Advice Bettie Belaire et al. by Robert Krzaczek

Published on January 5th, 2013 | by DerbyLife

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Bettie Belaire et al. by Robert Krzaczek

The Rookie Mindset

1. rook•ie
/ˈro͝okē/
Noun
1. A new recruit.
2. A member of an athletic team in his or her first full season in that sport.

Rookie is defined pretty similarly across all sports. In derby though, Rookie is/should be an approach to the game, it’s a mindset. I’ve just finished my official Rookie season as a Rottenchester with Roc City Roller Derby, coincidentally we are also the season champions. I believe this is all because of mindset and mental game.

I recently told the coaches of our travel team the Roc Stars that my husband has always teased me for my, as he refers to it, sudden 6 month passions. He is referring to how I fall in love with the idea of something, or an activity, for 6 months, and then usually accomplish the goals I’ve set out for myself, get bored, and subsequently drop that activity, whatever it may be (pottery, piano lessons, knitting, crocheting, crafting, jewelry making, glass blowing, boxing) to pursue a new venture. I told the coaches, that he always says the reason that Derby has lasted so long is because “you can’t finish it.”

This is what I mean when I say that in derby the term rookie should be a mindset. The best derby players in our league play like derby can never be finished. They look to each practice as an opportunity to get better, to improve their skills, to learn something new. This is a great exercise for both your body, and gives your mental game an edge. By approaching each game, and practice, about derby like a rookie, you’re always keeping an ear to the ground for new strategies, for smarter ways to train, for the best diets for derby, for the best way to unite your team. You’re always ready to learn, and it is good practice at keeping your ego in check. Approaching this sport, our sport, as a Rookie with the consistent desire to improve your skills, especially if you are in a leadership position within the league, will encourage teammates, and league-mates to follow you in this approach.

Derby is truly still in its infancy, it is an ever evolving sport. This is why it’s so important to approach Derby like you can’t finish it, because you can’t! The second that you believe you’re finished, you begin setting yourself up for failure.

So when you’re in the grind, doing a drill you’ve done a million times, approach like you’re a rookie again. It’ll rejuvenate your whole game.

By Bettie BelAir

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