Friday, April 27, 2012

Move With a Purpose

 I had a really douchey boss who decided that his "motivational phrase" of the year was going to be "Move with a purpose."  He told us that in every staff meeting.  "If you're crossing the floor, move with purpose" and "if you are moving boxes in the warehouse, move with a purpose." After a while, a lot of us employees would make smart remarks among ourselves, like "I'm moving with a purpose to get my Diet Coke out of the fridge." or "I'm blowing my nose with a purpose", "I'm updating my status with a purpose."  Weren't we clever?  Of course we were being snarky jerks, but I decided that he had a good phrase, he was just using it wrong.  That phrase belonged in derby, not in the work place.

When you come to practice, what is your purpose?

Let's say it again for that really is a rad question mark.

Are you just showing up to practice because you have nothing better to do?  Are you there because you have to show up for attendance? Do you come to practice just to socialize? If so, you have no purpose or focus.  You need to find one quickly, otherwise you aren't helping yourself or the team.  I know it can be hard to be motivated about drills, especially if you're tired, had a bad day, or just don't care about the drill in general.  I realize not everyone can be "full on derby" at every practice, but we all have to remember that we are at practice for a reason, and it's not just to take up space.

1.  Remind yourself what your role is in the drill.  Are you supposed to be working with a wall? Are you working on toe stops?  Are you supposed to be the offensive blocker?  Are you there to help someone else learn a skill?  Sometimes in a drill, you have to be a "blocking dummy".  It sucks, but sometimes at that very moment, the drill isn't about you.  Don't be a jerk and mess it up for someone else.

2.  Focus on the drill.  Sometimes this is easier said than done; being around our friends can be distracting.  Most people don't want to be rude when someone starts talking about the funny thing that happened at work today; you want to join in the conversation.  Unfortunately, this is the kind of behavior that takes focus off of the drill, and not just yours!  People around you become distracted too, and you've robbed others of their best focus.  Try to stay focused on the drill as long as you can.  Remind yourself why you are there.

3.  Push your comfort zone.  Sometimes people slack off in the drills because they don't want to look stupid or clumsy.  Those are the people who aren't going to be getting the most out of drills, and therefore won't be improving their derby game.  If you aren't comfortable doing a drill, then it is a drill worth doing!  Clearly you need to work on the skill the drill is teaching!  One of my favorite derby players (Quadzilla) said in a class "If you aren't falling, you aren't trying hard enough."  I know it sucks that we all can't magically master a technique, but that's the reality of our sport.

4.  Remember that SKATING IS FUN!  We work hard because we LOVE this sport!  All of that hard work you're putting into learning a technique or strategy will pay off.  It may not be right away, but it will happen! 

So, when you find yourself distracted or frustrated at practice, gently remind yourself of your purpose for being there, and it will definitely clear your mind.  Also, I think I need to write my former boss a thank you note for his motivational phrases.  Yeah, I'll get right on that.


  1. Thanks for that. Lately I fall into the "don't want to look stupid or clumsy" group with a large side of "I have several teammates with severe injuries. Our bench can't take more broken bones." I'm trying to get past it with little success. Hoping Saturday's bout will give me a kick in the derby skinz.