From Canada with Derby Love – Part 3 – Fresh start: Swedish meat and potatoes

Sloppy Boggins at Ted Reeve Arena

Preamble: In two previous installments, Sloppy Boggins has detailed his adaptation into the world of Stockholm Roller Derby. Originally from the the Austin Rollergirls where Derby was reborn, Sloppy nestled as a coach amongst the GTA Rollergirls in Toronto. After lending his patient guiding hand and smiles to GTAR, Sloppy left the country to continue coaching in Sweden. Everybody in GTAR still misses him to this day.

In his first installment Sloppy wrote about his introduction to coaching Derby in Stockholm Roller Derby (STRD). The second chapter GAME TIME! detailed the STRD travels to play in Malmö, then came the birth of a great day in Swedish Roller Derby, “the birth of Swedish rollerderby”, the first Derby bout in Sweden itself ever. Now comes this next chapter. Over to you, Sloppy.

Those of you who had read the previous two installments and might be looking for more “meat and potatoes” of how I see things as a trainer/coach may get what you are looking for in this installment. That being said, there are always games to be played and with two coming up I’m not going to give the whole circus away.  This one is about the development of rookies or as they are known in Rollerderby as “Fresh Meat”.

After the bouts, our focus was to test the rookies and get them into regular practice with the rest of the league. A minimum skills test always seems to put a little fear into those who take the test.  Personally, I think it’s good because it not only suggests the interest that they have in getting better at this sport, but it helps prepare them mentally for playing Rollerderby. Mental toughness is required for so many elements.

There are the obvious elements like performing in front of an audience and dealing with adversity, but there are smaller elements that, if not dealt with, can be huge. The one I think most common is the desire to do too much. A player can have great position on an opposing player and yet, because it doesn’t feel like they are doing much, they go for a hit or make a move that pulls them out of such a good position. Trying to do too much often leads to the conclusion that there is something wrong with their own conditioning. Let’s face it, we can all get better at that, but it isn’t the whole story. Continue reading “From Canada with Derby Love – Part 3 – Fresh start: Swedish meat and potatoes”