Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Is There a Transfer in Your Future?

My teammate has jumped in again and saved the day!  Read some of the situations you might find yourself in if transferring to a new league is in your derby future!

Neura is such a work out beast!
By Neuralize HER

Thinking about transferring?
I am a transfer skater; I have skated for 4 different leagues in my 4 years of skating. I went from banked track to flat track then moved across the country and started with a small, local league then decided to up my game and drive 2 hours to skate more competitively. I currently skate with Carolina Rollergirls out of Raleigh, NC and live in New Bern, NC which equates to that 2 hours of drive time, but I am happy there as I really love my team and the opportunity to get to skate with and against higher-level derby teams.

I haven’t seen many articles on transferring or why ultimately one decides to do so. It can be a clean break, sometimes it can be messy, and sometimes it can be outright brutal depending on the skater, league, and circumstances.

Let’s start out with the easy transfer:
1. You are moving far far away and can no longer play with your current league.
This one is pretty easily understandable by all of your current league mates – they will miss you but there should be no bad blood or hurt feelings happening here. The new league welcoming you should also be less suspicious, and, if they were to ask your old league about you they would only get glowing reviews.

A little more sticky….
2. You are more experienced or growing beyond the current skill level of your current team and feel that you will no longer progress in the league you are with. 
This one is sticky and tricky. There are a lot of things to think about. Did you come in as an experienced skater? Maybe you weren’t aware of the exact skill level of the team then and that can be pretty understandable and forgivable by likely the skaters on your current team as well as a new league you may transfer to, but the important thing here is HONESTY and truthfulness. You don’t want to be sneaky and devious here. However, on the flip side, you also need to think about if you are accurately assessing your skill – if you really think the training in your current league is lacking, try guest skating a few times with the team you are thinking about transferring to or any other league in the area. You might be surprised, or you may be entirely accurate. You may also need to admit to yourself that perhaps it isn’t that the experience level is below your current skill, but another league and the way  they explain things may just seem to ‘click’ for you at the time. This can be acceptable too. But write down your reasons, and figure out what it is your expectations are. A list of pros and cons also works, then make some time to talk to your coach, captain, etc…from your current league about your thoughts.


The current league you skate with is far beyond your skill level and you are having trouble keeping up and/or do not want to wait and hope you make a roster somewhere in the next ‘maybe’ 5 years. Be realistic about your immediate, short-term, and long-term goals. Do you want to be an All-star on a highly competitive team but you are severely lacking in talent or skill? How much time are you willing to commit to making yourself ready to skate at that level? Do you plan on skating for several years to hone your skills, or are you really more interested in staying local to the area and you really view derby as your hobby and a fun thing you do in your spare time? If you are skater A: not a ton of skill but wants to be playing on a competitive roster one day and is willing to devote the time to get better, you ‘may’ want to  stay put and make your desires known. Show up to every practice, work hard, understand your social life outside of derby will become severely handicapped, and know you still you may not make that roster. If you are skater B, however then: you may not be able to devote as much time as necessary to get on a super-competitive teams roster, but there might be a more local, less competitive league that you will be rostered to skate with right now or in the relatively near-future. You enjoy skating and playing derby, but you are not worried or concerned about becoming that world-class A-level skater nor do you want to wait a year or so to get on a roster.  This might be another reason you want to transfer.

It’s bad, drama all around; likely you aren’t being welcomed back…
3. I don’t know what you’ve done but it was enough to piss someone or several someone’s off in your current league.
I also don’t know if you’ve taken responsibility for your actions, if you were unjustifiably accused, or you really are just that irresponsible and/or mean-spirited to do such things. Ask yourself…how many leagues in how many months have you transferred to/from? If it is several…there may be a problem with you and you need to do some soul-searching. Your ‘new’ league mates should also be wary of this person.  However, it may also be a case of that particular ‘league’ in general the skater is coming from that is drama-focused and mean- girlesque. I will leave it to you to investigate and know your teammates and surrounding derby leagues; I’m pretty sure you all know what I’m talking about if you’ve been skating for awhile.

Skater, if you were part of a drama-filled league and this happened to you, please do not quit skating! Again, assess what you want in a derby league and skate a few practices with that team first to see if it is what you are looking for. Ask other friends in that league how they like it. There are a lot of variables with this one, but I find it best to remember WHY you started to skate derby and find a league that is along your same wavelength. On the flipside, if you are that skater that likes to stir the pot, you will probably not be as welcomed to a new team as you might think, and guess what? You’re lucky they invited you to practice with them; you need to earn their trust. Or you can continue not taking responsibility for yourself and your actions and likely get kicked out of another league – it’s your choice really….but I like to remember these 3 words: STOP THE BLAME. If you truly have turned a corner in your life, just know that not everyone can see that or knows that so you need to be careful to not get frustrated when you are not automatically trusted or welcomed right off…and sometimes it may never happen so just know that and yes, you need to accept that too.

Don’t be surprised also if some of these reasons overlap one another. My first league transfer I had a few overlapping reasons why I wanted to transfer, and I left on good terms.  I still talk to a lot of those ladies and still enjoyed going to some of their games on occasion. Again, when I moved across the country I transferred to a smaller, local league but ultimately in my heart I knew I wanted to play really competitive high-level derby so I switched and spoke to them about it and left on good terms. In fact, I still attend some of their practices when I can’t make the 2 hours to Raleigh on any given day.

As I said earlier, there is likely a bit of overlap on why you may be considering transferring leagues. Being open and honest with both your current and prospective team is the way to go; if you are devious and sneaky about it, people will suspect you even if your reasons truly are genuine.  Write the list of pros and cons – consider what your goals are as a skater and the path to get there – and viola you will be successful and happy in your derby career in the league you ultimately decide to go to or stay with.
Please feel free to email any comments or questions!  neuralizeHER@carolinarollergirls.com

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