Positive Motivation & Roller Derby

Roller derby is a sport that the vast majority adore. It gives you a greater sense of who you are as a person, allows you to grow in ways you didn’t think possible and opens doors for your emotional and mental states of mind. You fall in love with roller derby for a variety of reasons, never once contemplating that derby may actually kick you in the face when you least expect it, when you hit a negative wall – even with your teammates and friends around you, supporting you, it is you who is generally the only person who can make a change for the better.

I have always been a negative ninny and last year I decided that it needed to change. I needed to change. Since December 2014, I have spent a large amount of time and a metric ton of effort into being a more positive person. Initially this motivation was spurred on by anger and negative emotions, but working with supportive people around me and a fairyderbymother who I genuinely feel it wouldn’t have been possible without – I made the change.



I had a down day after watching back bout footage. I know I wasn’t in the right state of mind, still feeling bad about my performance during the game and letting things pre-game affect my actual game head. But I went, I played, I got upset that I know I can play so much better – but… I have somewhere upwards to go from this. I felt disappointed and let down by myself, I felt that I had let my team and league down with a poor performance, but I also had to remind myself that just because I am feeling this way – it doesn’t mean that others necessarily feel the same way.


We focus so intensely on ourselves, critique ourselves in ways that we would never do to others, dial in on smallest negative things and push aside the larger more awesome things that we did. We even spend so much time putting blood, sweat and tears into our physical game that we abandon our mental game. I would tell myself I needed to do something or something bad/negative would come out of it. This is a damaging and soul crushing way to treat yourself, as I have been told many times – if you wouldn’t say it to a child or your friend, then why say it about yourself?


I have reinforced in my own mind the areas I really want and need to work on. So I have step goals, but the motivation? Motivation needs to be positive. I have worked hard and am being given amazing chances, things that have driven me to step my game up even more and improve in every area I can. I am motivated. Before, I was motivated in a way that I felt that I would let people down or screw everything up if I didn’t do things, this year I am focusing on a more positive motivational emotion – making the most of those goals.


To be motivated is a great thing, but you need to be motivated for the right reasons.

  • Instead of using negative emotions to motivate you, use positive ones!
  • Did you choose a negative word? Then pick a positive one!
  • Can you use a rewarding turn of phrase? Even better!
  • Avoid maybe words – None of this “I may as well / If I do it”
  • Be more confident and assertive – Don’t say if I do it, say when I do it! Don’t say needs to, tell yourself that it is going to!


Above all? Focus on you. You should never make your motivation about what other people think. If you do that then you are only wasting your time, energy and heart. Instead you need to recognise yourself and your own personal happiness.


I have even made some general roller derby / life examples below:


Instead of saying this…

Say this!

I need to break through this pack or I will let my team down I’m going to break through that wall because I have worked hard to!
I need to get with my teammate so I don’t look weak or behind I need to get with my teammate so we can make an awesome wall!
I have to pick my feet up or I’ll look like I’m not doing enough I know I can do awesome things when I pick my feet up!
If I don’t push harder or hit the right reps, they’ll think I’m not trying I know I can set a new personal best if I push that little bit harder or do an extra rep
My fitness needs to improve or they’ll cut me from the team My fitness is going to improve so I can be more awesome and more comfortable on track!
I have to change my diet before more people see me being fat I’m going to improve my diet so I feel happier in myself
I’m only here because of numbers or because they pity me so I may as well do it while I’m here I’m here because I deserve to be here. They put me here so I’m going to show them why
If I get any penalties, they won’t put me on I’m going to play a clean and smart game
They’ll think I don’t want to be here if I come off because I’ve hurt myself I’m going to come off track and just watch & learn so I am still be able to physically skate next time


Til next time little blue monsters! Stay strong x


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