Oh, look, it's the Hard Breaking Dolls checking in!
It's been a while... but, anyway.
This time I'd like to talk about how to sort of keep your league alive when you're not yet bouting (for whatever reasons).
Which is where we, as a league, are now. We went through all the basic stuff, finished them and now it's mostly just practice, practice and some more practice until we are ready to take it public. And it can and probably will get just a little bit boring or just monotone. Sure, the practices can be all that but even so, people can start feeling like it's not going anywhere and that can lead to them not showing up for any practice ever again.
While I would agree that if that's all it takes for them to quit, they shouldn't have been doing derby in the first place, but let's try and prevent them from getting bored in a first place. Some people just need more to keep interested! ("You mean they need more than derby?!" I can hear you say... I know, I don't understand either)
Let's be honest, it just will take some time for your NEW league to be bout-ready. Unless all your members are seasoned players, it's probably gonna be around a year, maybe even two, before you have enough skaters that are skilled to be bouting. But I'm not talking about just skating things, I'm talking about how to keep your members interested in all things derby and how to keep your fans interested in all things your-league.
So here are some stuff you can do with/in your league while you're not yet ready to bout with other teams,:
1) This may be kind of obvious but... Make practice fun and challenging. I mean, come on, yes, you do need to repeat drills until perfection but there are millions other ways you can teach people the same skill. Just google a little.
2) Take some goddamned selfies during practice. If nothing else, you have something to post about on your facebook and the fans will remember that your league exists. And maybe, it will inspire some girls to come to practice so they're included next time (however vain that may sound, it might just work).
3) Plan a public event. In our league, we usually host music shows with bands. It's a relatively easy way to give your members something to plan and it's always a good PR. You can also combine it with some charity and give all the proceeds to whatever cause you choose. For us, that would probably be cat shelters.
4) Go to bootcamps. I feel like this should be mandatory for every skater of any league. Go to at least one bootcamp in your life. They are hard, exhausting and SO. MUCH. FUN. You meet new people and learn new things and it's something different, so you don't feel stuck. Seriously, people, go to bootcamps.
5) Or just host a bootcamp yourselves! Invite some more experienced skaters to teach it, if nobody from your league is able to do it. Invite every league you know to come.
6) Scrimmage. Once your skaters are good skaters, start scrimmaging. It's one thing to know the moves but if you've never played a bout in your life, it will be a shock for everybody once they are on the track for a real game. It doesn't matter if you only scrimmage between yourselves or if you invite some other league.
7) Plan a roller derby roadtrip. Chances are, very few members from your league have actually seen a live derby. So, find a bout near you, take you league and make a weekend out of it.
I think that's the last one I can think of right now. What I'm trying to say... It can be hard to keep your league from getting stale, and since more active leagues, means more derby for everyone, don't let it happen to your league.
From other news, we are having our first Fresh Meat intake in two days so let's see how THAT goes.
Till next time!
Lucille von Kill