Sunday, September 21, 2014

Are you a frustrated B team player?

Being a B team player is a mixed bag at best. I was on our Bootlegger team for a really long time, and I both loved and hated it at times. I mean, being a Bootlegger was some of the highest highs I've ever had in derby, as well as the lowest lows. Sometimes I miss being on our league's B-team, because those games can be truly magical and pure derby. There is no pressure for rankings, and generally the pressure level is lower than with sanctioned games, but even then, it can be completely frustrating to play on the B team.

The natural evolution of a b-teamer usually runs from just being happy to be on a more competitive
My B-team tattoo
team, to being a competent player on the roster, to being a stand out player on the roster. When you start making waves on the B team, you might catch the eyes of your A team captains, and get invited to train up with your A team. And here is where things can get a little frustrating for the B-teamer.

Yes, you read that correctly. The problems start when the advanced B-teamer starts training with the A team. The B-teamers learns to work with higher level skaters, figures out strategies and plays and then has to go back and play with the B team again, where the abilities of the skaters to understand strategy will not be on par with the A team.  It can be incredibly frustrating to be someone who has learned to use a certain strategy the rest of the team doesn't know.

I experienced this after a couple of years in derby; I was learning strategies that I wanted the B team to use, but since the B team has such a wide range of skill levels, and sometimes a giant range of commitment levels, it can be hard to remind yourself that not everyone is able to  and remain calm. I ended up getting seriously frustrated with my fellow B-teamers, and at times I probably came across like a giant asshole when I yelled at someone or let my frustrations be known to my team, especially if we were scrimmaging against the A-team. I know I did not want to be a jerk on the track, but derby sometimes has ways of pushing all of those asshole buttons you try to keep to yourself, doesn't it?

If you find yourself in this situation, how can you deal with it?

1. Keep your cool. First of all, if you can't control your temper, you're not doing yourself any favors as a player, and you're definitely not doing your team any favors either. Take a deep breath, center yourself, and accept that playing with the B team isn't going to go the same way as playing with the A team.

2. Don't try to herd all of the cats. Just because you have more experience, doesn't mean you can control every player on the track. Don't even try. Work with your walls and line ups, and play your best. You can't be effective as a player if you're trying to micromanage your teammates.

3. Don't be condescending. Nobody wants to play with a condescending dick head. That's just a fact, and even if you express your frustrations to the A team and not the B team, you're going to look like a jerk. Don't do it. Smile. Have fun, and enjoy yourself. You love derby, otherwise you wouldn't be sacrificing all of that time and effort to do it. Every game is an opportunity, whether it be for the A or B teams.

1 comment:

  1. REALLY needed to read this. Your posts always hit home with me. Please don't ever stop writing.