Category: STRD


Sloppy Boggins at Ted Reeve Arena

Preamble: We come to part five of Sloppy’s Derby adventures in Sweden.

Over the previous four installments Sloppy Boggins has done the special kindness of allowing his experiences in Sweden and Derby to be journaled on these pages. Originally with the Austin Rollergirls where Derby was reborn, he was bidden a sad and fond farewell by the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls when he came back home to Canada. Here, Sloppy lent his coaching hand amongst the GTA Rollergirls in Toronto and helped foster the Chrome Mollys. Sloppy then left the country for another life to continue coaching in Sweden.

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. The third chapter covered Fresh meat and coaching from Sloppy’s point of view. Part four covered the latest action in STRD and birth of a new team in Sweden. Now Sloppy goes on holidays Swedish style in this narration.

Over to you one more time, Sloppy!

That last double bout was a hot and somewhat stressful day, but when it was over I felt great.  The last five months were a success. I had set some goals and I think they were all exceeded, and I could now enjoy a little vacation time.  Well, more of a derby vacation.

The first stop was a brief one for Mid-Summer in the countryside where I could enjoy the clean air and plenty of dogs.  I had been missing the time I normally spend in the cottage country of Canada, but the Swedish version is much the same, awesome!  It was a quick but lovely stop before taking the ferry to Gotland.

The ferry landed in the town of Visby which is quite a sight.  The town is completely surrounded in a 12th century fortress wall.  Unlike other such places it is a breathing heritage site with people living and working normal jobs and lives within.  At first glance the cobblestones might make you ask why I brought my skates but this is the home of the Visby Valkyries.

Visby

Not far outside Visby, we camped out in the yard under the flag of the Visby Valkyries which we shared with chickens and horses.  A few hours of practice each day mixed with some sightseeing and simply hanging out in the beautiful weather was just what I needed.  I don’t really hang out with the people I coach as much as I might like to because it can interfere with the derby relationship.  But in this case I wouldn’t have the pleasure to work with any of them until the World Cup, so I loosened up a bit.  One of the Valkyries even commented on the difference between my coaching persona during a bout that she had seen versus who I was in person.  Apparently she was surprised that I was nice.  I must not appear so during a game? So I guess there are a few versions of myself in Sweden: the coach/trainer, the coach in a game, and the guy with the silly laugh sitting in the “baden baden”, aka lawn chair, under the apple tree.  Well, only two of those were in Gotland for the week that became known as Rauk N Roll.

The Raukar is a long dead ancient coral reef that is now a bizarre rock formation along the coast of Fårö island.  Conveniently, there is a very nice path running along side it and the Baltic sea that you can skate on without much problem at all.  The low lying lands, the Raukar, the low sun, and the great company made for some of the best outdoor skating you could hope for.  There were many more sights, but back to derby.

Becky Lawless, Sloppy, Bess Irv Cold (behind), Frigginfury, and Hammer Hed / photo credit: Abba Den Snabba

What the Visby Valkyries lacked in numbers and experience they more than made up for in teamwork and determination.  It was so nice to see some development while we were there as we had them play as a team on the last day and give STRD a good challenge.  Once again it proved that it is just a matter of understanding what it is you have as a player and using it as best you can.  I have no doubt that the Visby Valkyries will do very well if they can attract more recruits.  They were the greatest of hosts and I do hope they make this an annual event as I would be so curious to see how good they will be this time next year.

As for Stockholm Rollerderby currently in the off season, it has been a great pleasure to work with each and every one of them.  They have great talent and a well-thought out organization that always looks to improve without falling into the idea that they must follow what others do.  STRD has carved out its own identity in derby and I hope they will continue to do so.
Some have expressed a sense of “what do we do when you’re gone?” but the fact is that part of their training was in being a very self-sufficient team.  STRD can adapt well on the fly to make the adjustments as needed during a bout.  They are cool under pressure and never let a lead or a deficit affect their focus.  And at this point they have a great sense of team/league which will do well to hold them together when things get tough.

It has been such a great learning experience for me to be free to use all I know to help a league thirsty for knowledge.  STRD’s desire and ability to learn and adapt so quickly has not only pushed me to work harder but inspired me to enjoy working hard to come up with drills that would pinpoint specific areas they needed to focus on.  It has been a full time job that I have very much enjoyed.  I’m thankful that STRD put their trust in me and I will cherish the time together so very much.

Sloppatola signing off: “Have a gooder.”

-30-

Hyper Nova, Hussinsane, and Sloppy / photo credit: Inger Iona Bladh

Sloppy Boggins at Ted Reeve Arena

Preamble: Sloppy Boggins has done the special kindness of allowing his experiences in Sweden and Derby to be journaled on these pages. Originally with the Austin Rollergirls where Derby was reborn, he was bidden a sad and fond farewell by the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls when he came back home to Canada. Here, Sloppy lent his coaching hand amongst the GTA Rollergirls in Toronto and helped nurture the Chrome Mollys. After a while, Sloppy left the country for another life to continue coaching in Sweden. Everybody in GTAR awaits the day Sloppy comes back.

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. The third chapter covered Fresh meat and coaching from Sloppy’s point of view. This new chapter covers the latest action in STRD and birth of a new team in Sweden.

Over to you, Sloppy!

Sloppy: It seems odd that Stockholm was having their first home bout after years of preparation and several away bouts and scrimmages but it was worth the wait. The sold out crowd was treated to a grudge match of sorts with the Hamburg Harbor Girls in town trying to repeat their performance from December. STRD had lost a close and hard fought battle and were looking to avenge their loss in their home debut. That they did.

Stockholm Rollerderby (150) vs Hamburg Harbor Girls (55)

Stockholm vs Hamburg - Gruesome Action (in foreground) - photo credit Räven Frejd

Calm is not something commonly said about derby but there was no panic in the steely eyes of STRD who were determined to take care of business and they had all the confidence and ability to do just that. Jam after jam of smart but tough domination tempered with high speeds that left the Harbor Girls looking for a life boat. It was exactly how you want to play a team that had recently pulled victory from your grasp. A stomp before the smile.

It’s not how I would normally approach a game. In men’s sports it is far too common to have an angry approach to a game. I thought it was good for STRD to play a game with a little anger and see how that approach worked for them. Each of the games we had played together had a different vibe, and being experienced in how to deal with emotion in sport, I feel, is important. I had also used a more common line structure that, in combination with penalties, did not evenly utilize players. Some were less happy with this approach but it is how the game is played. We all have days where we aren’t playing up to our level and there are opponents that require the use of certain players above others. Would it be responsible of me to continue to play a player who is either having a bad day or whose abilities are not working against an opponent simply to have them on the track for an allotment of time? Certainly not if it means that we lose our edge and then possibly the game.

Personally, I’d love to play everyone as often as possible but in reality there are always those who don’t make a roster and those who don’t get as much track time in a bout. For players who seem to be in this situation more often than others and have difficulty in dealing with it I recommend playing for the B team. A pessimist may see it as a demotion but the time you want will be available and I often see people do this and are then able to find their game and truly understand what it is that they bring to the table in a bout. It also builds leadership skills with the players who may often find themselves being looked to for advice.

With Team Sweden try-outs between games, there was ample opportunity to tune up with the best the country has to offer. The physical mayhem so close to a bout meant that those involved in the try-outs could focus on the more mental side of the game in the few practices before the bout.

Stockholm Rollerderby Rookies (97) vs Kallio Rolling Rainbow Rookies (14)

Birdy Black Eye (left in white with STRD pivot cap) and Maskulina (right, in white with black helmet))

Time did not allow for a full length game but after two 15 minute periods there was no denying the result. With simple, well rounded lines the objectives were clear for the rookies: “Play each pass one at a time”, “The only mistake is to dwell on mistakes” and “Remember to have fun”.

They certainly had fun as their nerves dissipated with the first whistle and all the scrimmages against the veterans began to show their worth. Sticking to what they knew rather than reaching too far was what I asked of them knowing that it would keep their heads cool in the crazy heat.

I felt that the rookies knew enough to win but they really surprised me. The rookies lit up the crowd, the veteran squad and myself with a performance that made us all think that they were practicing in some secret location and had waited until now to show what they really had. Dominant, in control, calm and cool, the rookies dismantled their opposition. Hits did not rattle the rookies’ resolve to play their game and they are now Fresh Meat no more.

Stockholm Rollerderby Veterans (146) vs Kallio Rolling Rainbow Veterans (40)

from left to right (standing), Blood Countess, Bess Irv Cold behind Blood Countess, Becky Lawless, Hyper Nova - photo credit: Hank Oscarsson

The veteran squad had played a tightly fought battle back in February with KRR and we knew that they had gotten even better. With all the distractions in the previous week, there was an odd feeling going into the game, but with the joy of the rookie performance in our hearts, our love for our competitors, and the feeling that the team had reached a new level, STRD went out there to play the game they play and see if it was enough.

Was it ever! It was a total team effort. It didn’t seem to matter who was out there on the track as each unit worked so well together. I had even made lines on the fly that seem to gel instantly. Someone said: “KRR played great but STRD played as a team!”

With the focus on “fun” there was an early confusion that quickly settled into a “this is why we play this sport” kind of feeling. I’m sure that every player on STRD would agree that despite what the score read it was not at all an easy victory. Every point was worked for as KRR always fight to the very last whistle. In contrast to the last game against Hamburg we wanted to get everything out of every jam that we could. Our “goating” was exceptional, whereas against Hamburg we gave them no rest from speed. STRD even performed its first in game “amoeba” to the delight of the crowd who were in full force to cheer on their team.

With the game over I got the usual question from the photographers, “How was that?” After Hamburg I said with a smile: “They did their job”, but after these two games all I could say was “Wow!!!”

The afterparty let out into the early morning sunshine of downtown Stockholm where the “pony races” took place. The reigning champs of STRD retained their title to the delight and/or complete befuddlement of a large crowd outside. I got a falafel to go with my flask of whiskey to savour the moment.

But hold those thoughts for my next and last installment.

Thanks to Sloppy as always! Looking forward to seeing you again on the track!! Many thanks to all the Derby photographers in Sweden who provided the photographs for this installment: Räven Frejd and Henrik Hank Oscarsson!

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

SLOPPY!

GTA Rollergirls

Stockholm Roller Derby

Trying to picture a train across the Atlantic. I took a cruise across the Baltic and that was like a crappy Vegas bus.

Preamble: After heading up north from the Austin Rollergirls where Derby was reborn, Sloppy Boggins found company coaching amongst the GTA Rollergirls. After lending his guiding hand to GTAR, it was a sad day when Sloppy left to continue coaching in Sweden. In his first installment, Sloppy wrote about his introduction to coaching Derby with Stockholm Roller Derby (STRD). Now Sloppy has kindly written this second installment of his Derby ventures with STRD and an exciting chapter in Swedish Derby.



Game time!

We Won!!! And then we lost. In derby there is rarely suspense when it comes to who won or lost. Unlike other sports it is not the most important part of a weekend when a bout takes place. A win or a loss—it isn’t what you savour years down the road. It’s all about how you played as a team and how fun the experience was. And if that is the gauge, then both bouts were awesome!!!

Continue reading

Preamble: After heading on up north from Austin Rollergirls in the heart of where Derby was reborn, Sloppy Boggins was then seen skating and teaching amongst GTA Rollergirls. After being his awesome self helping guide the league at games and practices, it was a sad day when Sloppy showed up for his last practice before leaving on hiatus from GTAR. But at the same time we were happy for him because someone was awaiting. Sloppy packed up his earthly possessions and moved from Toronto to continue his coaching and introduce us to the concept of Derbyrisk on the other side of the world in Sweden. With all the anticipation building up for the Blood & Thunder World Cup in December, Sloppy has kindly written this first installment of his Derby ventures with Stockholm Roller Derby.

Sloppy@GTAR

Off the plane the weather was much nicer than I was expecting for Sweden in January but I guess Toronto isn’t much different.

I had just a day to settle in before my first practice with Stockholm Rollerderby (STRD). It was a “newbie” day so I could sit and watch if I liked but of course I couldn’t resist the desire to skate. There were more than 30 girls trying out for 15 to 18 spots with the league’s freshmeat program. I helped out some of the newbies and met many of the members who were very warm and welcoming. That, I thought, spoke volumes about the league. I’ve met with less experienced leagues who can have a bit of attitude towards an outsider and I guess it is always pleasant when that doesn’t have to happen. I think it is because they were at a point where they needed an outside perspective that would be there awhile to not only guide them but assess them impartially. I was happy to do just that.

Continue reading

Sloppy Boggins at Ted Reeve Arena

We noticed that the Blood & Thunder World Cup coaching rosters have been announced and a familiar name from GTA Rollergirls is on the Team Sweden side.

Sweden:
Head coach: Swede Hurt
Mad Maloony and Sloppy Boggins: Positions TBD

Sloppy has been and still is an integral part of GTAR and everyone within the league really misses him as he hits Sweden for Derby and more reasons than one. He definitely was instrumental into my indoctrination into Derby showing me one night at practice what happens from corner to corner and what to look for.

More on Team Sweden here at Stockholm Roller Derby.

So the rest of the countries were announced as follows:

Australia:
Co-coaches: Ass N Junk and Dodge Sportsman
Manager: TBD

Canada:
Head coach: Coach Pauly
Assistant coaches: Furious P and Mack the Mouth

England:
Head coach: Ballistic Whistle
Assistant coach: Barry Fight
Manager: Rollin StoneR

Finland:
Head coach: Estrogeena Davis
Assistant coach: Tigre Force
Manager: Claire Leah Threat

Germany:
Head coach: Titty Twista
Assistant coach: Rockdog
Manager: ChefXecutioner

Ireland:
Head coach: Violent Bob
Assistant coach: U-Go Boss
Manager: Scarlett McCabre

New Zealand
Head coach: Piece of Hate
Assistant coach: TBD
Manager: TBD

Scotland
Head coach: Viper
Assistant coach: TBD
Manager: TBD

Sweden
Head coach: Swede Hurt
Mad Maloony and Sloppy Boggins: Positions TBD

U.S.A.
Head coach: Buster Cheatin
Assistant coach: Bonnie D. Stoir
Manager: Coach Rhino

Next Step: Blood & Thunder  looking for Referees and Announcers and Volunteers.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: