Malice - Becoming A Trainer...Why Not?

You might have read my bio on RDNation. If not, well, sorry for you then hahaha! But if you did, you’ve noticed that I fulfil some different roles within my league besides being a skater, which is quite handy (think about inspiration and diversity) when you decide to write some articles and/or blogs for Rollin News for example, or just for yourself. This time I’d like to share a little story about me being a trainer and what that means to me as a person in general.

So, recently I started as a trainer at my league. More specifically, a fresh meat trainer, and even more recent as an offskates trainer. But I have to admit that I actually never expected to become a trainer… all….in any way whatsoever. Partially because I was insecure and partially because I actually disliked the idea standing and explaining in front of a lot of people. But, I’m a trainer now so what happened?

Well, a lot happened actually and those happenings made lots of changes in my state of mind and in ways of my perspectives, you can say they made me a different but better person (or at least that’s what I’d like to believe). These things were already happening over a couple of years in general, but the changes went into turbo mode when I got more and more involved into roller derby.

A little bit of psychology: Most of the time you can divide people into two sorts of personalities. Without going way too deep into the psychology stuff, let’s say you have extrovert types and introvert types. Between these you can make way more diversions of the personality but hey, let’s keep it simple right? Let’s try to make things more clear.

Introvert people tend to be more inward turning or focused more on internal thoughts, feelings and moods rather than seeking out external stimulation. Introverts tend to be quiet, reserved and introspective. They often also expend energy in social situations. For example: after attending a party, introvert people often feel the need to recharge by spending some time alone. Extrovert people tend to seek out more social stimulation and opportunities to engage with others. In group situations they are likely to talk often and assert themselves. Introvert is not the same as shyness and they’re not afraid of social situations; they simply like to spend more time alone and don’t need that much social stimulation. Both types are beautiful, don’t get me wrong, and don’t differ that much from each other. If you want to know more about these types, Google is your best friend for that.

I’m part of the last group, an introvert type. I do things differently being ‘ kinda’ inward. I can really live in my head so to speak. I’m well aware of that, so I’m able to kick myself out of it. I love going out and share great time with people but sometimes it just wears me out. I can’t help it, it’s just the way it is. I also never liked, nor felt comfortable in any way being at or in the front of things, especially when there were more than one person involved. For example: at high school the teachers thought up those horrible torture assignments called presentations. I wasn’t able to sleep for a week! And when the big moment came to actually stand in front of 25 know-it-alls, I really thought I was going to die or at least faint. Didn’t happen though, and according to my classmates and teachers they never saw that I was nervous as hell, but the way I felt from the inside….

So in sports (I have participated in waterpolo and dayto ryu aiki jiutsu for quite a while) or at my day jobs, I usually work from behind the screens. That’s my strength and that’s the place where I used to flourish. There, I am not nervous nor feel insecure, but when I’m in front of more than one person for example, well, it’s like roller coaster ride gone bad. Not feeling insecure or nervous just because there are a lot of people around you is needed (in my opinion) for being a referee and/or a trainer.

I already knew that I loved to search out and try new training drills, on and offskates, experiment with it a bit to become a better skater and athlete. Since I’ve been reffing already for a while, I also became used to the fact that you have to explain or teach things to others; something which I found I secretly enjoyed doing. I said secretly because I’m not the kind of person who steps forward and says; Hi I’m your new trainer, let’s roll! I mean, I'm confident but not so much I would just do that

I kinda fell, or rolled, into the trainer's part. It happened when an offskates trainer was late for practice. I offered to take over that role from her so she could attend her meeting, and it helped to keep the continuity of the training session. What I didn’t expect, was the fact that I for one, enjoyed it very much but also, the skaters really enjoyed it. I received such great feedback, it opened my eyes.

Some time later, I participated in conducting a training session for the fresh meat. I studied up on some drills to do. However, I was slightly nervous even though I knew the girls well. I kept asking myself if it was to much, or too heavy or even fun. Well, after practice, again I saw smiling faces and even heard comments that they hoped I would lead some training again. This motivated me so much on many levels. I learned a lot myself (in more ways than one) and I saw a growing motivation in others. It went both ways so to speak.

There was a spot free for a fresh meat trainer. After discussing it with good friends from within the league, I asked how they would feel if I applied, and eventually I did. So yes, I had and sometimes still have, to push myself to give practice. Of course, on track you have to push yourself too, but in a different way (at least that’s how I experience it). Still, after doing a training I’m totally worn out but there’s one difference: I feel content about it and am already thinking about leading another session. Which drills will I let them do next, how they have grown since their last practice and did they enjoy themselves (I saw a lot of real smiles, so they did).

You see here, actually as much as I like working from behind a screen, I really love working this way at the front. I don’t mind standing in front of 25 know-it-alls anymore, so bye bye insecurity! It took time, motivation, determination, sometimes courage and just plain jumping into the dark to get where I’m now. This, in combination with an awful lot of great support of my friends it has totally worked out (all of this in real life and derby life).

Yes, there are still some anxiety or some nervous moments, but that’s ok. The world is not gonna end if I don’t know exactly everything, or just don’t find my words for some reason. I’m a human not a robot. I believe that in becoming a trainer in multiple disciplines has made me more confident as a person and even more motivated about skating than I already was, which is exactly the thing I needed. I want to learn more and what I've learned, I’m going to teach the new skaters. I'm glad and proud that I made the choice in giving practice and I don’t want to go back.

So kick yourself out of your safe zone and explore; it might be scary but it’s so worth it!


About The Author

DOB: 6/23/1982

Hello lovely people,

I'm Malice, a skater, supportmember and trainer with the Arnhem Fallen Angels. Co-founder, secretary and headreferee from the new men's league Airbomb Rollers. And next to that, doing load of other things to fill my days with. Even non-derby things ;) Got some questions or just want to have some small-talk, let me know!


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Jay Latarche

Great article Malice! I will be showing this to our coaching committee, thanks! :)


Thank you Jay! I hope it will be usefull :)