Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Breaking through the plateau

A lot of skaters get extremely frustrated because they don't seem to be getting better with their skating; they've plateaued and aren't being played on the rosters like they used to be.  Here are some tips to up your game and conquering your plateau.

10.  Show up to practice.  People who get better at skating, skate! Yes, some people are naturally gifted and can magically perform a pivot block, but most of us need to work on it.  You can't become better at skating if you aren't wearing skates and practicing!  It always bugs me when I hear someone complain about not getting better or getting recognition when they can barely make one practice a week.

9.  Watch footage! If you don't know what's good footage to watch, ask someone!  If you're not watching footage of the top leagues in the WFTDA, then you have no idea what to strive for.  Also, you should be watching yourself if you can.  If your league records games and practices, it helps so much to get footage of yourself and watch to learn some of your habits.

8.  Celebrate small victories. When you first start skating, improvements often come quick and are accomplished in big steps.  Unfortunately as you keep skating, improvement slows down and you make less showy progress.  Your standards are higher now, so remember that when you're working on precision, you need to take the time to celebrate your small victories.

7.  Never let skating defeat you.  Sometimes that's easier said than done; derby can really play with your ego.  Remember, derby is like any other physical activity.  You will hit plateaus in your training, but if you keep trying, you will break through them.

6.  Enjoy learning new things.  Learning new things keeps us from getting mentally fatigued and worn out.  This last derby break, I even tried to learn some jam skating moves; I sucked at them, but it made me realize that there is always something new to learn in the world of skating.

5.  Chart your successes and your goals.  You need to document your goals by writing them down, and write down your successes!  When you are feeling down and unmotivated because you are frustrated, having your successes in a written form can act as a good reminder that you aren't completely hopeless!  (And you aren't, unless you aren't coming to practice...I kid...not really.)

4.  Cross train!  Derby cannot live by skating alone.  Ride your bike, lift weights, crossfit....whatever!  Just do it!

3.  Stalk other skaters.  You know you have skaters on your league that can do amazing things on wheels, so why aren't you stalking them?  Ask them for help, ask them to show you what they do, or if you're embarrassed to ask, then watch them do their thing.  (Just don't follow them home)
2.  Push yourself.  You're not going to get out of your slump or plateau if you don't push yourself.  Do you have a bad turning side?  Is your plow stop weak?  Conquer them!  Nobody else is going to know what you need to work on but you!

1.  Don't compare yourself to others. There is nothing, NOTHING that sucks the motivation out of a skater than comparing yourself to someone else.  You are a unique skater, and you will always have something to work on, so give yourself a break and be the best "you" you can be.

You can totally break through that plateau!

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