Monday, July 9, 2012

Do I have to? Refocusing your derby motivation

When I was a newbie skater, I was so excited to go to every practice.  I don't think I missed one practice all year, including speed practices.  I couldn't even fathom other skaters not wanting to be at every skate practice ever!   But, as I grew from a newbie, to a rookie, to a seasoned veteran skater, I no longer was obsessed to go to every practice.  After a while, I was still super excited to go to derby practices, but speed practice became a struggle; my body would hurt after each speed practice, and sometimes the ache would bleed over into the next day's practice, which began to dampen my enthusiasm.
This is an homage to Hyperbole and a Half  She is a funny funny lady, go visit her site.
It's hard to keep your motivation going, especially if you are plateauing in your training.  Unfortunately, this can be a vicious cycle where you find yourself stuck at a certain level, and your frustration rises while your motivation tailspins out of control.

So, how can you shore up your motivation?  How can you keep your newbie enthusiasm in your veteran brain?  Below are some tips to keep you going and keep you yelling "All the practices!"

1.  Really answer the question "why do I do this?"  If the answer to that question is "I don't have anything better to do tonight" then maybe it's time to find a new hobby.  If you're just going through the motions and showing up to practice because "that's what I do" then there is no wonder your motivation has taken a powder.  Find a reason to be there.

2.  Find a role model and try and surpass her.  I call these people "stalking horses".  My whole goal at times is to find someone awesome in my league and try to do what she does, only better.  Do I ever tell my target I'm stalking her and her skills?  Hell no.  It's really none of her business and probably won't impact her, until it's too late.  Mwah ha ha!

3.  Remember that skating is fun!  Sometimes I chant that really loud when I can feel my motivation bottoming out, and I can feel the frustration of other skaters at practice.  It sounds corny, but skating is fun, and that's half of the reason why I was even mildly interested in derby in the beginning.  Of course I became addicted immediately, but the fun of skating is what prevails.  Try it one practice..."Skating is FUN!  Skating is FUN!"

4.  Throw a temper tantrum in private.  Remember when you were a kid and you didn't want to go to the doctor, or school or whatever?  Well sometimes I look at the practice schedule and see "Toe stop drills all practice" and I just want to throw a tantrum.  It's ok if you do it in private.  Seriously, just whine out loud and stomp your feet, throw your hands up and cry, yell and pout.  Feel a little better?  Good, now move on and get your gear packed for practice.

5.  Find a buddy to keep you motivated.  There are certain skaters that just make me happy that they are at practice; maybe it's their sense of humor, or their smiles, but I know that if I'm working with them in a drill, I will feel better about practice.  Teammates can be a great motivating factor to keep you coming to practice.  Also, don't forget, you might be somebody's reason for showing up to practice too.

6.  Take some time for yourself.  Maybe you're burned out and you need to take some "you" time.  Sometimes missing a practice can give you a break and let you refresh and refocus yourself.  Most of us feel guilty if we miss a practice, but there are days when you need to be a little selfish.  Just make sure to come back refreshed and ready to put your all into it the next practice!

7.  Watch footage and become inspired.  Who wasn't inspired by the "Pegasist" or the amazing skating going on at ECDX this year? Challenge yourself at practice and see if you can become the next inspiration for someone else!

So remember, when you're trying to dredge up the motivation to get your butt to practice, just remember you've come a long way baby, but you have further to go.  Now get up off of the couch and get ready to sweat.


  1. AWESOME blog!! now I have to find the motivation to get to speed class! I know, I know.. follow the steps :) I was injured and then off for this and that and holy CATS did I see my endurance drop to $hit.. and now i'm going to be off for a surgery for 3 weeks. I feel like I'm playing catch-up CONSTANTLY now..

  2. SO need this. Right now. Thank you. I'm going tonight.

  3. Thanks! Needed to refocus, so totally had this feeling of low confidence!!!