Two more of our lovely skaters have been listening to US roller derby coaching legend and founder of the San Diego Derby Dolls Bonnie D. Stroir’s podcasts. This week we have reviews of ‘Happy Place Maintenance‘ from Rockin’ Rollers All-Stars and Team Sweden skater Kit Kat Power, and from Femme Fatality, who’s been skating with the Rockin’ Rollers since 2009.
Femme Fatality, #222
Talk of ‘funky vibes’, the word ‘rad’ – do any of these have a place in roller derby? After listening to Bonnie D. Stroir talk, the simple answer is yes.
It may at first seem all too hippy-ish for the hardcore hell-on-wheels that is roller derby, but not only does Bonnie have a point, she knows how to explain it and turn you into a believer.
We’ve all had practices and bouts where the atmosphere seems off, people are crashing, the mood is angry and generally you’d all rather be anywhere else than on wheels. This is exactly what Bonnie addresses by slowly talking you through some basic ideas which can stop all of this long before it starts or even put a stop to it before you walk in the door to training.
By breaking her concept down into three well-explained simple rules, Bonnie makes you see those tiny things that you and others do, which can have an impact on not just yourself, but the team as a whole.
She points out those small changes which you can all make to keep you, your team and your training happy, productive and safe – who wouldn’t want that?
If you find the concepts hard to grasp, then don’t worry, the podcast has practical examples and helpful hints which are so easily achieved you’ll wonder why you ever didn’t do them.
This is just the sort of thing that should be compulsory listening to all new derby recruits, and required listening at least once a year for the rest of us to stop us slipping into those bad habits and once again ‘shitting on our happy place’.
To paraphrase Bonnie: ‘Keep things shiny and never forget your water.’
Kit Kat Power, #664
In roller derby energy and vibe are so, so important. When we are all in a great place and stay focused and concentrated on the sport we leave a session feeling amazing! If not, you leave the hall feeling as stinky – ‘funky’ as Bonnie puts it – as your old wrist guard.
Bonnie says we should treat the space as sacred – true! We might not have the finest hall or a warehouse of our own (oh, what a dream that would be…) but wherever we practice, we should look after it and make sure there is a good vibe. Good vibes makes happy skaters.
Another piece of advice from Bonnie is: “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.” Don’t try and ignore how you feel. Skip the complaining and pull up your socks up. We all have things in life that get in the way of roller derby, but let’s treat our practices as our happy place. Sometimes though the above is not possible, and if you don’t feel capable to sweat it out – treat practice with respect and go home, sulk it out and come back to the next practice and have a great time.
I actually did this a couple of weeks ago, I was just in an angry mood and couldn’t stop thinking evil thoughts and in the end I just thought, nah, I’m no good for this today. I’ll take my foul mood and cycle home. Don’t stay and funk up the vibe!
We’ve all been at the beginning when we didn’t know what the more advanced skaters and coaches were talking about, it’s daunting, and to get a compliment for improvement helps so much. Also encourage coaches, referees and everyone that helps out – we are all doing this in our spare time, no one gets paid so passing on how great a session was, or how well an event was run, is super important.
Finally, treat yourself with respect. Be a giver for real. Pat yourself on the back when you do something good. Big yourself up, and be as awesome as you know you can be!
For me, and I’m sure many others, this is something I struggle with – but I am determined to get there. I find it really hard to see when I have done something awesome on the track, and tend to focus more on the negative and the mistakes I’ve made.
This, my friends, I will stop doing. I shall learn from it, but I shall focus more on that GREAT wall I was making with my team mates, or how much I slowed down the jammer! Thanks Bonnie.
You can download Bonnie D.Stroir’s Happy Place Maintenance now.
More reviews of Bonnie D.Stroir’s podcasts will be coming to the blog soon.
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