Monday, December 24, 2012

Very Superstitious

Derby girls, like every other athlete, have things they believe in, from lucky socks to pregame bizarro rituals.  For fun, here is a list of a few of the things that derby girls believe in, but probably shouldn't.

Do you know these players?
1.  Everyone has a pregame ritual.  One of my good friends really believes that if she shaves everything....I mean everything, she will be faster as a jammer.  Another one of my friends needs to have her favorite underwear on to be comfortable.  I generally eat Sour Patch Kids for an energy boost, and some other teammates like to have their hair braided by someone.  These rituals are comforting, and I suppose they help calm our minds, but in reality, these rituals could happen or not happen and we'd still play to our abilities.  It's funny how sometimes a ritual can take over and play havoc with your concentration. 

I would prefer not to be a part of this picture.
2.  Pregnancies come in threes.   Whenever someone in our league gets pregnant, people start looking around for the other two women to be knocked out (heh) of the game for nine months or more.  Many derby girls believe that pregnancy can be catching, like some strange epidemic from medieval times.  When we have a run of pregnancies in our league, the inevitable cry that goes up is "Don't drink the water at the Skate Ranch."  It's not the water, ladies.  No, I don't believe things happen in threes, but it is a belief the seems to persist in derby culture.

I have unlucky bandanas.
3.  Everyone has a lucky something or other.  For some, it's a song; for others, it's a lucky item.  I know that sometimes I fret over the fact that my lucky purple skate laces might need to be replaced before a big game, but for the most part I'm over the "lucky" item.  I do have the opposite reaction at times.  There are certain songs, or colors, or clothing items that I find "unlucky" and I try to avoid them as much as possible.  Don't judge me!

4.  Every skater truly believes that the refs are paying her special attention.  Who hasn't felt slightly persecuted by the officials?  Every once in a while, I wonder if the the refs single me out because I feel like I'm being tagged for everything possible, including breathing wrong on the other team.  I know it isn't true, but there is a tiny bit of paranoia that buzzes around my head at times.  It doesn't help when I'm getting called on things and yet getting elbows to the nose or low blocked on a constant basis.  It's hard to put things into perspective sometimes when you're in the middle of a jam.  Just remember that most players have felt this way, and you need to concentrate on the things YOU are doing, not what everyone else is responsible for, including the refs.

PS...don't make eye contact and then you won't have to jam!
5.  Don't say the "last jam."  I didn't really know about this one until I posted my query on Facebook.  Evidently, many players worry that the last jam is one where you have the greatest chance of getting injured.  I know that people get tired and get sloppy at times, but you can be injured at any point in the game.  If you are fatigued, it doesn't matter what point of the game or practice it is, you can be injured.  Stop worrying about what jam it is, and be more aware of your situation on the track.

6. Bad practices the day before the game means your game will be great.  When people have a crappy practice before a game, it seems like it's a good thing because your game will be amazing.  I know there are some leagues who don't even do contact drills the practice before a game.  Bad practices, good practices, I don't care, as long as everyone shows up both mentally and physically.  It always blows my mind when people don't show up for the last practice before a game; what are they thinking?

The smell of winning...or a zombie.
7. Washing your gear might end your winning streak.  At one point, someone told me that you should wash your gear before each game, so "the other team couldn't smell you coming!"  I personally don't wash my gear before a game anymore, because I don't CARE if they smell me coming.  I sweat a different kind of sweat during games; because I'm under stress, my pads get really disgusting, so I tend to wait until after a game to wash them.  Now, have I not washed my pads because I might destroy a winning streak?  Oh hell no.  I wash my pads on a pretty regular basis because I'd rather not get MRSA.  Trust me, your awful stench isn't making you win games. 

By the way, everyone have a great Christmas, or Winter Solstice or whatever you enjoy celebrating during this time of the year!

1 comment:

  1. To the "Last Jam" philosophy. I remember a scrimmage earlier this year (right before a doubleheader) where they called "Last Jam," and it got called for an injury. Not wanting to end on an injury, they did another last jam, and another. Both got called for injuries. The three skaters were strong B team jammers.

    I don't know that it's an active jinx in the Charlotte Roller Girls, but it sure sucked that scrimmage.