Roller derby is a hectic sport and winning requires strategy and focus. Bench coaches do their best to run a smooth bench so that you can play your best! No matter what type of bench coaching your league employs, there are ways that you as a skater can maximize the team’s potential by supporting your bench coaches during a game. So without further ado:
The 10 Commandments of Roller Derby Bench Etiquette
There was a girl, I used to know her,
She was afraid of so many things.
People said she had potential.
But when she looked back at her life,
At all those things she was voted
“Most Likely” to do….
They were so much less than she’d imagined.
Accomplishments, in the eyes of the world,
Boxes checked, deadlines met, goals achieved.
Those things she could claim as her own.
But deep down, somehow, she knew
Those things had never really scared her.
Get On My Level: Notes On Intensity
Some refer to it as passion, but I prefer to call it intensity. Passion sounds like something you’ve either got or you don’t—intensity can be harnessed, tamed, and then let wild. It can grow and change from moment to moment. Like an animal’s instincts, it’s adaptive.
As an athlete, intensity is the primary driving force behind my every action, movement, and quick decision. Am I going onto the track with intent? Am I thinking frantically or with intent? Are my movements deliberate? Are my words concise? These are the type of questions I not only ask myself at practice or in gameplay, but in my daily life.
Do it for Her
When I was five or six, my aunt Alice took me to a local women’s soccer match. I was too young to understand most of what was going on. Still, it was fun to watch the teams flick in patterns around the field, and I cheered when Alice cheered.
After the game ended, we went out to the turf so I could get my program autographed. The first player I approached was tall and dirt-streaked, with a stringy brown ponytail. She made me kneel down and placed the program on my back while she signed it. I can exactly remember the toothbrush-bristle prickle of grass beneath my knees, the noise of paper flattening onto my windbreaker, the pressure of the pen against my shoulder blades. She asked me my name, and I told her. She thanked me for coming to the game.
Rebuilding a league:
It began in the fall of 2014 when about half of our league skaters left. We entered the 2015 season with a small A team of very experienced skaters and an even smaller B team – the majority of whom had never bouted before. Although we tried to push through in the hope that things would get better, the size of the league continued to diminish. In July 2015, we found ourselves mid-season with 6 B team skaters and a couple of new recruits; running low on money and with a laundry list of obligations to fulfill.