Published on March 20th, 2013 | by La Dolce Beater0
La Dolce Beater by Idene Roozbayani
Accident and Injury Helpline
Aka no win, no fee, no skating for weeks
I would say I am accident-prone. I’d say I’m injury-prone. A twisted knee here, a cracked or bruised rib there, a dicky ankle, fingers pulled back, a broken coccyx, groin strain, bruises on bruises, pulled hamstrings and (possibly the worst of them all) catching my neck skin in the clasp of my helmet! I know I am not alone and I know I am not that bad off in the injury and accident stakes. I am aware that I could break something at some point – skaters do, let’s face it. You know it yourself and if you talk to your fellow skaters they will tell similar tales.
Accidents happen, injuries occur. But there are certain things we can do to minimise the risk of injury and reduce our accident quota. This article comes in two parts. First: ACCIDENTS. Second: INJURIES.
Part One: Accidental Hero-no!
Accidents usually happen because we aren’t mindful. Maybe you are tired or have got a lot on your mind. Maybe you had an awful day at work or had an argument with your partner. Maybe you are over-excited to be at practice or drank too much pop and are slightly hyper. Maybe your hormones are having a party and you’re not invited. All these things, and more, will have an effect on your mental wellbeing and will affect your performance. Your judgment may be off kilter, your reactions hesitant. But the main problem with not being mindful is that you can cause injury to yourself or, worse, a teammate.
So let’s get mindful and cut down on our easily-avoidable accidental damage.
Laid back (with my mind on my derby and my derby on my mind)! Take a moment and get mindful. Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique: breathe in through your nose for a count of 4, hold for 7, then out through your mouth for 8. Focus in on your body, tense and relax each section, starting from your toes and up to your head. Do these two exercises a few times until your feel centred and physically aware.
Get it out there! Tell a teammate or two how you are feeling. Sometimes just saying how you feel makes you feel better and ready to conquer the world.
Have fun! Don’t forget that playing derby can cure those negative feelings! Get the rush of adrenaline and hit of endorphins, enjoy being with your teammates, challenge yourself to try something new, have fun – this is your time and time well spent with your derby family.
Remember to FALL SMALL! It’s even in the rules (read 6.3). In the WFTDA Rules Glossary falling small is defined as: “Falling with the arms and legs controlled, tucked into the body, and not flailing.” Fewer limbs across the track equal fewer accidents (and fewer low block penalties).
Revisit the basics! Sticky skating in a pack, not kicking out with your skates, looking around you and having track awareness, lateral/hop/jump out of the way of obstacles: you did all this when you passed your minimum skills. Ask yourself whether you have fallen into sloppy habits? If so, clean them up!
Be responsible! Most importantly, however, is knowing when you might be a liability on track. It’s okay to take yourself off. It’s okay to have one of those days or weeks. Don’t feel bad about it. Take positive steps to change it. Take responsibility for yourself and your team and be mindful.
Derby Aid Injury Kit
Accidents can cause injuries; they probably mostly cause bumps and bruises though! But sometimes they end in someone going to the doctors or the hospital. If that is the case, listen to your body and if you are not sure about an injury then go see someone anyway. But for those things that you can self-treat, help yourself recover by investing in your very own Derby Aid Injury Kit! Every derby skater’s aid injury kit should include:
Arnica cream for the bruises
Anti-inflammatory gel for the swelling
Deep heat cream for the aches
Ice packs (instant or freezer bags) for the swelling
Sports tape for the support
Plasters for the blisters
(Obviously, make sure you’re not allergic to any of these things and if you take anti-inflammatory tablets then always take them with food. Oh and plasters are what Brits call Band-Aids!)
I feel like Cassandra foreseeing terrible futures! I don’t want to put fear into you, but it’s important to be aware of accidents and injuries and do all we can to reduce the risk. I hope this helps!
Next up… Injuries.