Sunday, October 27, 2013

Being involved in derby - part 2: Coaching

Being involved in derby 
Roller derby can take over your life. It can and with me it pretty much has. In the first place I am a skater, but I do a lot of stuff in and around derby that doesn't have to do with playing directly. That's why I want to talk about the other ways that I am involved in derby and what I take from it. The first one I wrote was about being an official. This time I will write about coaching. 

Picture by Jurgen Rijsdijk

I started coaching before I even really knew that much about derby myself. When I was barely skating for 6 months I got in touch with a few girls starting a league in my home town of Utrecht. I met up with them and before I knew it I was trying to teach them whatever I learned from my own coaches. 
Without really realizing it I started coaching other skaters. 
This was back in July 2010. Now October 2013 I am coaching on a regular basis. Last season me and Hurricane Hayles started coaching our b-team; the Amsterdam Derby Dames B.ADD girls. 
Also I started running our scrimmage practice every other week with a hour of drills. I really started to get a taste for coaching. 
This season I'm coaching our b-team by my self, of course with the help of other skaters in our league, but unfortunately I have to do this without the lovely Hurricane Hayles as she has moved to the UK...  :(

Bench coaching our B.ADD girls.
Picture by Jurgen Rijsdijk

Coaching our B.ADD girls brings me so much joy. Its cool to be able to work with a team every week, and work on skaters individual strengths and weaknesses. Getting to know the girls better and understanding their individual coaching needs. Then seeing them grow as a team and play together and coach them during their games, is just icing on the top. You can see that all their hard work paid off and it fills me up with such utter pride. I am super stoked for this season for the B.ADD girls, as there are now 18 players and they will be participating in the very first National Championships. And I can see they are working their asses off to show everybody what they are made off.

Bench coaching the Northern Lightning Roller Girls at their game vs East Side Rock n Rollers
Picture by Jerry Vinkel

Last year me and Fist Fucker coached the Rotterdam Death Row Honeys before and during their very first bout. It was a lot of fun working with a team that isn't your own. Seeing their possibilities with a fresh and objective eye and trying to make sure they work hard to the best they can be.
Since then I have also coached the Northern Lighting Roller Girls from Groningen and the Dutch National Men's team. And I really enjoy benching. Its fun.

Teaching people new skills and strategies is great and I really love it when you see that something is "clicking" and they really get it. As a skater I have experienced this myself with different coaches. And it's such a joy to have that "clicking moment" and as I coach I really enjoy trying to make this happen.
It's so funny tho as I never expected to be this invested in any sport as a participant, let alone as a coach. 

I've been really lucky that so many people have given me the opportunity to coach. As I feel I have gotten better and better each time. I learn so much from coaching, and try to take what I learn and improve for the next time.

- Furrrocious