Published on August 24th, 2011 | by DerbyLife0
Meet Team USA: Endless Justin
Justin Campoy aka “Endless Justin”
Gotham Girls Roller Derby
Number of years involved in derby
I started in January 2005.
DL: What roles have you played in derby, other than Team USA manager?
EJ: I started as a Referee and was Tournament Head Ref several times, but I’ve hung up my stripes for good (I think I hear cheering). I’ve spent several years on the WFTDA Rules Committee, including 1.5 years as Chair. I became a league coach 3 years ago and I started managing in January 2010. I’m currently the Chair of the WFTDA Games Review Panel, a Manager for the Manhattan Mayhem and a manager for the Gotham Girls All Stars.
DL: Why did you want to manage Team USA?
EJ: The opportunity to be a part of the first-ever Roller Derby Team USA is amazing. Working with the best skaters in the country is amazing.
I always thought that Olympic athletes were simply going through the motions with cliches about representing your country, but it really does feel kind of awesome–it makes me proud to be American and it makes me see stars and stripes everywhere, not just on Jammers and Pivots.
DL: What was the hardest thing about selecting the team?
EJ: There are a million more skaters that deserve to be on Team USA, figuring out which twenty-eight would make the best team was definitely the hardest part.
DL: What was the most fun thing about selecting the team?
EJ: Seeing the best players from different teams skate together was interesting and exciting. Tryouts created an interesting dynamic because the players were competing against each other for roster spots, but at the same time they had to show an ability to quickly work well together. Watching former (and future) opponents tryout together was cool because these are players that have pounded on each other in the past and yet the great ones could mesh together naturally with little effort.
It was especially fun to watch Sassy and Fisti Cuffs try out together–they are both Blockers from top tier teams, they’ve competed against each other only once, and yet they were able to develop communication and teamwork instantly–that’s gonna be a nasty wall for the rest of the world to skate against, and yet lovely for USA fans.
DL: What is the biggest challenge facing Team USA in connection with the World Cup?
EJ: Building a team from players that are actively competing for a WFTDA Championship will be a big challenge. The players are from 14 different teams and all the players are stars. Team USA will have only 16 days to transform from 28 competitors into 1 team. Fortunately the skaters have incredible derby knowledge and competitive spirit. They are eager to represent the USA to our maximum potential with cohesion and teamwork.
DL: What qualities make a skater great?
EJ: Drive, toughness, smarts, athleticism, dedication, perseverance, guts and grit.
“The Vision of a Champion is someone who is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching.”–Anson Dorrance
DL: Which skater do you most admire?
EJ: Bonnie Thunders is a tremendous leader and athlete. Joy Collision always seems to be smiling. Sassy is cool as a cucumber.
DL: Which coach or manager do you most admire, from any sport?
EJ: I learned a lot about coaching from reading about Anson Dorrance, the coach of the UNC Women’s Soccer Team. I really admire what Phil Jackson has done as a coach. He values every member of the team, and gets the most out of every player, whether it’s Michael Jordan or Jud Buechler. Anybody who can get Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen to be lifelong friends deserves admiration. Not to mention getting Shaq and Kobe to meditate and read about Buddhism.
I’d also like to give quick shout outs to some derby influences and coaches: Jezebelle, Abe Drinkin’, Edie Brickwall, Sparkle Plenty, and especially Buster Cheatin’. Team USA could not get a coach more qualified.
DL: What are your favorite non-derby sports to play or to watch?
EJ: Soccer, Table Tennis, Hockey, and Chess. I’ll watch or play any of these.
DL: Do you have any advice for skaters just starting out?
EJ: Be willing to do what others won’t. Never say can’t.
DL: Do you have any advice for managers just starting out?
EJ: Treat every player as a valuable asset. Coaching between the ears is more important than running drills and blowing whistles, but it’s also the toughest part. What was it Yogi Berra said about the game, it’s 90% half mental?
To support Team USA, you can make a contribution to their travel fund at Traveler’s Joy.
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