Since my last post, where I created a story about my derby journey I took some time off, went to the Philippines, attended a couple scrimmages and somehow landed on a spot with the Red Deer Roller Derby Belladonnas for an upcoming tournament (Flat Track Fever).
Which is huge, given that I had assumed I wasn’t A-team material, given that another team didn’t choose me for their tournament roster and I simply didn’t think I had the skills.
Anyways, a couple things have come out of this.
1: I’m starting a new blog. Paleopino - I’m going paleo for the next 6 weeks to see if it’ll improve my performance.
2: I need to set some clear and realistic goals for myself for my skills and the upcoming tournament. Part of this process is doing a basic assessment of what I my strengths and weaknesses are.
Derby isn’t the only thing in my life coming up into tournament season -the Warhammer/40K scene is starting to pick up as the snow melts. The type of goal setting and self-assessment is something mini-wargame players can do just as well as rollergirls. Here’s my step-by-step guide for ya’ll.
List the things you know you do well.
On the derby track, I’m strong at communicating and assessing the situation. I pay attention to how many penalties each jammer has at the start of a jam, and am always aware of what colour is going off the track when a penalty whistle blows.
And I can hold that line – being light and agile means I don’t drift off of the inside track line, even at a decent clip.
Be honest about what you can improve.
I know for a fact that I am the least skilled skater on the Belladonnas. I’m not fast and because of my size, contact that would normally not disrupt other skaters tends to destabilize me (I fall a lot). There’s TONS of room for improvement for me in that capacity..
Focus on a few things you can measure, and what you’ll do to improve them.
Watching my husband evolve from the guy who was at the bottom of Conflict Calgary to the guy who is always in the running for Best Overall at tournaments made it easy. He focused on what he could control at each event. “I’m painting this army to win best painted next event – I’m focusing on highlighting well, and having a bright and noticiable colour scheme.” or ”I want to focus on getting ranked higher in the sportsmanship category than I have done before. I’m not going to pull any dirty tricks and I’ll explain to each opponent all the special rules my army employs.”
When he set goals, he also had plan to reach them.
My goal: I want to be in the best shape I can be so that the few skills I have in my arsenal are deadly – basic body checks, track awareness and improve stability to execute skating skills. To get there, I’m going to skate at least 3 practices a week, and hit the gym at least twice a week. I also want to increase my strength so my time at the gym will be to focused on strength building for stability in the pack.
I want draw majors because my skating form is so solid that when people try to hit me, they hit me in illegal zones (like my head). There’s no reason they should be able to hit me that well. That means strength and muscular endurance in my quads and core. Just another thing to address in the gym.
I’ll know how much I’ve improved by the end of the 6 weeks. Look over what you’ve accomplished – did you hit the goals you set out?
I can’t say how important this part is. It’s why I’m a spreadsheet whore at gaming tournaments - I want to know where I was, where I can improve and where I sucked. You can’t figure out what worked and what didn’t unless you evaluate.
With the loaded tournament season try setting yourself some goals and see how it turns out.