Sunday, October 19, 2014

This is how I ROLE. What role do you play in your league?

 There are different roles in each league, and we all rotate through them at one time or another. Some of these roles are good ones to be in, but some are definitely pitfalls and should be avoided like the plague.

 1. The Bright Eyed Enthusiastic Newbie- Hopefully we all start out as the Bright Eyed Newbie! Newbies love derby, love going to all of the derby events, and have unbridled enthusiasm for all the derby things ever. They can be a little hard to swallow sometimes, if you're a weathered veteran, but they're good for the league and keep it going. Without bright eyed optimism, derby wouldn't exist.

2. The Chaperone- Anyone who has been a captain or on the board of directors in a league has felt like the chaperone on a school field trip. Does everyone have a buddy? Does everyone have their milk and snack? Did everyone go to the bathroom before we left for the trip? Did everyone make attendance? Did everyone do their volunteer work? Sometimes being the chaperone makes you crazy. It makes you not enjoy derby for a while, because you're always worried about someone not doing what they're supposed to be doing in the league. Smile chaperone, you were once one of the potential disasters.

3. The Hall Monitor- The Hall Monitor is always worrying about what everyone else is doing wrong or getting away with in the league. They watch the attendance sheet to make sure people have made attendance, know when people come in late to practices and exactly how much play time everyone gets compared to them. Being a hall monitor is tough on your psyche if you're always worried about what everyone else is doing, it's hard to concentrate on the positive things going on in your derby experience. If you constantly look for the negative in your league, you will find it; the one thing I've learned from writing my blog and having leagues contact me over the years is that there is no such thing as a perfect league. All leagues have issues, and it really depends on the season, and your particular point of view at the time.

4. The Cheerleader- Every league needs a cheerleader, and every league needs to know that the cheerleader may not be the best judge of skills. Cheerleaders always have something positive to say about everyone and everything. Their glasses aren't full, they're running over! Yea Derby!  If you're a cheerleader, you are essential for your league's spiritual health. Hooray! Just try not to blow too much smoke up people's asses. Some smoke is ok, and possibly necessary.

5. The Dodge Ball Coach- Some vets are like the coach from the Ben Stiller movie Dodge Ball. "If
I've been known to be the Dodge Ball coach.
you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball" style of advice and feedback comes from the Dodge Ball Coach, and sometimes it's a wee bit harsh to swallow; to be fair, the Dodge Ball Coach has probably forgotten more derby than most people have learned.  "When we learned how to hockey stop, they made us sprint at the wall full speed! That taught us how to stop in a hurry!" Yes, but how many people slammed into the wall? Actually, if you find yourself in the Dodge Ball Coach role, just remember that derby has changed, and mostly for the better. Have a sense of humor about surviving the crazy old times.

6. The Gifter- Some people in the derby world are just givers. They do crafts, they bake awesome foods and stuffs and they always remember a special occasion. I am in awe of the gifter, because I can barely remember my own birthday and I'm rarely able to think that far ahead and bring anything other than myself and gear to practice! Gifters always make me feel a little inadequate as a teammate. They just seem to be more in tune with people and social stuff than I am.

7. The Critic- The Critic has either been a leader in the league, or has never taken a position of authority, but BOY HOWDY do they have lots and lots of opinions! "You should have done this, or that." Critics like to criticize after a decision has been made, but rarely do they offer insight BEFORE the decision is made. If you're going to be in this role, please try to make suggestions before decisions are made; I know it's scary to offer the league an opinion that might be contrary to the leadership, but it's a good thing to speak up and share your ideas. I always get worried when a league doesn't allow people to express contrary opinions.

8. The Bleary Eyed Vet- The Bleary Eyed Vet is just trying to enjoy the remaining derby years she has left. She doesn't really want to learn new strategy, or skills; she wants to play the game she wants to play and have some fun while she finishes up her derby career. She can be a lot of good on a less competitive roster, but she can also be a detriment on a team trying to work on new strategies.

9. The Guest Star- I could have also called this role the "reoccurring character" but basically it's that league member who can't really commit to that many league practices at the moment. She pays her dues, does her volunteer duties, but can't really commit enough to make a roster. Everyone loves when she shows up, but we all know that it's not for good. Enjoy the Guest Star while she's there, but don't count on her for anything more than a few appearances.

10. The Martyr- My goodness, we've all been the martyr, haven't we?  "I do so much for this league and nobody appreciates it." I know I've been there, but leagues take a lot of work, and if you want to skate in a successful one, work has to get done. Unfortunately, when you find yourself in the Martyr position you are prime material for burning out. LEARN TO DELEGATE!!!!!! You can avoid martyrdom burnout if you aren't the one trying to do ALL THE JOBS EVER! Here's another thought, if you went around and asked most derby peeps who does a lot of work and gets no thanks in the league, many people would say "me!" It's all a matter of perspective.

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