1. Get a new mouth guard. Please, for the love of your teeth, gums and health, GET A NEW MOUTH GUARD. You know how the fire department advocates changing your smoke detector batteries twice a year? Do the same with your mouth guard! It's really not ok to have one for more than six months, which is why I'm a fan of the Sisu mouth guards. The longer you keep your mouth guard, the more bacteria it harbors....get rid of it! Start the new season out fresh!
2. Wash and dry your gear. That's right, please take it out of the car or the bag you've kept it in all year. After you wash you gear and it's dry, take the time to inspect it. Maybe some of your gear is in good shape, but I'll bet your wrist guards might need to be replaced, since they seem to fall apart at the drop of a hat.
3. Check your skates. Are your bushings worn out? How about your pivot cups, do you see any cracks? If so, the off season is a great time to replace these things. Learning how to maintain your skates is the best thing you can do to be a self-sufficient skater! (Check those toe stops too.)
4. Have a bearing cleaning party. I know, I know, cleaning bearings is boring, tedious and something a lot of skaters avoid. Maybe you could get together with your team and support each other and maybe teach each other the best ways to do it. Hey, in these bad economic times, maybe a bearing cleaning party would be better than a gift exchange.
5. Think about getting a new helmet. How many hits have you taken on that helmet? Really? Are you sure? Derby girls have a great ability to forget pretty serious falls and hits to the head. I've heard of some people putting a hash mark on the inside of their helmet for each serious fall they've taken so they know when to get a new helmet. A yearly swap-out of helmets might not be a terrible idea, especially with so many derby girls getting concussions from our sport. But Q, that's so expensive! Yeah, but my brain is priceless, I would hope your brain would be priceless too. Also, think about having a game helmet and a practice helmet, especially if your league has a special color or type of helmet they use in games.
|My new mantra.|
6. Contemplate all of the things you've accomplished this year. I'm pretty sure that most skaters don't take the time to do this for themselves. Have you improved your endurance? Have you worked hard on lessening your penalties? Acknowledge the good things you did this year!
7. Start thinking about what you want to accomplish next year. Without a plan for your training, all is luck and coincidence. Write down some goals and make them happen...captain!
Just to wrap it up, use your off season time to get yourself organized and relaxed, but don't just sit on the couch! It's not your league's job to get you into shape for each season, that's YOUR job. That means your gear, your mind and your body need to be ready for derby when it starts up again.