Double Threats, via Kamikaze Kitten

Double Threats, via Kamikaze Kitten

I’m not sure I’m experienced enough to comment on Kami’s idea regarding “AL,” but there are a couple of parts of this article I liked and that I think apply to playing derby, not just being a “Double Threat.”

1) Self-Talk.  I learned this from Raven LunaChic.  In 2013, the Contenders played PPDD’s Slamazons.  It was my first bout as Captain, and the first bout where I was in the primary jammer rotation.  We didn’t have She Who, Ho J, or Pippi, and I was feeling pressured to succeed.  I went to the penalty box four times as the jammer.  Oi.  Raven handed me the jammer panty and said “CALM DOWN.”  I went “oh.  ok.  calm down.”  And I did and I played fine the rest of the game.

2) Step One: Self Assess.  Step Two: Adjust.  I would break it down a bit more, to:

  • Step One: Be Aware.  Know what helps you succeed and what makes you struggle.
  • Step Two: Self-Assess.  If you are struggling (or succeeding), be able to identify why.
  • Step Three: Adjust.  And the more quickly you are able to do so, the better.

For me, I now know I jam better when I am calm.  At a recent home team bout, I had four jammer penalties in the first half.  I kept wracking my brain between jams, but I couldn’t figure out what was up.  I wasn’t stressed about the game, so I didn’t need to calm down, what was it?  At half time, two people approached me separately, but with the same advice.  (Gaygan and Dave Wood.)  They both told me to calm down.  Huh.  I realized I had indeed been playing frantically.  We were missing our three strongest skaters: Misto, Cass, and Bob.  I felt more pressure to play well, and as always: the pressure led to epic failure.  I calmed down the second half and played fine.

So.  Step One: I know that I jam well when calm.  Step Two: I am still working on being aware of this happening.  Step Three: I am able to adjust, but need to work on step two so that I can adjust more quickly.

In terms of blocking…  I’m still on Step One.  I don’t really know what I do when I block well, or what’s missing when I struggle.  For jamming: I need to quickly self-asses what’s interfering with success when I struggle.  (I’m still torn–maybe Kami is right and it is a two-step process.  I just feel like I know what it is, I’m just not always able to ID when it’s happening…)

So, I need to work on: becoming aware of why I block well/why I don’t and

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