First Derby Practice Advice | 10 Things We Wish We Knew
Are you starting roller derby? Are you nervous about your first practice and how to prepare? I recently asked #derbytwitter what they’d tell themselves if they could go back to their first practice and I was blown away by the answers! If I’d heard their advice when I started derby, my experience would probably have been more positive. Here are some of my favorite bits of advice from this thread:
Don’t Be Scared 👻
It can be so hard to NOT be intimidated by the skaters at your first practices. They all seem so skilled and cool and make it all look effortless. But everyone started where you are, everyone wants you to succeed, and yes, as Deadwards said, they’re all weirdos.
Ya gonna fall 🤷
Nobody thinks you look stupid if you fall. They all fall too.— Gay of Reckoning (@GReck75) December 20, 2018
YES! Falling means you’re going outside your comfort zone, which means you’re learning! KEEP IT UP!
Ya gonna hurt 💥
You're gonna grow muscles in all the places that hurt right now!— anna in the snow (@annachronous) December 20, 2018
\_(ツ)_/¯ \_(ツ)_/¯ \_(ツ)_/¯
Learn to Skate
LEARN TO SKATE NOT JUST TO DERBY oh jesus. Really if I could tell me any time in the first two years that!— The Ghost of Christmas Wrath 🎄 (@wrathrodite) December 20, 2018
For YEARS I said “I don’t like roller skating I like playing roller derby”. This mindset was suuuch a detriment to my development AND JOY because once I realized skating was more than the skating in a circle awkwardly at public skate sessions, it opened my life and improved my skills!
Try Harder 💪
"Try harder." I spent way too much time putting in less than 100% so I would have an excuse if I failed. I'd be much farther along in skills if I had set my pride aside and committed.— Melanie☆Kim (@meltingdoll) December 20, 2018
This one hit me hard. I never played sports growing up, or did anything athletic, until derby. It took wayyy too long to understand that if I tried harder, and worked hard outside of practice, I would get better. Learn that lesson early!
Buying Clothes Will Never Be the Same 👖
Last warning, lady: you will never find jeans that fit properly ever again.— Attitude & Pointe (@attitude_pointe) December 20, 2018
Oh, the ways your body will change. For many of us, that means finding a pair of jeans that fits right will be a new challenge.
Learn About Athletic-Wear 🏃♀️
Another thing I was totally ignorant on coming into derby; appropriate athletic wear. PROTIP: Cotton leggings rip or will be sweaty and see-through in minutes of practice. Invest in comfy athletic wear, you’ll be using it A LOT!
Don’t Go Buy Skates ASAP 💸
Do not go home from this and buy skates online without trying them on first.— Kristen Byers (@kristenbyers) December 20, 2018
Skates are an investment, no matter what specific set up you decide on, so make sure to do your research and try them on if possible!
Learn To Listen To Your Body 😌
Listen to your body or you will break something.— Sarah Maher (Scar-Leg O'Hara) ᛋᚳᚪᚱ (@scarleg_ohara) December 20, 2018
Again, as a new athlete, it took a loooong time to learn to listen to my body and how to push it safely.
Find The Right League 🏠
It's okay to leave your first league if it's not the right fit.— Ginger Dodgers (@gingydodge) December 20, 2018
For a lot of skaters there are multiple league options nearby. And as Ginger said, it is 100% okay to leave your first league if it isn’t the right fit! Each league has it’s own culture and structure and you should find the right one for you!
You Belong Here ✨
Same thing I tell every new skater:— Omg We're Back aGwen (@GwenEats) December 20, 2018
You belong here
I LOVE THIS, GWEN. If you want to be in derby this is where you belong. And we are SO excited you’re here!
As always, #derbytwitter came through with some incredibly insightful advice. Please join us over there and give all these great people a follow!