Refreshing Your Meat: A Few Words About Recruitment

Hard Breaking Dolls say "Hi!"

It's that time of the month where I will talk about my league. This time I wanna focus on Fresh Meat. We had our first recruitment event a couple weeks ago. It was my third where I was in charge (2x with my old league) of talking to the new batch of roller derby hopefuls. It's always nerve-wracking for me. 

Since we're still a fairly new league and our city already has one, older, more established league we weren't sure how the event would turn out. What if nobody will wanna join? What if they hate us? What if we're just going to sit here and wait for Godot anybody to show up and no one will?

But! Neither of that happened. About 10-15 people came, and about 5 of them decided to join (well, 4, plus one transfer from a French league, woo!). So all in all, success! Now, let's focus on how we structure our recruitment events. 

Length, roughly 90 minutes to 2 hours. If it's gonna take any longer than that, it might be boring. Start with introduction of yourself, your league, and of roller derby as well. Tell them what you're looking for in your new skaters (more on that below), you want people to realize that even though they probably start with roller derby for fun, it is a sport and you expect something from them. Let them introduce themselves. Talk to them about basic equipment and how much that will cost, show them what's what. Then, it's time for them to get on the skates and try it out. And we usually end the whole thing with couple of jams of sock derby. That's always fun. After that, give them applications, take their contacts, thank them for showing up and you're done! 

I mentioned that you need to tell your Fresh Meat in what you looking for in them and what you expect from them. For me (and my league), this is very important. We talked about it quite a lot and settled on several things we want from our newest members.

1) It might sound harsh but we wanted skaters who can skate, at least a little bit. We can teach how to crossover and all that but if you can't even stand on skates... sorry, maybe next time. The reason for this is easy, as of now, we don't have the time or people available to teach you that. We try to keep the skating level of everybody on the same page as much as possible. We're a small league and it's important to get us properly going (ie. scrimmaging/bouting) and if we have to constantly go back to basics... we're gonna get stuck.

2) We want the skaters to fit in. This is very important to us. For the sake of getting anything done and not being miserable at practice, we want people to get along. And when I say fit in, I don't necessarily mean, they have to like the same things we do but we expect them to get to know us, to get involved in league business. I expect this from skaters who are already in the league as well. Get to know your new members, be nice to them, talk to them about derby, take them out for a beer! Or five! Your Fresh Meat are probably lovely people, they wanna do roller derby, after all.

3) And the last thing we wanna see in our Fresh Meat is, well, dedication. You spent  a lot of money on your basic equipment, so I hope you wanna stick around. Come to practice, be active, learn about roller derby. It's fun.

And that's that.

Till next time,
Lucille von Kill

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