A Fan’s Wishes for the 2014 WFTDA Finals

One of our favorite fans wrote a letter to the All-Stars as they approach the WFTDA Finals in Nashville, TN.

As we reach the end of another season of action by the women of the Windy City Rollers, I wish to extend good wishes to each and every member of the TEAM (skaters, coaches, referees, support personnel and any other individuals who work tirelessly to make the yearly venture successful) the very best heartfelt wishes for a fulfilling and safe end to their 2014 season. The frame of reference I use for this commentary comes from over 30 years of coaching my children and other parents’ children from T-ball all the way up and through college. I have enjoyed the uniqueness of the individual student athlete whether they were my own children or the kid next door; boys or girls; high performers to the beginners; the timid all the way to the aggressive; champions to the “wait until next year participants; players that wear their emotions on their sleeves to the player who just wants to be part of a team; quitters to the one’s you can’t chase out of the gym. Each and every one of these gentle souls impacted my life immensely and helped to shape my thinking about how every individual aspiring to be part of a team and excel to the best of their ability defines the experience of play and sport. I see in each of you the multiple aspects of many generations of a variety of cultures, socioeconomic advantages and disadvantages, ethnic and experiential ways of being that define who you have become. Congratulations! You are who you are and you collectively define this team. Take all of who you are and mold it into a TEAM of performers who excel at what they do, how they do it and why they do it.

Now enough of the platitudes. Let me slip back into my coaching mode for a moment and provide you with a list of wishes (desires, coaching exhortations) that might be on your radar screen as you mentally prepare for this weekend in Nashville:

TEAM play will carry you a lot further than individual solicitations, however, your unique abilities individually define your way forward.
Have FUN!!!
Get your head into the bout at the very beginning and stay engaged.
Listen to your teammates. They see the impact you are having on the play of others and can help you make the adjustments necessary to support the TEAM.
Play under control while in the midst of the bout. The time to lose control (somewhat) is at the after-party. If you feel the need to step-up your “game”, then do so within the confines of the game strategy.
Referees are always right. They may be wrong occasionally, but their behavior should not have an impact on your focused play.
Someone (all hopefully) should recognize when a bout is beginning to change and make appropriate changes to affect the momentum in a positive way.
Back blocks are momentum killers and destroy the hard work of your other teammates.
Each of you individually have a unique skill and ability that contributes to the success of the TEAM. Know what it is and use it throughout.
Multiple players in the penalty box accelerate your opponent’s potential to run away with the bout.
Communicate on the track constantly for both offensive and defensive effectiveness.
“Go-to” teammates on the track or on the bench recognize when there needs to be a change in the dynamic of the game. Trust their ability to see what is happening and make adjustments accordingly.
Coaches keep you focused on TEAM strategy. Don’t lose sight of TEAM advantage and instead insert your individuality in its place.
Have FUN!!!
Develop a TEAM momentum at the outset of the bout and build on it.
You can never be too far ahead or behind for that matter.
Recognize and exploit weaknesses in the individuals on the other team.
Let the coaches and fans punish the referees for inserting themselves way too much into the bout. Stay focused and alert for moving your team forward.

I invite other fans to provide their own feedback, wishes, desires and thoughts for the Windy City Rollers and add to this list of the ramblings of a FAN.

Good luck to all the ladies of the All-Stars and have a great time “rollin’ on the river” in Nashville.

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