Derby Lessons from the Men’s Roller Derby World Cup

I recently got home from my latest gypsy romp in the world of roller derby, starting in Calgary, Alberta and ending in the grand Las Vegas derby mecca of RollerCon. I watched, I studied, I contemplated, I watched again. Not only did I learn a lot through watching the elite athletes from 20 nations, but it hit me in the derby feels. There was more than just tactic and technique I saw, and after a few weeks to let it all settle,  I wanted to share with you all things I realized through the adventure in Calgary. Editing note: Please excuse formatting inconsistency. WordPress continues to be the worst platform in which to write and create. 😀

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Fans during Finland v. England. Photo by John Hesse

Here are my take aways from the Men’s Roller Derby World Cup in Calgary, Alberta:

  1. Bashing the snot out of each other on the track isn’t always the most effective derby strategy – unless you can mix in control… then it’s highly successful

Germany, Argentina, Mexico, Finland, Italy – they are bruisers. They are teams with hard hits and fast feet. Their blockers will leave welts the size of a softball with ease. They play the “let’s kick their ass” game. Teams like USA, Canada, England, Scotland, Belgium are just as brutal and imposing, but there is a game play different: they beat their opponents to a slower speed and then catch them in a net of positional blocking. The successful teams at the World Cup were able to balance brutality and control.

Just trying to beat a jammer senseless alone often has the undesired result of pushing them forward and through the pack like a pinball. I watched many jammers face (what I call) a turnstile of blockers facing backwards. The blockers would, one at a time, take a ding at the jammer, who would rebound off the hit, regain their feet, collect the point and move onto the next. It wasn’t successful at stopping them, merely bounced them about a bit.

 

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Team USA is successful through their use of power to slow a target, and then controlled blocking to maintain power, as demonstrated by Percy Controll and Cory Pain

From a jammer perspective, the skaters who were able to use their shoulders like jack hammers to bully their way through a wall, around an edge, or to level a backwards blocker were the ones who scored a lot of points. AS LONG AS they had the footwork to capitalize on the hole. I would see jammers come in hot to a pack and use their shoulders to drill a hole, or duck to get around a pack, but without the proper burst to get past the blockers, they would end up as a smear on the concrete.

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Noblet comes in hot and uses his shoulders and power to push out the Japanese blocker. Photo by Brangwyn Jones
  1. Offense is a thing

If anyone from Puerto Rico or the Netherlands are reading this they’ll flash back to me LOSING MY MIND during NO-ffense. When blockers watch their jammers get beat to hell on power jams it makes me very protective of those jammers. Yes, sometimes they need to do it for themselves, but sometimes you need to stop the tough love thing and HELP. You have 30ish seconds with which to score as many points as humanly possible. “Blockers make points, jammers collect them.” (Smarty Pants) So go make some goddamn points!!!

Plus, you only have so many jammers. Protect them like they are delicate lilies; whether it’s day 1 of a 4 day tournament or the 7th and last game of the weekend.

 

  1. Americans are super lucky that the rest of the world speaks multiple languages.

So many times I had people come to the Elite booth that were from Europe (and not England) and they spoke fluent English. Actually, most of the teams were made up of people who spoke multiple languages. Every now and again I’d have someone come up who was not English speaker, and I felt dumb and lost. Dammit, Americans: Teach your kids multiple languages! I have made so many friends from the World Cup because they happen to speak my language.

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Myself and my new friends from The Netherlands (from left): YouPiler, Slaapzack, and Lone Star. Thank goodness the Dutch speak so many languages!!
  1. Champ UnKind and I agree: Uptown Funk should be played during every half time

Why? Having to do with #3, dancing breaks borders. There is nothing more phenomenal than a Sunday morning early bout and seeing participants from the Netherlands, Spain, and Puerto Rico grooving together. Hell, maybe if Uptown Funk was played in the streets we’d all love each other more because we’d see that we’re all the same. And we just wanna dance.

Want to see why? Check out the short video I shot. Nice moves, Spain!

  1. After hours, don’t trust the shirts on the backs of MRDA players

I kind of knew this already, but after several “Oops I’m an asshole” moments [that I was able to play off (thank you, white wine)] I learned to ask this question first: “Are you actually Flustercluck or is your jersey lying?”

Honestly, I love the tradition of swapping jerseys! It shows community and camaraderie that stretches across oceans. I kind of wish WFTDA skaters did this. A few of the men I talked to were confused as to why we don’t. Maybe we’re too protective over our kits. It’s a thing of pride and friendship to swap out at the end of a hard tournament with someone you respect. But yea, always ask if the person in the jersey is the one whose name is on the back.

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Disaster Chief (Puerto Rico) and Jamie Gray (Ireland) are lying to you.
  1. THE KEY TO SURVING THE LAVA AS A JAMMER….

Ok, so my big Sherlock mystery from this weekend has been this question: “Why are some jammers so successful taking outside lines, while others get splattered when they try to do [what seems to be] the same technique?”

As I have been re-watching games, I have spent most of my energy looking into this. The jammers of Team England, particularly Sully, Fish, Alien Al, and Giggity all were able to attack the lava (the absolute edge of the track/tape) and come out on the other side often unscathed. Meanwhile, teams like Italy and Japan had jammers that would attack in a similar style and get constantly recycled.

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Alien Al, yet again navigating the edges successfully; without heed to opponents or physics. Photo by John Hesse

The first thing I noticed as a difference is the acceleration going past engaging blockers. Team England jammers are excellent at bursting with speed a split second before passing opponents, which throws off the blocker’s timing. To achieve this, more pressure most be applied into a toe stop or edges as the blocker you’re attempting to pass is ALMOST hitting you. The chance of survival increases significantly when the burst is timed so, while other jammers would get flattened for their hesitation.

The second part that I noticed (and it was Finland that helped me realize), is that many jammers turn their hips to open into a transition a moment too soon. The result is that they are trying to get past a blocker either A) after they have completed their turn, so their hips are a wider target to the incoming blocker or B) After the momentum from the torque of their initial turn has been lost, so the jammer does not have enough energy to counterblock the energy being put into them by the blocker.

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Sully turns his hips to curve around the Finland blocker and (what photos can’t show you), pops off of the planted to stop to snap his hips around the wall before they can push him out. Photo by John Hesse

Ok, let me say that again:

If you turn too early, your hips are going to be square to the track and you’ll be skating in the opposite direction, when you are hit. OR if you turn too early, you will have lost extra energy you gain while spinning. When you are driving, and you make a sudden, sharp turn you feel the inertia playing on your body, right? You feel more force driving you, don’t you? (Protip: It’s not centrifugal that’s a made up word). That’s angular acceleration, and you want more of that happening when Optimus Grime is coming at you full force with dreams of Gold shining in his eyes. Want to know more about the physics I’m talking about? Just go watch this video.

When you watch game play these are minuscule adjustments. I can only guess that the timing change comes through diligence, IMMENSE body control, brevity, and a squad of mercenaries to practice against. Rolling off a hit from Sutton Impact hurts a lot less than taking it square in the ribs, so your body learns and adapts.

^ It may seem to you a basic realization, but finally seeing it with my own eyes made a world of difference. Now to practice it………

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Poupa Test of France hits his toe stops hard before shuffling further. Photo by Orel Kichigai
  1. International superstars don’t mean everything to a team

Who wasn’t dazzled by Sausarge Rolls, Bled Zepplin, Reaper, Pibe, or Tank? These are men known on the international stage. There were plenty of derby celebs dancing around at World Cup, infamous for their strength, smarts, and prowess. However, there were also a lot of teams with names unknown that pulled together when the time was right and stunned us all.

Mexico came out with skates blazing against Canada, causing everyone to rush to track 2 to see what was going on. Chile, after a hard time in their group play, stunned us all by beating Spain by double. Puerto Rico’s final game involved coming back from a 50 point difference, and holding the game to an 8 point differential at the end, even as 4 of their ‘star’ players fouled out from the game. It was awe-inspiring to watch a pack of 5 people who had barely known each other before the weekend, a few of whom had barely played entire derby bouts in their life, come together into strong defense and rally to keep Italy on their toes and out of bounds.

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Team Chile making a diamond against Team England. Don’t underestimate the ‘little guys’. Photo by John Hesse

Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium all played tremendous derby throughout the weekend. Some names rang familiar, but the world now has solid memory of skaters previously unknown to them. These teams came in without huge superstars, and played well together, and did amazing things on the track. They created new derby celebs in the likes of Ashby, Lt Damn, Optimus Grime, Track Vadar, Jones, Skate Plissken, Roche, and Trick or Threat. Ok and please know there are a TON more skaters that I want to recognize, but I don’t want this to become a blog of names ❤

The point is this: yes, having tried and true players on your team is awesome, but don't get hung up on them. I've seen too many teams panic when their star player can't make it to a game, or gets injured. Every single one of us can do amazing things when we pull together with our squad and work as a team. Don't undervalue 'the little guys' in your league. Lift them up and expect the best out of them, and they will give it.

 

  1. “You can either yell about the call or play derby. I suggest you play derby.”

I had to say/yell this at least 12 times during the Cup. Ok we all get peeved on rules stuff. We all see things happen or [not] get called that makes us go “DAFAQ REFS?” however when you’re in the middle of a jam, that is not the right time to stop what you’re doing to throw your hands in the air in disgust. Play the game. Control what you can control. You standing in the middle of the track signaling for a forearm penalty is not going to put the ref in the position to have seen it 5 seconds ago. Move on. Skate hard.

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Really, Disaster Chief? France isn’t going to take it easier on you! 😀 Photo by Orel Kichigai
  1. ONE HAND IS EVERYTHING

Dear folks who have mastered the ‘one hand out of bounds’ thing: TEACH ME YOUR GODDAMN JEDI WAYS. I know that a ton of folks have used this since the clarification came out. I was impressed by how many jammers got knocked backwards, caught themselves with one hand VERY out of bounds, only to regain their skates after the blocker had triumphantly removed themself from the ENTIRE PACK thinking a cut was imminent. The jammer, meanwhile, skates forward to freedom. I think Rollomite had the move patented by the end of the weekend.

WORK ON BALANCE PEOPLE! And back bridges apparently…

  1. Even if you don’t leave with a medal, you still win at the World Cup

The amount of stories of pride I’ve heard during the event and since brings tears to my eyes. The people who have met new friends, taken on derby legends, and scored little victories with a team of their nation is remarkable. The officials, photogs, announcers, vendors, EMTs, volunteers are not left unaffected. To watch Japan get their first win, to watch Argentina who were the little guys of 2014 finish 6th, witnessing Mexico coming out of the gate with something to prove, to see Australia unseat Canada on the podium, to see England give the USA a run for their money, to witness all the apex jumps, tremendous blocks, and incredible timing, to be in the room when so many proposals happened … it leaves a mark on you. Every person who was a part of the Men’s Roller Derby World Cup in Calgary, Alberta will have friends around the world for the rest of their lives. We took care of each other, cheered, danced, had our hearts broken, and triumphed as one.

If there’s anything I regret about the World Cup is that I couldn’t be on both tracks all the time, and there are some teams I didn’t get to watch as much as others. But that’s ok! 2018 isn’t far away. You should go like the Men’s Roller Derby World Cup on Facebook, and maybe host the next one…..

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Anita of the Netherlands. The face says it all. Photo by Brangwyn Jones
Thank you Chinook City Roller Derby. Thank you Roller Derby Elite. Thank you nations of the world. Thank you roller derby for being the best thing that has ever entered my life. It’s hard to believe that my World Cup experience was followed up by as equally of humbling of a RollerCon experience… but I think I’ll save that for another blog.
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Team Belgium during opening ceremonies just one of many teams super stoked to be there! Photo by John Hesse

Thank you to the photogs that let me use their work in this blog! Go visit Brangwyn Jones, Orel Kichigai, and John Hesse!!

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Canada was a fantastic host during the MRDWC, eh? Photo by John Hesse

Khaos Theory Blog is run completely off my own funds. Make a donation now to keep the blog going! 
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Kristie Grey (Merry Khaos) has been playing roller derby since 2009 and has coached almost as long. She has worked with over 20 leagues in 11 states, and five countries. She has coached on and off skates at Beat Me Halfway 2014 & RollerCon (2012-2015). She currently skates with Tampa Roller Derby. Active in health and wellness, she is an active Herbalife Health Coach, rock climber, and power lifter. For questions, booking, requests of topic, or help with a nutrition plan, message Khaos at DerbyAmerica@gmail.com

Continue reading “Derby Lessons from the Men’s Roller Derby World Cup”

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Creating your 90 day eating and cross training schedule

When talking to derby folk about nutrition I hear the same things over and over:

“I don’t know what to eat.”
“I don’t know when to eat”
“I try to eat healthy” OR “I eat terribly and I know it”
“I drink plenty of water” OR “I don’t drink water and I know it’s bad”

I’ve been doing this health coaching thing for a little while now and I can almost predict what people are going to say before they say it. It is part of why I’m so passionate about Derbalife – I want to help my friends answer questions.

Because honestly, it can be really confusing when you’re trying to figure all this out on your own! There are a billion fad diets and trends, and everyone has a different idea of how much you should eat and what you should eat. And then the SCHEDULING? WOOF. That can be rough.

meal prep

So, while my method isn’t perfect by any means, and there is still some trial and error that goes along with creating plans for yourself, I wanted to share with you what I have created for myself.

Some notes:

1) This is my 90 day plan. As I approach the end of 90 days, I will re-evaluate, tweak, and create a new 90 day plan (that won’t look too far off of this one, probably).

2) Bout weeks will change up my schedule. I will do a deload leg day on Thursday, and will rest at least a day and a half before a bout; more than that for a more competitive game, or for a weekend competition.

3) I have eased into this schedule. I did not just decide one day to work out this much. This has been a two and a half year process. Do not just try and hop into a two a day program. Work with a sports trainer if you’re unsure of how to plan out your cross training.

4) I have nothing to do other than work, train, and play/ref/watch derby. Do not look at my schedule and think “Wow. I could never do that.” **kick stones** “I guess I just won’t do anything”. No. That is not the point here. The point is to show you how you can break down every day of your week into an intentional plan.

Mon to Thurs

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So the first thing I did was color coding. I broke my day into half hour bite sized increments. Then I went through and blocked out the scheduled pieces: work time, drive time, practice time is all set. I can’t change them, so they go in first. From there, I could build my cross-training schedule. After that, my extra stuff could go in.

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Bruise Crew at The Blood Shed in Austin, TX, getting ready to play The Firing Squad. Practice times are not negotiable, so I make sure they’re a part of my plan before my plan has fully formed. Photo by TXRG

Once I could see what my days look like, I could build my meal plan. I know that when I work at Taco Bus I can only eat meals during certain times. I also know that I get employee meals. The goal is to eat every 2-3 hours, starting with eating within 30 minutes of waking up. I walked through my day, and found times that I thought I’d be able to eat. I typed in  what I thought would be good snacks and meals. I put in as many snacks and meals as I thought would hit my desired calorie count… which… originally… I thought was 2000 calories. As you can see, below, it is NOT 2000 calories.

So after I planned out Monday, then I went onto a calculator program on If It Fits Your Macros. When you walk through the calculator, I always encourage people to use the athlete formula (since it factors in your exercise amount, not just your body fat). I, personally, am on a plan to help me gain conservatively. Everyone’s goals are different, and that’s ok! I would recommend, for derby athletes that you choose either the “Recommended” for WEIGHT LOSS, the MAINTAIN, or “Cautious” for WEIGHT GAIN.

PS Macros are : Fat/Protein/Carbs/Fiber. How I got my numbers? I’m 32 years old, 5’4”, and 145#, looking to GAIN CONSERVATIVELY and working out “everyday”. I also did the formula where I eat 1g of protein per 1# of body weight, .4g of fat per 1# of body weight, and I had it calculate for 7 meals a day.

Right, so it gave me numbers listed just below this paragraph. Next I went into FatSecret.com and plugged in the day I had planned out to see what it gave me. I found out that not only was I about 600 calories short, but I was 25g of fat short! Good fats are super critical for muscle creation and is also awesome for your joints and your brain. Once I saw that, I could go back through my Monday and adjust my meals! I had them broken down in my tracking program, so I could see that a snack only had 11g of protein and I could add some jerky to it to improve that. Or that a meal was only 150 calories, so I needed to add some avocado. 😀

workouts

I want everyone to know that while I am super excited about the above schedule of cross-training … I also get a little vomity looking at it. I am not a cardio kind of girl. If you know me, or have been keeping up with this blog, than you know that I would rather deadlift every day than run. EVAR. However, too high of a focus on weight training for too long can weigh someone like me down (especially since I cameo jam now and again). So I’m moving my focus to some explosiveness. On my lift days, I’m using a modified 5×5 program, that I have preached about in the past! More about lifting and 5×5 here.

You may look at this schedule and say, “But Khaos! You said that running for long distances doesn’t do much for derby!” And it is true. It doesn’t. However, my long endurance has been slipping since I am on a team that doesn’t do endurance practices. Since I am not doing a speed practice, I am utilizing my conditioning training to help keep my long distance endurance strong, which is linked to recovery over the course of a bout. (So it may not help me from jam to jam, but over the course of a whole game, I want my large muscles to still be able to respond.)

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How to build your meals?

Look at your macros, use your tracking devices to understand the compositions of your food. Whenever I eat, I make sure there is at least 10g of protein in what I’m eating. Otherwise I pick something else, or add protein to the thing I’m already eating. I also drink a gallon of water a day. I also take vitamins 3x a day. Doing those things helps to keep the metabolism running and helps your body absorb all the things you’re giving it!

Feel free to use my meals as a starting point! If you want specific help please feel free to message me at DerbyAmerica@gmail.com. I have a good bit of Herbalife in my personal plan, but I can help you figure things out for you with or without the Herbalifle. ^_^

It’s a lot. It’s confusing. It’s overwhelming. Break it down piece by piece. Map it out. Then, all you have to do it is follow it and be awesome! The nice side effect of mapping out your nutrition and fitness this way? You’ve just made a road map for your daily schedule. Watch your productivity go through the roof!! And don’t be afraid to schedule in “FUN TIME” or “TRAVEL TIME” or “READING”. Do it up! It’s your plan.

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How to RollerCon 2014 – Part 1

The return is imminent.

I have not had any caffeine in hours and yet my heart is racing as I start to write this blog. It’s coming. It’s almost here: ROLLERCON 2014! Starting next Monday, all the people who love derby from all over the world will be flying into Sin City for 5 days of scrimmages, bouts, seminars, on skates classes, off skates hell workouts, parties, karaoke, vagine, new technology, merch, picture taking, hero worshipping, dancing, new friends, olds friends, and the kind of frivolity that McGonagall would never approve of.

 [I tried to find a proper picture of Professor McGonagall for right here but I couldn’t. So this is what you get instead]

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Your guide to navigating Rollercon 2014 is here. I will do my best to share what I’ve learned in 2 very different years at the convention, and what you should be looking forward to as you and your 5000 closest friends over take The Riviera. This is just scratching the surface, it’s what has come to mind first. Part 1 is all about what you should bring and the surface level of the convention. The second part will get into some specifics about events and where you should be and what you should check out!

SOME BASIC TERMS (some of these seem silly, but if you’ve never been there before)

Bout – Hour long derby, and they always take place on the main track (there are two side tracks as well. Not sure what their names are going to be yet)
Challenge – 30 minute derby with no half time
Drop-in – When you are pulled in for a challenge bout right before the damn thing is about to start.
Top of the Riv (ToR) – The ballroom at the top of the Monaco Tower; off skates trainings and most parties happen here
Dicks – The volunteers that are keeping the convention running smoothly (buy them drinks or be one yourself! Go here: http://rollercon.com/help-wanted/ for more information)
Seminar – The Seminars are different from off skate training; these are business classes and round tables and very beneficial for the back end of your derby life
Off skates – Bring sneakers and water – it’s training time!
PODO – Pants Off Dance Off. It’s a thing.
SkyBox – Each full length bout has SkyBox tickets that you can purchase for an extra fee, so that you have a bird’s eye view of all the action and you don’t have to fight for a seat in the bleachers.
DefCon – This is the “Security” **cough**  hacker  **cough** convention that is in town the same time as RC. It’s fun to play “Spot the Defcon guy” at Black n Blue. As a sidenote, if you get anything from DefCon or from your friend that goes to it, make sure you know what it is before you try and cross international lines with it. #JustSaying

rollercon

NOW WHAT?

You’ve made the decision to hit Vegas. AWESOME! Before the fun begins, the planning has to happen. Even the most experienced RollerConners will feel a sense of “HOLY SHIT IT’S ROLLERCON”. It is sensory overload from the moment you walk through the doors of the Riv. Here are some things I have learned over the years that make it a little easier.

1) Don’t overpack. It’s tempting to. You don’t need 10 sets of wheels. You don’t need 10 dresses. You don’t need 7 bathing suits. Yes, there are special things you’re going to want to pack, so make it easy on yourself and bring the basics for the rest of your stay. Besides, inevitably you’re going to get stuff AT the Con that you’ll need to fit into that suitcase. There is one thing you’re allowed to overpack…

Last year my RC experience started on the plane when I happened to have the seat next to YMMRD skater Dirty Larry. He still talks to me, so I must not have annoyed him too badly

2) Bring blank colored tops. If you plan on being a drop in, you cannot count on getting to use your own number. Check out the challenge bout schedule (http://rollercon.com/calendars/bouts-challenges/) and figure out what colors are going to be playing when you are going to be available. Bring shirts of those colors with no numbers and bring a thick black sharpie to write with! If you’re bringing black, you may want to invest in a WHITE OUT or WHITE FABRIC PAINT PEN. #protip

3) Do not ignore your nutrition. You still need to eat 6-8 times a day. You still need to drink a minimum of 3/4s of your body weight (pounds), in ounces, of water per day. When in doubt, drink a gallon!! The recycled air, the heat, the exercising, the excitement – it all takes a toll on your body. You need water. You need VITAMINS. You need protein. You need all the things you do in normal life x5. (If you want or need extra guidance on this, drop me a line at DerbyAmerica@yahoo.com … there’s a reason DERBALIFE is super popular at RollerCon each year, and I’m still taking pre-orders for the supplements that will get you through the week).

READY FOR ROLLERCON

4) Pack equipment for the hotel room. Yes, during the Con, there is access to water coolers. However, you’d be surprised how much time you DON’T spend around those coolers. Having a water pitcher filter in your hotel room can really save you. I also bring an electric tea kettle so I can make tea, coffee, hard boiled eggs, soup, etc etc in my room. Box stores will usually have decent ones for $10-$20. If you can’t find a wide mouth kettle, a personal crock pot will work well too. If you don’t want to lug it in your suitcase, and you haven’t bought one yet, just have it shipped TO the Riv. Just remember to leave some space in that bag!

5) Hitch a ride to the grocery store as soon as possible. Many of us fly in a day or two early so that we can do our pre-con prep. That includes finding someone with a rental car and getting to the grocery store. The food available within the con is acceptable and the food court food is excellent, but it adds up quick. Most of us would rather buy that Pivot Star shirt than have to save money for another meal, so go to the store! If you have a fridge, get milk, eggs (assuming you have something to cook them in), lunch meat, pre-cooked chicken, and yogurt. No fridge? Jerky, pre-cooked rice, pre-cooked soups and Indian food, trail mix, apples, and protein bars (at least 7g of protein in them, please) are great to keep in your room! You can do food at the con for cheap. That’s something else I can really help you with if you need it: Derbyamerica@yahoo.com if you need help making a plan.

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6) Branch away from your league. If you don’t know many people outside of your league, use the forums, the lines, the vendor rooms as an exercise in networking. Be friendly, ask people questions, and get to know the other people in your community. You never know when it will be helpful down the road, plus who doesn’t love having extended family across the globe?

Last year my RC experience started on the plane when I happened to have the seat next to YMMRD skater Dirty Larry. He still talks to me, so I must not have annoyed him too badly
Last year my RC experience started on the plane when I happened to have the seat next to YMMRD skater Dirty Larry. He still talks to me, so I must not have annoyed him too badly

 

7) Look at the schedules beforehand, but don’t overcommit yourself. Allow some flexibility in your schedule. Even pros will decide they’re going to do too much, too often and burn out quickly. Especially if you haven’t been taking care of yourself leading up to the con! You’re going to want to take all the classes, but you’re going to have to wait in line for the classes, you’re going to want to grab lunch with new friends, you’ll get sucked into DerbySkinz room for longer than you thought, you’ll notice a bout  you wanted to see, you’ll get asked to be IN a bout randomly… there’s a lot going on. Schedule, but be flexible.

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8) Other Packing Necessities: CHAP STICK, Water bottle, Sharpies (label your shit), money/card clips are super handy, sunscreen, comfortable shoes, sneakers, outdoor wheels, skate tool, bearing lube, notebook and plenty of pens, shirts that you may want to have heat pressed, things you may want to have signed by your derby idols.

11) Sleep. No seriously. Don’t be afraid to escape back to your room for a mid-afternoon recharge. It’s kind of awesome to do it actually. Especially if you’re planning on being up all night at the parties.

10) Become aware of SkateSafe. This is a rad group of individuals that are out to raise awareness and help us make better decisions in an environment that encourages bad ones. I could go over it here, but why don’t you just visit the page and take a look at the awesome tips and suggestions: http://rollercon.com/about/skatesafe/

11) Alcohol is fun, but alcohol and skating don’t mix. Most of us have practiced hungover. It’s not fun. Pace yourself. And never EVER have a drink before you get on your skates! Wait until your athletic fun is done for the day before you pour your libations.

This is going to be one of the most awesome, overwhelming weeks of your life. One more tip, and be on the lookout of part TWO of “How to RollerCon”:

12) Don’t throw your wallet on the ground repeatedly as a joke. You can do it once or twice, but that’s really it. You will lose your credit card. Right Julius Pleaser? “WORST ROLLERCON EVER!”

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