Monday, October 1, 2012

Disappointment in Derby

Hoo boy, I hate dealing with disappointment, especially in derby.  You didn't pass pack assessments, you didn't make a roster, you didn't play much at all when you did make a roster, you didn't get MVP, you didn't win the game of the season; all of these things disappoint us in derby.  Sometimes derby gives us the highest of highs, and the miserable lowest of lows.  Unfortunately there is such a painful opportunity for disappointment to spoil everything, unless you learn to cope with it.

1.  Admit you're disappointed.  You don't have to throw a fit in public or freak out, but we're all adults and instead of living in denial, you should admit you're feeling disappointed, especially to yourself.  Disappointment can drain your life of happy experiences if you let it; it gains power the more you ignore its existence. Admitting it makes it easier to deal with; nobody thinks you're an inhuman robot who feels nothing.  I used to be a giant fan of "never let them see you cry" until I realized how much I was hurting myself by squashing my emotions. 
Sad face.  :(

2.  Get some distance and perspective.  Sometimes you have to give yourself some space and time away from whatever caused your feeling of disappointment.  Do something that makes you feel happy and positive; if derby is causing disappointment in your life, take some time and do something that makes you feel successful; when my derby path disappoints me, I tend to go and work on something I enjoy and am successful at; for me, art is that thing.  Before you had derby, you had something that made you feel successful too.  Revisit it and gain strength from it.  Hint, partying, drinking, binge eating or sleeping does not give you that feeling of success; these are activities that just make you avoid thinking about disappointment.  Do something productive.

3.  Shift your expectations.  Don't be attached to a specific goal.  Sometimes your expectations are way too high for the situation.  A good example of this is "I'm not going to commit any minors in this bout at all!" and then you do.  Make sure your expectations are realistic.  "I'm going to try as hard as I can to improve my skating skill" is a better expectation than "I'm going to make the next roster."  You're in control of how you improve your skills, but unless you're the captain and coaches, you're not in charge of choosing a roster.  All you can control is you.  Too often I see promising players get so disappointed with not making a certain roster, that they quit the sport entirely.

4.  Sometimes disappointment is a good thing.  Whaaaaaaa?  Yes.  It can show you that you need to change your thinking, your goals, or how you're going about making your goals.  Disappointment can make you more aware of things you need to adjust in your life, and if you take the time to work on those things, the closer you'll get to achieving your goals.  Let's face it, if you have strong disappointment that you didn't accomplish a particular goal, it means that you are extremely passionate about derby.  Good!  We're not getting paid for this, we're destroying our bodies slowly, so you must be getting something out of it.  If you weren't a little disappointed at times with your performance in derby, it would mean it wasn't really that important to you.

At times when I'm dealing with disappointment, I look at the small victories in my derby career; sometimes those small victories are being able to get back on the derby horse and keep on going!


  1. Very well written, thanks Q!

  2. Awesome as usual. Thanks for your blog , I love it!

  3. A practicing Buddhist friend of mine once said, "Don't be attached to an outcome" which was part of her practice. I repeat that to myself a lot. I mean, A LOT.