Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I rarely rant anymore

You can tell me that I am wrong, I might be, and if so, I will admit it, but right now, I am frustrated.

I don't talk about derby very often unless it is to promote it because I know that there are a lot of girls in my league that have tripped over my blog, and I try not to be negative about it because I can't bitch then tell people how great it is.

Most of the time it is. I'm sure my frustrations have been felt by other skaters, in fact, I know they have because sometimes, they tell me when they are having issues.

And, sometimes, my issues are personal. If I am going to have a personal issue with someone, I really try to either get over it or talk to them about it. If I am going to talk crap, I don't want to do it on the internet. I learned that one the hard way. I accept that people probably talk crap about me too. It's human nature.

There is no denying that bringing in the banked track was awesome. It has taken the game to a whole new level. Different form, different rules, different mechanics.

I have pretty much had to start all over learning my skills. Many of us have. Others, have taken to it quickly or have the time and stregnth to devote to it. I keep having difficulties. First, the angle of the track was hurting me. Then, I got that fixed and my skates started falling apart on me. I got those fixed and my body went haywire.

All in the few short weeks before our first banked track bout. Out first banked track bout against another league. A league that by their very location has access to two of the best leagues in the nation. Leagues that have been skating Banked Track Roller Derby for YEARS instead of a few short months.

There hasn't really been time to start from the beginning and practice, practice, practice until we get it right. I'm rolling into a situation where I don't feel as though I have the foundation to be as good as I could be. As good as I WAS when the playing field was level.

I can barely stay upright in the pack. I keep tripping myself and others. I have gone from being one of the better players on the league to being a liability in the pack. Heaven forbid I should try and hit someone.

It was during a hitting drill that I got frustrated.

We were skating in a line around the inside of the track. The person in the back of the line was to skate forward and hit each girl in the line towards the middle of the track. The drill works on both timing and control; the idea is that you can hit someone without ending up on the infield.

I was the last person in line. I braced myself and took every hit that came at me knowing that I was helping my teammate get used to hitting and myself taking a hit. Even if I got knocked out, I had the opportunity to learn to stop and get back in the game.

When my turn came up, coach announced that once you got hit, you could leave the track. (Fair. Makes sense. It was the end of the night) But I'd go to hit, and my teammate would swerve so I would miss her, and then leave the track.

I spoke up. Asked that they quit avoiding me so that I could hit them. The answer came back that my usual targets weren't going to wait.

I agree with that. But I don't feel as though I have the foundation yet to deal with someone dodging. I felt they were doing me a disservice by moving. I have not built the skills to hit my target consistantly. I have not learned to recover from going at someone and having them move and still stay on the track. I will, but it will take practice.

I didn't feel like my teammates were interested in helping me to improve, I felt like they were interested in going home and avoiding taking a hit.

I try to take into account the skill level of the person I am working with. I like to help people improve thier skills even if it means I will fall. Is it wrong of me to ask the same?

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