My Roller Derby Targets

Average Adventures

I promised myself I would write this post months ago. Here it finally is, all the things am I focusing on improving individually to be better at Roller Derby.

Every 6 months I write myself goals for roller derby. That isn’t because after 6 months I believe I’ve nailed everything on the list, but I work well to targets and I’m competitive with myself – if something has rolled over on the list the weight of my own disappointment is motivation to nail it within the next 6 months. That also doesn’t mean that I take 6 months to achieve everything I want to, some are little nuances in skating style that take a couple of sessions to nail but a couple of months to make it second nature.

Rambling aside, I’ve found setting myself 6 month goals to be really effective, sometimes for the negative; for example like the time I set myself the target of to not get injured again after I badly bruised by coccyx bone, taking me out of derby for 6 weeks – it was within that next 6 months my knee injury started. But mostly for the positive. I attribute nailing one footed transitions, one footed plows and a number of other skills to addressing it as something I wanted to work on and implementing it into practice when it is appropriate to do so – or there’s free skate.

There are a couple of rules I follow to implement my roller derby targets now, for example:

A target must be an individual element of the game: it’s unfair for me to expect others to work on the same thing as me during their free skate and it’s also unfair for me to monopolise my key coaches free time (a system we run at the Lincolnshire Bombers) – so instead, at least for the foreseeable future, my goals are all individual related, like nailing a stop or a hit to the line.

A target must be specific: quite an obvious one but nobody feels focused from setting a target like I want to be better at all stops. Better in what capacity? Do I want to keep my hips central when plowing? Or do I want to stop within a certain distance? Or a certain width? And what stops am I focusing on? I think about how I’ll manage my time, as hall time can be so precious.

A target must focus on development in a positive way: I shouldn’t write I must try not to get injured, or get less injuries. I cannot control that statement and because my mind won’t properly register the ‘not’ or ‘less’ in that sentence I’ll just fixate on the instruction or subject, i.e. ‘injury’. Instead I could say ‘I want to get stronger and focus on improving certain muscles’ or ‘I will rest when I need to’. (Or something much better than that).

Average Adventures

So here are mine, engraved into the internet, at least until I stop paying for this domain.

I want to be able to plow with both feet, with the same degree of dominance and urgency. Currently I over plow with my right foot, I am average with my left (maybe an overstatement). I would like to be able to knock a plow out effectively with either foot – this also includes single foot plows.

I want to improve my mental resilience to referee calls. I bench coach Lincolnshire Rolling Thunder, which some of the time means I am supposed to challenge referee calls, what I am not supposed to do is get grumpy with them whilst skating around the track. Although I’ve already massively improved on this skill (not an overstatement – but neither is that a modest statement) I could be better. Cue continue working on it.

I want to feel more confident about backwards skating so I feel confident to take a hit whilst travelling backwards. I do do this already do I like it? No. Will I ever? I don’t know but I’ve heard practice makes perfect.

I want to be able to transition at full speed and take a hit, and stay up. I’m not sure if this is something I’m already capable of – I’ve been told I do, but I’d like to recognise this within my own skating.

I would like to land an Apex Jump in a game or scrimmage. Whilst playing Croydon Roller Derby I pulled out an apex jump, something I have practiced very little since returning from my knee injury. I didn’t land the apex jump. If I’m going to pull it out of the bag when jamming I need to be able to successful land it.

And always on the list is to improve my fitness, which is very vague, but just before writing this I did 27 in 5 – so I’m going to try and improve on my score for this over the next 6 months.

So after a mammoth post here’s the end.

Ta!

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Love Me Like You Do – Or preferably turn the radio off…

Love Me Like You Do

Controversy time but I feel I need to declare Ellie Goulding’s ‘Love Me Like You Do’ as one of the worst songs I’ve possibly ever been forced to endure.

Aside from being completely not interested in the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise and so missing half of the point to this particular song I am bemused that such a bland, stereotype inducing song could possibly ever make number 1, in the UK, and further to that get stuck in my head so unrelentingly after only a glimpse of a listen.

I struggle to know where to begin – but let’s first address the irritating ability of ‘Love Me Like You Do’ to make a den in one’s head and repeat its chorus, and only notable and understandable lyrics, a number of times until you could repeat it back pitch perfect to a neighbour and share the joy. Its unrelenting repetition reminds me of other artistically outstanding songs released by Ellie Goulding such as ‘Anything Could Happen’.

I actually quite like some of Ellie Goulding’s music, but ‘Love Me Like You Do’ is awful, as is ‘Anything Could Happen’.
My next issue with this song is its fake step into the ballad genre whilst trying to keep its popular roots. Some would say an inspired move, but not really when you team it will other popular songs who have attempted this recently – namely anything written by Sia.

Then of course comes the giant stereotype that is the lyrics, laced with submissive (I get the reference with the film/book) and loved up feminine ideas. The song encourages passivity and although I don’t believe in such a media form having that great a power on how an individual thinks, it further adds to my irrational (or is it) hatred of this song. ‘To be in love, I must be on a high and like the silly woman I am – not think straight’.

Feminism aside – I surely cannot be the only one who finds this song painful to listen to? Listen for yourself. I will not be.

 

Ta!

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Duolingo

average adventures

I feel like this should be a sponsored post but it isn’t, and actually I wouldn’t take their money.

Anybody who is interested in learning a new language should have DuoLingo on their phone, favourited on their web browser and just generally in their life.

DuoLingo is a free language learning software and I’m absolutely blown away by what an outstanding resource it is.

I don’t think I’ve announced it on here but I’m currently taking a short course in French through the University of Lincoln. I’m loving learning again, despite the stress of juggling learning, roller derby and a full time job. I’m also loving re-learning French (I previously studied it at As-Level, before giving up). It’s hard and the work alone in the short course is probably not enough to brush up on French alone, especially as the level I’m studying at the moment is focusing predominately on grammar in French writing.

DuoLingo was something that was mentioned in our group in my first lesson (I’m now on week 11 – so sorry for not shouting about it sooner). It is available as an application or you can access it via a web browser and you can choose the language you want to learn, it isn’t just for those wishing to learn French, and more languages are being added all the time.

The software is quite young looking and, especially on the application, functions much like a challenge game. You also can’t use DuoLingo on mute because it will speak to language to you, but for me these are not negatives, just facts and plus points to learning (especially as I can be called mildly competitive).

average adventures
average adventures

The thing that blows me away the most about this software is how it builds upon itself, even if you return to an easy module, skills you should have built upon are included.

I really can’t speak highly enough of it. It’s free, fabulous and a great learning tool. I’d be interested to know if others agree on how amazing it is!

Ta!

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