Friday, May 18, 2012

Don't be a derby dinosaur

Derby is an evolving sport, and because the evolution is developing so quickly, all players are in danger of being a derby dinosaur if they don't keep up with the rapid changes happening in derby. Here are the signs that you might be creeping into being a derby dinosaur territory.

Dinosaurs are extinct for a reason.

1.  You refuse to cross train outside of practice.  Remember the good old days when people would joke that their cross training was drinking beer or partying?  Yeah.  Those days are gone now.  If you're not running, lifting weights, working out, doing Crossfit outside of your practice time, you're not training for derby.  Trust me, you can keep doing nothing to make yourself stronger outside of skating, but just know that there are thousands of determined derby girls working on their endurance, strength and agility just aching to kick your Jurassic butt.

2.  You still smoke, even "just at the afterparty".  Sure, smoking used to be ok in derby, but have you seen what people are doing to increase endurance?  Are you seriously still smoking?  Are you really ready to turn your lungs into the La Brea tar pit? 

3.  You don't want to learn new strategies.  Derby used to be "skate fast, turn left, knock someone down." Those days are done unfortunately.  Scrum starts, backwards skating, crazy apex leaps are the wave of the future.  Are you watching video?  Have you been keeping up with the changes?  Did you catch any of the controversy from the MRDA Spring Roll, or do you bury your head in the sand like an Arabian ostrich?  (Which is extinct, btw)

4.  You don't read the rule book.  I know, you didn't get into derby to read, but have you read the rules?  I've read the rule book many times, and I still discover situations where I yearn to have a walking talking rule book on my team to check.  (Either that or Tripp N. Dale in my skate bag to answer my every little question.)  You can bet that every team that comes up with a great strategy has at least one person on their team who is pouring through the rules looking for every weakness to exploit.  Call them the discoverers of fire, but they're hot on your heels and they are going to burn up the track.

5.  You don't know how to fix your own skates.  That's just sad.  All derby girls should be able to to make rudimentary repairs to their gear, such as changing bearing, fixing toe stops, cleaning bearings and changing out your pivot cups.  Otherwise, you're just waiting for Prince Charming to save you, and that's mixing my metaphors, so stop it!

6.  You let your emotions impact others.  Derby dinosaurs bring all of their personal crap to the track and expect their teammates to make allowances for it.  Do you act like a pouty brat when things don't go your way?  Do you snap at your teammates?   These derby dinosaurs suck the fun out of practices and the games, just like a Jeholopterus, which was some sort of prehistoric vampire bat.  Ha!  See?  This blog is funny and educational!

So, the bullet point of this blog is, don't be a derby dinosaur.  Let's leave all of that crap in the past and keep up with the flat track evolution!


  1. Thank you for this one. It is so on with a lot of what I am seeing right now. My league is really young, but there are people who are already acting like dinosaurs!!

  2. This is a perfect derby blog: short, sweet truth in bulleted form. Thank you!

  3. these are all good points, but I have to take issue with the term "dinosaur"- dinosaurs were one of the most successful land species ever on the planet, lasting well over 165 million years by adapting to new and different conditions on said planet.

    David (amateur paleontologist and referee)

    1. But they walk the earth no more. Just think of derby as really really fast evolution.

  4. +100 on the gear thing. So many skaters with stiff rock-hard rubber cushions trying to make 'em turn by loosening 'em up till they fall apart/break. Softer urethane cushions are available for about $10-15 a set from Sure-Grip. Twice that (because it comes in a bag with a card?) from Reidell. Cheapest upgrade you can make to your skates.

    Also, don't buy skate packages. They're almost never really a deal, and almost always come with at least one component you didn't want or need.