Diary of a Co-Captain: Coaching a Team

Since my beginnings in Roller Derby on that fateful March morning with DCRA I never envisaged that I would be good enough to make it through the try out stage. But now a whole year and a bit later, and as part of a new team with DRD I have had to step up to the plate and stick on the coaching cap. I know personally as a Co-Captain I feel that in every single moment of my Roller Derby career I have to always be the best, or at least be able to blag that I'm somewhat competent... So what happens when you're asked to do something completely out of your comfort zone?

Johnson would probably say "Meltdowns", which wouldn't be far from wrong! I'm the first to admit I regularly have a bit of an epic meltdown due to the pressure I put on myself and everyone else to get to where we want to be. It's a terrifying prospect having a team of skaters rely on you to keep things together, keep things moving and ensure that the direction your going in is suitable for everyone involved.

Recently we held our first ever Tryout and this caused not only myself to feel the pressure but for once Johnson also felt a bit daunted at the idea. Coaching a group of skaters that you have grown with as a player is much less stressful (although it does have its moments) than standing in front of a group of fresh meat and instructing them how to actually move forwards on 8-wheels.

So why do I keep doing this to myself if it causes me so much stress? Because these skaters are our responsibility, so the better I can be as a coach the better they will become as skaters. I have to keep pushing myself outside of my comfort zone in order to be better for them. Everything has a learning curve and I think that even the most experienced of skaters would say that sometimes it's hard even for them to stand there and have people expecting them to divulge their pearls of wisdom on why X or Y isn't working for them, to advise them that maybe Z would work better for them as a Jammer, or why W is taking them so long to achieve as a skater.

I've been told though by our experienced coaches, who have taught me and the rest of the current bouting squad how to do what we do, that we're doing a great job. So that has to count for something - even if I am dying on the inside, on the outside it mustn't look that way! I know one things for certain it's definitely made easier by the fact that the people I am coaching listen, have respect and just want to absorb every word that any of our coaches say and emulate our best skaters.

Written By: Robinson #85

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