Moving forwards – do your homework derby folk!

Yes! Do your homework! All will be clear soon…!

Right. Firstly. I am not a happy Terror today. Today I am poorly. I got poorly early Thursday morning. I feel better now, but still poorly. I hate being poorly in the first place, I’m a whiner and I may all the noises. But I hate it even more when it means that I cannot go to practice. It is eating me up that I can’t go, especially with it being a squad based practice, missing it means that I fall behind on where we are, I miss new drills. It also doesn’t look good when it comes to selection. I am scared that by being poorly I am reducing my chances of proving myself. As much as I love skating and have so much hunger this year, I love my teammates and wouldn’t want them to be poorly because of me and wouldn’t want them to miss a practice when I should have. I have an issue with poorly skaters coming to practice, you say you love your team and you want to skate, but if you love your team then you wouldn’t come along and infect them so they then have to miss out. Now…. I want to make it clear that I don’t believe I got poorly via an icky derbygal. Setting that straight!! So because I’m icked up, I want to try and turn my rotten Terror mood into a positive Terror mood!


Right.. onto the homework thing! Why is it important? What do I even do? BOO HOMEWORK! I hear you… I do… but it will all make sense I promise!

I have posted regarding setting goals before, based on my teammates, my own thoughts and the wizardry of skaters such as Rangeon. You can check that out here Goal Setting!

When it comes to training, most of us have thoughts and mini epiphanies during the session, we get excited about new drills and accomplishments, we get all hopped up on a derby high…then we go home, shower, eat, sleep – in whichever respective order you derby down! Very little do we consider what we did in training, what we did good, where we need to improve and work harder, we tend to lose focus post derby. And once you wake up the next day… Can you remember what the hell you wanted to work on!? If like me… Sieve-brain…..what was the question?

This year our league gave us awesome little training diaries at Christmas. It got me thinking about my thoughts on where I want to go this year, what I want to do, and how much more I need to write stuff down. Yes, I blog, I evaluate things and get all “the feels” about things, but I never really evaluate and break down the sessions. I should do. I am going to.

One of the positive things about our league is the way we come together after a drill, we open up the floor, we talk about how someone helped us better understand or improve what we were doing, these conversations during and post drills are pieces of Stardust that need to be gathered up and documented. Whether you are a fresh meat skater or a vet, you are always learning and finding new and different ways to do things, refining old drills and tricks, or just finding new things entirely! These nuggets of the gold kind are important, they are vital for your continuous development.

Once upon a time you struggled to stand on skates. Right now you may be learning to skate, stop, hit, jam, block – love derby. Right now you may be preparing for a year full of bouts, boot camps and new challenges. But I bet your bottom god damn dollar that you improved or learnt something new this week.


So with my training diary, I am trying to sit down post shower and write down what we worked on, what I learnt, notes to myself, tips from other skaters, a general summary of the session. From that I am trying to set a small goal or target if I can, for instance I can hockey stop turning left, but my wankle doesn’t like hockey stopping to the right. We briefly revisited hockey stops and uses for them and during the drill I started to improve and another skater gave me a top tip on being able to turn into it and be able to replicate my left hockey stops on my right hockey stops. So at the end of the last session, I wrote down a summary of what we looked at during the session, focus points, what I learnt from drills, any feedback after that made sense for me personally, and I set myself a goal.


For roller derby, I am setting myself some homework. It may sound dull, but in all honesty? Writing everything down helped it make even more sense, it allowed me to expand on what I did and learnt, look at how it leads and revisit the session. Every session will have two sections, summary & goal. I am determined to have at least one point in my summary section every session. I will not pressure myself with my goals, I want them to be real, achievable and more often than not, smaller goals that will lead to bigger things (i.e. implementing said hockey stop to eat the baby or get in place for a positional block) – goals which see me work and improve a skill and then be able to lead to a bigger goal of implementing what I have learnt. This small goal will become the skill that I practice and work on during any free time we have on skates, because it will be an achievable goal, I also will not set too many at a time. I want to focus on a goal, but at the same time I don’t really want to focus solely on one thing and let anything else I could be doing fall by the wayside. Not every session will see me a set a goal, I don’t want more than 2-3 on the go at any one time, but I will make a note on the goal every week, even if it is just to say I practised the skill or drill and make notes on how I am going with it. It could maybe lead to an epiphany! Or not. I also want to uphold my aspiration of a more positive attitude to myself, I want to write down something good I did, be positive about myself, something I did in the session or something I helped with.

So tips for doing your homework!

·          Section it off – Two sections. Summary. Goal.

·          Simple & to the point – No essays needed! Keep it to a few words and bullet points.

·          Summarise – You don’t need to write down every little thing you did during the session, the main drills and skills. BUT if you did feel it was useful and relevant to you? Then note it down!

·          Doodle – Stick men, dot-to-dots, artistry…. doodle it if you can! Wall work and pack work can sometimes help make sense when laid out on paper, and it can also help to jog your memory more than words do.

·          No pressure – Try to keep things fun and light, you don’t want to put pressure on yourself and if you do you will lose the enjoyment.

·          Honesty, Honestly! – Be honest with yourself. Be kind to yourself, don’t be too hard but don’t lie to make you feel better, you won’t improve and you won’t be happy!

·          Keep the goal score low – Goals, don’t set too many at any one time.

·          Keep it real – be realistic when you set a goal, is it too big? Can you break it down to a starting point? Should you set a dead line for it?

·          Netting the goal! – Make sure you keep the goal section there every session, you don’t need to keep adding but you do need to look at how you are working on reaching the goal, even if you didn’t practise it, note it down and use it as a motivator! This is handy especially when you are so close!

·          Never forget – Just because you write it down, doesn’t mean you can keep turning the page. Revisit it all. Maybe you do a drill which you haven’t for a while, maybe you can offer help to another skater or even feedback to your coach. See how far you have come on as a skater in sessions. In roller derby it is hard to feel like you are progressing, but by reading back what you have done you realise how hard you have worked and how much you have benefited.

·          I am awesome – Be positive about yourself, try to note down something you did good or improved on. Maybe you tried jamming or you felt better during cardio/fitness work? If you feel you did that badly, did someone make you smile? Find a positive and hold on to it. Heck, even if someone paid you a compliment, you are not big headed if you write it down. On a negative day, you can look back and remind yourself that you are still awesome.


So whether you are this woman or man in the thralls of derby passion or the vet who just keeps on derby loving, do your homework. For now, with being a poorly Terror who is keeping away from the healthy derby guys and gals, I’m going to do some homework courtesy of WFTDA and Netflix (Ru Paul… I freaking love ya!)

Til next time little blue monsters xx


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