and find their way into derby. I got to marry Jerry Seltzer at Rollercon as my first and only derby wife.

I’m thrilled to see many of those people (some of who started as new skaters with me at OWRD) now skating on Rat City, Jet City and Tilted Thunder Rail Birds. I’m very proud of each one of them and so happy they’ve moved forward in the sport.

I was proud to be the president of OSDA and reach out to people across the US but stepped down the moment that USARS came out with their first set of beta test rules because I saw USARS as the ONLY vehicle to fulfill that vision.

So many times I begged people from other associations to come together.

Today (literally), I have people contacting me to do that very thing, players from USARS, MADE, OSDA, and WFTDA who are asking to be volunteers for USARS.  It feels now like the vision that I had five years ago is finally going to become a reality.

I know that derby saves and that it saved me, more than once.  I know it will be a mainstream sport in my lifetime.

I’m now having meetings with Citywide, who schedules all sports in the Seattle Parks department, volleyball, little league, soccer and NOW, ROLLER DERBY.  We have a new program starting April 2015 in North Seattle, the best location that we could ever have. Now they will be pushing that boulder up the hill so I can do this reasonably. I’m much too tired to invest myself like I did before.

I’ve always heard that following your dreams is what you should do. Take risks, encompass yourself with something you are passionate about and it will pay off.  When I was watching my world fall apart I started to believe that I was wrong in believing that.

But now I accept that it all happens exactly as it should and when it should. Letting go of agenda is something I have always preached and now this is just another time in my life that I need to do it again.

In April, I’m going to skate derby for fun and for exercise and to share what I’ve learned along the way. I’m not going to do it as if my life depends on it. If it grows I’ll be happy and if not, I’ll still be happy.

I have a job that I love, I take time to paint and enjoy family and regaining health and rediscovering balance is my goal.

The  momentum in USARS is happening right now and I enjoy thinking that I had a little bitty piece of helping it along.

Derby Freakin’ Love

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I am stealing this for all of you….please, please, read!

Sleaze the zebra. She’s fantastic.

RollerDerbyJesus.com

http://www.sleazethezebra.com/

the link above is as important as you will see. I am certain it is a situation that most of you have encountered in one form or another……

Please read and respond to her and discuss with others in Derby.

The Commissioner.

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A Thank You Letter

In 2014 I dropped out of sight.

In this blog post I began to write about all of the thing’s I’ve been going through and what led up to this post, BUT……. in an effort not to over share, here is the deal390754_10150408329317969_815662968_8312858_166496388_n in a nutshell.

I believed I would never write another blog post again.

I’ve been struggling with major clinical depression.  This cloud began taking me down in mid 2013. It was triggered by a culmination of the following events, sort of in order.

(this is where it might be good to note that you are getting the condensed version)

The events were……… selling my Real Estate Brokerage that I’d built from scratch (self funded), getting a divorce that brought great harm to my little boy,  losing a brother, and both parents (all three passed),  losing some of my dearest very best friends and other beloved people through ….. (um… I’m still not sure why, but the hole in my heart remains),  struggling with and beating breast cancer,  giving up my lifeline called OneWorld Roller Derby ( I took an idea in my kitchen which grew to having 100 skaters in just three years- again self funded. $30,000 loss but worth every cent) while hearing rumors about people thinking I’m weak, or a bully, or this or that, things that shouldn’t matter so much but did,  then….. ultimate financial devastation and complete isolation.

I started to believe, then fully believed, that there was something terribly wrong with me, something that everyone else could see but not myself.

The above, combined with avoidance of enduring many years of Domestic Violence / childhood depression, Fleeing from a spouse with a gun into homelessness with 911 helping me and two babies out of the house safely and into my car, where we lived until I went back to school along with  ignorance about complex PTSD,  took me away from the world this past year.  It took me all the way down, emotionally, spiritually, physically and completely.

As I’m beginning to emerge from the darkness, here is what I’m beginning to see.

  • I have to make changes and dig deep to venture back out into the world.
  • I’m a survivor. I have been and will again be a warrior. I CAN keep moving, keep inspiring people to have hope (which in turn gives me hope), and shining light on people who inspire me.

Thank you Universe. Thanks for showing me the way to find help, therapy, and medication to help manage the aftermath of some pretty crappy stuff and for helping me believe that I can climb out of this black hole of depression and trauma.

Thank you, my guardian angel Rick Rogers for picking me up off the floor way more times than any one person should have to pick up another and still loving / believing in me when I could no longer love or believe in myself.

Thank you family of Rick Rogers for embracing me and accepting me, you are my new family.

Thank you my beautiful daughters and amazing son for never writing me off and for being the strong, sensitive and caring human beings that you are. All three of you inspire me each day.  Thank you Sweet Melbie for letting me be your earth mom, I’ll try to be a better mom, you deserve so much more.

Thank you Jerry Seltzer for always caring,  and thanks to each and every derby over 40 skaters, zebras and advocates for sharing the pain and glory of  your real lives as warriors.

Thank you Barbara Dolan – Derby Lite Queen, you made me hopeful in one short conversation, your kind words mattered more than you will ever know.

Thank you everyone who has given me so many words of  encouragement, comfort and kindness over the years.

And Also, I am, for the first time in my life, thanking myself for pulling through and realizing that giving up is not an option.

This time I plan to keep standing and will still try to make a difference, I’m seeing a small ray of sunlight at the top of the window.

Derby Freakin Love.

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Meet Team Canada 2014: Evada Perón [52]

Derby Frontier

Blogger, writer, traveler, explorer and now an international roller derby star, Evada Perón began her skating career with bang in 2011 when she started participating in scrimmages and boot camps around Chilliwack, B.C. before playing in her first bout with the Sea to Sky Sirens during the summer.  Towards the end of her first year, Perón co-founded the competitive Chilliwack league, the NWO Rollergirls, with a few of her closest friends.

But her eyes were always skating with the Terminal CityRollergirls. In 2012, she finally decided to go for it so packed up her things and moved to Vancouver. It was a big gamble, but in the end she is glad she took the leap as it quickly proved to open up doors that would have otherwise been closed to her. “I have always been extremely competitive, especially when it comes to sports.  I knew at some point I…

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A different Roller Derby and why I love the Pivot position.

Jerry’s blog. Good Stuff!

RollerDerbyJesus.com

Well, first of all the reason I loved the pivot was because I created it. And the proper use made the game better.

There were no designated positions in Roller Derby for the first 25 years of its existence……anyone could jam, any one could block. Usually the plays were determined by the coach (or women’s captain….I know, sexist), and of course the fastest skaters were usually sent on the jams, and the slower bigger skaters would do the majority of the blocking.

For those who don’t know, Roller Derby was a very simple game, not a lot of rules: five skaters on each team at a time, when the pack was intact (see link), a jam would start, and within the two-minute time limit the skaters would attempt to gain a lap on the pack, and for each player the jammer passed he (or she) would get a point. Both…

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