Sunday, August 9, 2015

Do you suffer from Gambler's Syndrome?

The other week, on my podcast, Beth Row and I started discussing how you deal with derby egos, in your teammates and yourself. What makes people feel like they are so amazing, that they won't listen to feedback from coaches, refs or teammates? What came out of my mouth surprised me a little, because it was one of those things I have been thinking about, but sometimes you need to hear it out loud before it really gets cemented in place. The words that came out of my mouth were, "Some players suffer from Gambler's Syndrome."

WTF is Gambler's Syndrome?

I'm glad you asked, Citizen, because I basically made it up last week. Meaning, I haven't really found anything specifically about this thought process on teh interwebs, but I know it exists because I see people falling for it over and over again. Hard core gamblers fall for it, fans fall for it, coaches fall for it, and derby players who don't sit down and analyze their style of play, statistics and footage, fall for it. It's the fallacy that the one good thing the player did on the track makes them excellent. It may be one hit, or one apex jump, or one grand slam in a game of several errors.

I drew this for Bambi. She doesn't suffer from GS.
Gambler's Syndrome comes in two flavors, positive and negative. We all suffer a bit from Gambler's Syndrome, but we don't all suffer from it in the same extreme. Some people tend to remember what they want, and sometimes we like to color the world with rainbows and glitter farting unicorns. They remember their one great hit they did in a game, but they don't remember all of the times they weren't paying attention on the track, or left their walls when they shouldn't have. All these people remember is how awesome that hit was, therefor, they are always awesome...in their heads.

On the other side of the coin, you have people who remember only the one-time mistakes others make. Say you were skating in a game and you got a forearm penalty. The coach or your teammate who suffers from the negative version of Gambler's Syndrome will latch on to that one penalty, and now you will be always known as the player who has a problem with forearms. Isn't it funny how that works? No, it's really not, but I had to say it.

The only way to combat Gambler's Syndrome, either the positive or the negative version, is to study footage with your team. When looking at footage, try and look for the trends you and each of your teammates have on the track. Is the team leaving the inside line open? What are the majority of the team's penalties? Does your team take advantage of the pack definitions? Do they have good track awareness? What do they do consistently well?  Is your team a defensive machine? Watching footage with your team constructively, will help clear out some of that Gambler's Syndrome from your league!

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2 comments:

  1. I had no idea how slow I was until I watched a video of myself years ago. Now I make my crossovers bigger and it has made a huge difference.

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