Thursday, December 8, 2011

Coming to a practice near you....

I love traveling to other league practices. Sometimes I'm out of town and am jonesing for a derby practice over the weekend, but other times I just like to go and see what other leagues are doing and how they run their practices.  Personally, I think it makes me a stronger skater to get out and skate with strangers; I have to approach each player as an unknown.  One of our skaters, Misanthrope the Mordant says she treats every skater as if they skated for Gotham, which is pretty awesome, since she's such an amazing skater herself!  Also, going to another league's practice let's you just concentrate on skating; you don't have any administrative responsibilities for that practice, and wouldn't that be a relief once in a while?

I have been lucky to visit the lovely ladies of Palmetto, Cape Fear, and Gate City this year; each one of these leagues have opened up their floors to me with gusto.  I've also been lucky to practice with our men's team, Collision. It made me feel very welcomed, and I really learned some things from each league.  I can not thank them enough for letting me come to visit!  I've also been invited by other leagues to come and practice, and I will try to hit more of them next year, I promise!

I urge you to branch out and see where you can travel, but there is definitely a protocol when trying to attend another league's practice.  Follow this list, and you should have a successful experience.

1. Contact the league you want to visit, OFFICIALLY.  You may have a friend on that league, but you need to go through proper channels.  Make sure you get permission to come; usually this means contacting their training director or training email.  Also, please ask if you need to bring different shirts; most leagues use black and white shirts for scrimmage, but some leagues use different colors.  Be prepared!  It would also be helpful to have your name and number on your shirt; remember, people don't necessarily know your name!  Also, please have your USARS or WFTDA number with you, as you might need to fill out paperwork before your skate.

2.  Show up!  If you say you're going, go! It's just rude not to go.  I know things come up, like sickness or car trouble, but if you can't make it, make sure they know you've canceled.  Don't be that girl.

3. Don't be butthurt if the league you are visiting asks to evaluate your skating skill before you are allowed to practice with them,  Some leagues have stricter standards than others, and they want to make sure that both parties will be safe playing together.

4.  Also, don't be butthurt if training emails you back and declines your visit; sometimes leagues want to have a closed practice because they have a game coming up, or they are concentrating on specific skills and don't want an extra distraction.

If you follow this guide, you should have a great experience!  Remember that you are representing your league too, so be on your best behavior!

And that may lead to a deeper friendship where you end up screaming on a roller coaster together!

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