1) What pump up song plays in your head when you take the track? I like to listen to #1 by nelly hahahaha 2) What is your favorite city to travel to play derby in? Seattle, the city is awesome and the puget sound guys are a fun team to play against 3) Who is your favorite WFTDA skater and why? Crowe, she skates for the San Diego roller derby starlettes. One has tag says it all #croweknows hahaha the world will know about her soon enough. 4) When the team travels, which team mate(s) do you room with? I room with a couple of my favorites waterboy, boo, Bobby light and my bestie MO oweuone 5) Which MRDA skater pushes you to be better [because they’ve beaten you in the past]? B Stang for sure, I have skated with him and around him since we were young. He’s always been a step ahead of the rest. I work for him now and I use all that time with him to gain knowledge. In my opinion he’s the best skater in the world. 6) What is your favorite post-bout food? I always order a pitcher of shirley temple hahaha
1) What pump up song plays in your head when you take the track? How we roll (fast five soundtrack) 2) What is your favorite city to travel to play derby in? Ft Wayne. Just because we have been there so many times for spring roll I can drive around without gps. 3) Who is your favorite WFTDA skater and why? Ms. Jaxem [Erin Jackson of Jacksonville Rollergirls]. She grew up in my home rink and seeing her go from rink rat to world champion speed skater and arguably the best jammer in wftda is awesome! 4) When the team travels, which team mate(s) do you room with? I normally room with Chef, Bratz, or Moseley. 5) Which MRDA skater pushes you to be better [because they’ve beaten you in the past]? I wouldnt say a particular skater, but Texas men’s has really impressed me this season and shown what hard work and practice can do. 6) What is your favorite post-bout food? If it’s a tournament weekend, the Tour of Italy. It’s a team thing! Carb load!! 😀
The Aftershocks are generally an unknown in the MRDA.They played (and lost) to Puget earlier this season, but their roster has gradually increased with talent over the year. Magic City returns to Champs this year, and they are hungry to prove that they belong in the Top 5.
Both teams play with speed, and both teams prefer a face-to-face blocking game to rotating walls. The Aftershocks have world champions B Stang and Just Mike from Your Mom on their squad, and they bring high level experience to the squad.However, Streak has been ‘getting the band back together’ all year in Jacksonville, you can expect to see the unnecessary spins and extreme lateral coverage that has made MCM a fun team to watch.
East Coast versus West Coast happens on WFTDA.tv at 11am CST on October 17, 2015.
There’s been a “12 Reasons you should watch roller derby” buzzfeed article floating around. Guess what, folks? Some of it they got right! Some of it they got eeeehhhhh…..
So I’m rebooting this blog! It was one my first popular article on Examiner.I’ve re-written some of the explanations, but I’ve kept the headlines the same. 2010 derby or 2015 derby, these are still the 10 reasons you should watch roller derby. (PS Most derby leagues still don’t have seating, so you may want to pick up a Coleman Stadium Seat for your comfort at the game.)
The WOW factor How many of your friends watch roller derby? If the answer is “many”, then maybe there is something to this. Maybe they have an in on something. If your answer is “none”, you can introduce your circle to the fast-growing sport on the planet. How cool does that make you look? Roller derby is a completely unique, high-impact sport that is totally inclusive of age, gender, nationality, etc. It is an international phenomenon that grows every year. In 2018, the third Roller Derby World Cup took place in Manchester, England, hosting 38 countries, including the Czech Republic, Korea, and West Indies. Barcelona is the stage for the third Men’s Roller Derby World Cup in April 2018, where 24 teams, including Japan, Chile, and Denmark will compete. The speed, power, and finesse on 8 wheels is enough to keep you entertained, even if your local team isn’t allowed to sell beer!
The social works of derby teams Roller derby teams are often non-profit organizations themselves; regardless you will find your local teams out at charity events and raising money for good causes at their home bouts. Tens of thousands of dollars have been raised worldwide for charities. Whether promoting suicide prevention, helping wounded animals, collecting for homeless shelters, promoting love as love, or helping a city rebuild after tragedy, derby has covered the spectrum of charitable causes. The Girls on Track Foundation was founded to keep young girls involved in the sport of roller derby, thus building their confidence, courage, and leadership skills. Locally, our own Tampa Roller Derby is involved with Big Cat Rescue and Girls on the Run,
Athletic prowess These are athletes. Teams practice between two and six times a week, and the participants work out beyond their practice limits. Yoga, crossfit, powerlifting, Spartan Races, aerial silks… the cross-training of roller derby knows no limits.
Impressed by your favorite hockey player doing fancy footwork and scoring points? Wait until you see Lil Slinky of Stockholm duck and dance through the pack effortlessly. Get hyped up by your favorite safety playing all over the field defense? You will love seeing Alli Kat Scratch of the Tampa Tantrums crush the hopes and dreams of her opponents. The feats of agility and pure strength are display at any game (whether it’s the 500-person strong Rose City Rollers or 20 strong Twin City Terrors).
“Any Given Sunday” Just like in any other mainstream sport, roller derby has the “any given Sunday” mantra. The Oly Rollers came out of nowhere in their first season as a WFTDA* team, and took the Hydra as the underdog. It is possible for any team to sweat and bleed their way to beating a giant of roller derby. Tournament play has seen a lot of international teams come in and shock the world with their undeniable strength. Teams from the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia have been doing damage in WFTDA and MRDA** rankings the past few years.
Less expensive than a movie date
An American movie date can easily breach $75 (IMAX anyone?), and if you’re counting dinner, you can bet on a night breaking $100. Yes, there are some games that offer beer or full entrees (thank you Charm City). Yes, buying merch from Tampa’s Wrecking Mall might up your final cost for the night. However, most teams still play in roller rinks with small concessions and bake sales. A derby date can easily stay under $30! Derby encourages interaction and conversation, whether you are with one person or a group, and it’s way better than sitting awkwardly in a dark theatre with your Tinder date. Bring them to derby!
Community! The roller derby community is a very inclusive place; if it’s a tailgate kind of game (you can check with the league on their event page ahead of time), get a group together and hang out in the parking lot. My first team was notorious for cookouts and beer trading in the parking lot of the Olympic Skating Center before games. Groups often mix and mingle. Don’t know what’s going on during the game? Ask the people beside you (or look for someone with a “Ask me about derby” sign). Regardless of the side you are rooting for, everyone is super friendly and inclusive. You will make friends in the fans, the refs, and the league members themselves. Labels and judgement have no place in our house, so come one, come all!
Direct interaction with athletes
How many sports teams offer one-on-one time with their athletes? Every game and after party is a meet and greet, and leagues host events throughout the year where you can meet your favorite skaters. You can catch up with league scores from those directly involved, and can really feel like a part of the organization even as a fan. Websites like Flat Track Stats even gives you chance to follow how your favorite travel teams are doing, even if the team hasn’t received official sanctioning ranking. With the popularity of tournaments growing in roller derby, keep your eyes peeled to your team’s social media, it’s likely their travel games will be live streamed at some point. Then you can even watch them from home.
Unique characters Mainstream sports are chuck full of big characters, and roller derby does not disappoint. Be warned: It is not make-up and fishnets. It is the heart, soul, blood and tears that they pour into their work that make these athletes into giants and idols. Big characters in derby are the big hits, the big jams, and acrobats on skates. Whether your team matches in black compression pants, or dons old school mis-matched DerbySkinz and stickers on helmets, you will see the personalities on and off skates. It’s not just the skaters that make the game exciting: The announcers of roller derby are some of the most colorful characters you can imagine. Plus they are super knowledgeable about the game, so make friends with them.
You might find a new love Skaters, refs, NSOs***, announcers, medics, and coaches have to come from somewhere. Often, they come from the audience. Fans, friends of the fans, and the munchkins of fans are the future of roller derby. Even if you never end up skating, your support is vital to your league. Being a fan and posting about the games, inviting your friends to the events, watching WFTDA.tv, watching the YouTube archives of bouts… it spreads the goodwill of derby to people outside of the community who may never have heard of derby before. Or, maybe they went to a game three years ago and “have been meaning to return”. Maybe you can be the one to remind them to spend a Saturday night at the rink.
It’s just plain FUN The excitement is infectious. Regardless of your familiarity with the sport, the skill and strength of roller derby pulls you in. It is impossible to resist cheering as your jammer breaks through the pack. Try not to flinch when your team knocks an apex jump out of the air. The more you learn about your league, the more fun you will have each game. BUT the only way to learn more is to actually go!
If you have been pushing off attending a roller derby bout, it’s time to get off of Facebook and head to the rink. Friends, excitement, and real social networks await you. Youtube offers some great fan tutorials, or wait until you get there and inquirein person. Spend some time at your local games. You’ll be cheering more than at a Marvel movie, you’ll get closer to the action than nosebleed seats at Lincoln Financial, and you will build relationships unlike anything else you have experienced before.
*Women’s Flat Track Derby Association
**Men’s Roller Derby Association
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What makes us want to be on a roller derby team?
I’ve been thinking about this topic for months. Tried writing a blog a few weeks ago and I couldn’t actually translate my feels into a coherent written structure. I’m not talking, “Why do we love the sport?” or “Why do we join a league?” But rather, what drives us all to make a travel team? Or be drafted to a home team?
Before my home league’s travel team votes on the charter, each skater gets to talk about what they had to offer, and why they wanted to be a part of the team. It was interesting to hear the answers from those dropping their name in the hat for the all-stars versus the b team. There was quite the difference in theme of statement from one team to the other. I realized that those going for the the all-stars had a much different theme of answer than those wanting to be on our b-team. It got me thinking more and more about WHY we want to play on teams so badly.
If you ask a derby skater why they want to be on a team, the most common answer you’ll probably get is: “I want to play in bouts!” (Or do I call them games in the blog now?) **winky face**
They want to travel. They want to play other opponents. They want to prove themselves. Playing in bouts is a bit about the attention of everyone watching you, but should also be about the practical applications of skills and drills. Bouts are the place we test ourselves against an opponent to see if we have improved. I have been on many teams at this point, and I can say that being in a bout means different things based on the culture your team builds.
Some teams value bouts strictly as ranking potential.
Some teams just want to enjoy the fun of the sport; including all that boutfitting, production shenanigans, and after parties offer up as they play against your family from a different city.
Some teams want to try out what they have been drilling in practice, to see how their strength and mobility have improved.
Some teams play bouts just to raise money in their home venue and have their friends and family come and watch them do the thing that they love.
Some teams work really well together on bout day, and everything is low stress and fun.
Some teams may work together, but tension runs so high that benches become explosive.
Maybe a team just has that one player that yells at refs or complains about calls, and because they’re a “superstar”, the behavior isn’t squashed. That behavior spreads to the rest of the team, and the bench becomes a 3 headed monster.
Maybe the bench coach is that one superstar yelling.
Or maybe everyone loves each other and the sport so much that everyone is just focused on the fun of the game.
I should mention that teams don’t always take the time to create a culture. Some are self-aware enough to create a mission statement of culture to promote and strive for. Most derby teams, I have seen, do not even understand that a culture has manifested through coaching habits, attendance enforcement, and superstar treatments. Sometimes an awesome derby culture of fun and support is born organically through individuals gathering for a common purpose. Too often, I have seen leagues succumb to the expectation that certain players get praise and playtime, and those players can do and say no wrong. Everyone else are plebeians and must fall in line and teach themselves.
If you just had an ‘ah-ha’ moment, recognizing that your team has not given itself a Culture Goal (or worse, you’re in one of those cancerous league situations!), maybe it’s time to sit with your steering committee and decide on some core values for the league and individual teams.
Many cultures have this idea rooted into their core values without realizing it: “You will play bouts when you are on the travel team, and we do this to play in bouts.” So the skater immediately begins lobbying for a spot on the travel team, despite dedication. Despite training. Despite safety. Despite their willingness to play on a team. Endgame, we are taught, is: PLAY IN BOUTS.
I have a radical suggestion for you, Roller Derby:
You should not want to be on a team to play bouts. You should want to be on a team to practice roller derby.
You should want to be on a team to PRACTICE roller derby.
What do I mean?
I mean we need to adjust our mindset.
Bouts are fun, yes. Bouts are what count towards our ranking, absolutely. Bouts are the culmination of our practice time and work together, yes. But it’s just 60 minutes on the clock.
I am not saying we should undervalue bouts, or want to play in them less. Rather, I think we all need to shift focus to being excited for practice time. Most of Roller Derby practices at least twice a week. You are spending far more time with your team in drill, skill, and endurance situations than you are in bout situations.
I do my best to not even worry when my next bout is, because my intensity does not change from practice to practice. I do not show up with different intentions or drive when I know a roster is being decided that night. Every practice is 110%. I pay for this time on the track, so I am going to love it and use it. If I am put on a roster, great! If I’m not, it’s OK because I have practice again Sunday night. I know I won’t be short on derby for the weekend.
Too often skaters put so high a priority on bout day that all they think about is making the roster. They show up just in time, and with just enough intensity to play in the bout. If we could shift the prevailing thought in roller derby to be less “BOUT DAY!!!” and more “PRACTICE DAY!!” think of how many people would value their drill time more? How much would attendance change?
Bout day is a priority because Roller Derby puts an emphasis on it.
To me it is just as fun and invigorating to stop Tazmaniac in a wall drill in practice, as it is to stop her in a bout day situation. Putting our focus on the awesome of practice means more excitement, which means more bodies, which means more opportunities for strategy and teamwork. Which will, unsurprisingly, lead to MORE SUCCESS ON BOUT DAY.
When practice time is the center of attention, you can focus on goals as an individual and as a team mate. You can put your energy into what is being practiced instead of worrying about making the next roster.
When your focus is practice, not bout day, you think about your daily cross training differently, and with the mind of making practice better. You know you’re going to be doing five minute jams at practice on Monday, so what can you do on your off day, Saturday, to improve your conditioning for it? Thinking about that every week builds into months and then years of cross training, almost by accident!
When you focus on practice, you get to struggle and laugh with all of your team mates in all the different situations. You get to love the sport and the nuance of the sport.
When our focus is bout day, we get caught up in the spotlight of it. We get caught up in the pressure of performance, but when we focus on practice day, we are all Superstars, and egos are left at the door because no one is watching. When our focus is practice, we work hard for two hours at a time. If we can work hard for two hours, we can definitely work hard for our piece of 60 minutes.
Practice is the proving ground for bout day.
Practice is where we get to push ourselves and learn.
Practice is where we get to high five our family and celebrate victories.
Practice is where we get to tell our friends that bad days happen, and that one bad practice will not equate to a lifetime of failure in the sport.
Practice is where we get to put our head down and do work.
If your heart doesn’t beat with excitement when prepping for training (sometimes up to 5 in a week), why are you in the sport?
Glory should come from within. Achievement should be felt when doing something awesome with your team mates. This is no longer an individual sport. No longer should we put the spotlight on those who have talent, who don’t come to practice or fundraisers or do committee work.The spotlight should be on the weekly warriors who sweat with each other and create the bonds that only practice time can.
Practice IS our sport. I feel like the leagues that recognize and promote that in their culture, have the most success over the long term.
Stop counting down to bout day. Start counting down to Monday.
For coaching and nutrition help for all athletes, or to ask questions, propose blog ideas, or just give feedback, leave me a comment, or drop me a line at DerbyAmerica@gmail.com. I’m always booking league coaching for all levels.
Like my EAT BIG PLAY BIG notes, this is not going to be a verbatim dissertation of what we went over, but more the bullet points of things we talked about and maybe some WHYs involved. We talked about nutrition too, but because I have my notes posted from EBPB up and running, why don’t you just check them out and get the full picture of the athletic nutrition.
WHAT I MEAN BY LIFTING WEIGHTS
Big lifts – Build all over strength and power, utilizes the full bar
Barbells – Build stabilization muscles and helps support big lifts, small movements, and quick twitch.
Free Weights – Barbells and bars; your body must do the work to keep things in place
Plate/Smith Machine – Training wheels; no real accurate measure of weight. Some plate machines are useful (like the leg extension) but usually you can pass by these.
Cable Machines – The baby of free weights and plate-loaded; there is some stabilization work done here.
Free weights and cables should be used as your supplemental workouts. Like your vitamin and protein supplements, they are the extra stuff you do to support the mainline of work. They should not be your primary form of ‘weight lifting’. Mostly because you’re not really lifting weights when you do them.
WHY SHOULD YOU WEIGHT LIFT?
The easy answer is: Because you play a contact sport.
Show me one contact sport that does not require their athletes to weight lift. If your coach tells you to do dry land drills, do you question? No. You question weight lifting because it’s different and new and super difficult. The resistance to lifting in roller derby is not because it’s not helpful or proven to advance skaters – it’s because it takes more effort to do it. And, honestly, it can be intimidating.
From the physics standpoint think of this reason why you should weight lift:
If you can only squat 130 pounds, that means you can only push that much weight (approximately) into your wheels. If you have someone who is 170 pounds hitting you, but you can only respond with 130 pounds – who is going to win?
This is a very basic, crude example, but hopefully you get the point.
Why bench press? I learned during Beat Me Halfway that if you have Magnum PIMP doing truck-and-trailer with you, your arms and core better be able to hold up to the resistance he’s giving you. If he then directs you into a full-speed Screecharound, your arms and body have to be able to deal with as much power as he’s putting into you to transfer to your skates, to transfer to Screecharound to take him all the way to the line.
(and also, I was so sore the next day)
If you can push a sled with 150 pounds on it, you can push through a link giving you 100 pounds of resistance.
WHAT IS CONDITIONING?
We talked a lot about lift days verse conditioning days.
Your lift days are just that. You’re picking up heavy weight. Your conditioning days involve cardio work, particularly HIIT. This is your tire flips, your hill runs, your wind sprints, your heavy plyometrics. If you do Crossfit, those WoDs should be your conditioning days … so the extra days. WoDs every day will not build your strength the way lift days will.
WHAT DOES THIS FEEL LIKE?
Like with derby, we have to adjust to a new feeling when we start weightlifting. If you’ve done plate machines in the past, then you are not used to what it feels like to have 180# on your back, or to pick up 200#.
It feels heavy. It feels miserable sometimes. It feels like you might hurt yourself. Just like it feels when you’re doing a new advanced skill on roller skates. Like those one foot “chomps” or one foot plows.. Picking your foot up and putting it down in front of you, with your toes turned in and your knees touching? That’s terrifying! I was sure I was going to break my leg. I didn’t. And you won’t break your shit just because it feels heavy.
It’s supposed to feel heavy. That’s the point.
DO I NEED SPECIAL GEAR?
I wear knee wraps because I can feel things shift around in my right knee when I squat and it’s weird and I don’t like it. With lighter weight, you don’t need belts, wraps, wrist grips. As you start lifting, talk to people around you about the gear they have. You’ll learn when you’ll need to get a belt, or if you want to get gloves.
Wear flat shoes or no shoes. Those weird toe shoes? They actually work really well for lifting. So do Chuck Taylors. So does nothing. Just like you wouldn’t buy Bonts for your first pair of skates, you shouldn’t go buy the special fit lifting shoes before you start lifting.
WHAT ARE THE LIFTS I SHOULD DO?
No questions asked you need to do:
Lifts that I think you should incorporate:
Sumo Deadlifts (or Sumo/Russian)
WHAT SUPPLEMENTAL LIFTS SHOULD I DO?
This one is tough. It depends on your programming. Ones that I make sure I incorporate:
Hanging Leg Raise
Bent Over Row
Lat Pull Down
WAIT – HOW DO I KNOW WHAT TO DO?
Guess what? More reading for you!! What I recommend to EVERYONE is to pick up Mark Rippietoe’s “STARTING STRENGTH”. There is an app you can download called 5x5Stronglifts that will help you through the whole process.
Here’s the idea that I can pass on to you that I started with… 5×5. So you’re doing 3 lifts each day, 5 times, 5 reps. This does not include your 5 rep warm-up. When my plan was set for me, we did one lift for the upper body, one for the back, one for the legs.
I then did 1 or 2 supplemental lists each day (unless I was crazy spent). Getting someone to help you set up a training plan around your skating schedule is awesome. I had a couple people helping me along the way. And don’t be afraid to tweak your schedule as you progress. After your first four weeks, you should be in a routine, but before that it’s ok to move things around and figure out what works best for you!
Learn form on your own through the BUFF DUDES series. They’re really a great, short series of tutorials.
HOW DO I KNOW HOW MUCH TO LIFT?
Again, having a friend that knows lifting is helpful here. If you don’t, go to your gym and find the biggest dude or lady who is both strong in the upper and lower body (or ask someone at the desk of who to ask), and humbly request help.
Think of it this way: If someone came up to you at an open skate and said, “Hey you look like you know what you’re doing. I’m trying to get into roller derby, but I don’t know how to plow stop, can you watch me real quick to help me?” You’re not going to tell them to fuck off. Lifters feel the same way about their sport. I promise they’ll be nice to you.
Step one is to find your personal record (PR), also known as your one rep max (1RM).
Do not plan on doing your 5×5 during max days. You also shouldn’t try to max out multiple workouts for the same body part. For example, don’t try to max out back squat and front squat on the same day.
To max out, do your warm up weight (people can help you figure out what that would be… for me, my deadlift warm up has ALWAYS been 135#, and my squat started at 100#, bench was 45# … these are good starting points). Do 5 reps. Your buddy can help you go up in weight. Do 3 reps. Then up in weight and do 1 rep until you can’t move it. Boom. 1RM.
Plugging these maxes into your 5×5 Stronglift app will create a nice little “oh this is what I lift today” guide for you. You can contact me if you want something more specific.
SO I JUST LIFT FOREVER NOW?
Things can change up, but yes, now you just lift. In a 5×5 program, I do like incorporating a deload week either on week 5 or 6. A deload week is when you do your lifts, but at 50% of your max. It gives your body a chance to recoup.
When I first started this program, I was going up in weight for some of my lifts each week, not up for others. The stronglift app helps you with that.
Setting goals will help keep you focused and your training tight so that way you don’t get bored.
You will plateau. You will have bad days at the bar. It happens. Just like derby. Sometimes you have enough sleep, you’re hydrated, you’ve eaten enough, and you just can’t squat the bar the way you did the week before. It’s ok. It happens. Seriously.
This can be new and can be scary. Just like derby. Don’t be put off from lifting by yourself because “You don’t want to hurt yourself”. There is just as much risk for injury in this sport as others. If you play derby, you know that you can have someone there with you, you can be in the process of being coached, and you can do one thing and still hurt yourself. Don’t fear injury for the sake of fearing injury.
You are probably not going parallel on your squats. If you have never squatted before, start with BOX SQUATS. Your new gym bro can find a good box for you. It should be low enough that when you sit on it, your legs create an angle lower than 90 degrees.
Your back is going to hurt. That’s because this will be the first time you’re fully using your back for a lift. All the time I hear “Oh man, my low back hurts! I must not be deadlifting right.” Or you’re deadlifting exactly right and you’re using muscles you never have before. Your back is going to hurt.
If your back is weak, your squats will suffer. “What?? But squats are a leg lift!” Yes, but the bar is on your back. So if you can’t support the bar, you can’t squat it. It’s possible that your squats may be lighter than what your legs can handle at first, because your back is not strong enough.
RECORD YOURSELF SO YOU CAN SELF-CRITIQUE AND GET NOTES FROM FRIENDS. It seems super narcissistic, but you can correct between sets sometimes! You can send the video to your friends from around the country and say “Hey is this parallel?” or “what am I doing wrong?”
When you’re lifting, EYES UP HIGH! Pick a spot towards the ceiling, look at it. Do not look side to side. Keep your weight on your heels, you should be able to wiggle your toes.
I think that’s about it!
Drop me a line if you want some extra help or have other questions about setting up your program. Your offseason program is going to be different than your in-season program, so I can help you with that stuff too. When in doubt, read books! 531, Beyond 531, and Starting Strength are the ones that have been recommended to me. Drop me a message at DerbyAmerica@gmail.com with questions or if you have anything you want me to address.
These notes are based on my outline from my Rollercon class. I know that we covered more in the question section than I may have included. Please, feel free to ask questions at the bottom of the blog or add notes in the bottom of other things we talked about. You can also contact me at DerbyAmerica@yahoo.com for other questions.
Also, I apologize for the formatting. WordPress has no love for Microsoft Word.
This seems like an obvious question, but many of us forget that sponsorship not just “brings in money” but it pays for bout production (including rental, tape, EMTs, hospitality, the paycheck for the teams that we bring in), travel costs and extras like banquets, gifts and that little slush fund to make sure we can pay our rink rental fee in case the vets forget to pay their dues again.
When approaching sponsorship, we must do so with an open mind, a willingness to work with others, a humility to accept outside ideas and an understanding that this is one of the hardest parts (and most crucial) of running a roller derby league. We are a business. We need to treat ourselves like one.
Identify What Your League Has to Offer
Physically – What can your league give sponsors? Examples: Ad space in the program, Pivot Line, Penalty Box, banners at home bouts, space in bathroom flyers during home bouts, webspace, social media placement, announcer spots, space on booty shorts, space in the middle of the track, scoreboard space … You are limited only by your imagination
Business-Wise – What are your metrics? Who is your audience? Who comes to your home bouts now, and who are you targeting to get to your home bouts? Do you market to specific neighborhoods? Age groups? You must be familiar with not only the demographics of your crowd/target market (where they live, how old they are) but the Ethnographic data as well (what are their hobbies, what do they value). If you have none, then it’s time to collect some data. Work with your marketing chair to determine these. Doing a quick online survey (where you ask derby girls to NOT fill out the information) could be a great way to get started on building metrics.
Do not overlook the importance of in kind donations.
Ask for the money first, but when a business cannot provide a check, ask if they can provide water for bouts, a spot for the after party, a basket to raffle, items for hospitality, etc.
Are you a 501c3 or an LLC?
LLCs cannot take donations, but you can sell ads. 501c3s cannot sell ads, but they can take donations. Check with your lawyers and rules to get the specific semantics involved in the legal mumbojumbo
Don’t focus on either packages OR ads, you must diversify to attract as many sponsors as possible
Ad sizes: Full Page, Half Page, Quarter Page, Eighth page (business card)
Prices should not simply double as the ad space doubles. A good starting point for ads is: Eighth $35, Quarter $50, Half $75, Full $100
Can you offer a $50 add-on for color ads? What about $25 to design the ad for the business?
Decide what payment forms you will accept – cash, check, Paypal are the good ways to start.
Look at your budget for the year to determine goals. Work with your Treasurer (at minimum) or your whole Board (at max) to look at the budget for expected expenses for the upcoming season. Projected travel trips, how much the team wants to commit to paying for skaters, any possible ref clinics or coach training that could come up, number of home bouts to cover, etc etc. If you do not have a budget, time to build one! From there, Set your sponsorship goal at least $1000 higher than your top range number. It’s better to shoot high and fall short.
Don’t know what to price your packages and ads at? Look at other sports teams in your area. Call up playhouses, baseball teams, high schools and get their package pricing guides. Do some research and see what your competition is offering for sponsorship.
You don’t need a brochure! Spending money on high quality printed materials may be an expense your league can do without. Can you put everything you need on a one-sheet of paper? If you have people who can speak well and sell the packages, let them do the selling. Don’t rely on your brochure to do the selling for you.
Get a printer to sponsor you! Then, your shiny sponsorship packet that your President insists you create will be much cheaper. Get an in kind trade, and see if they’ll print your bout posters and programs too.
Can’t get a printer sponsor? If you’re doing a black and white one sheet, approach local law offices. Ask them to print them for you in return for advertising space.
Work with the marketing department to create visuals
ELECTRONIC VERSIONS ARE NECESSARY!! Put them on your website and your social media sites for businesses to find easily.
Distributing materials & collecting money
Get your whole league involved. If that means establishing a requirement of $25 of ad space sold per quarter or $50 of ad space per year.
Create a list of ideal sponsors for the year. Have league members sign up to speak to specific sponsors (If they know someone in the business that should get priority).
Create a separate list where league members can list businesses where they have a contact already.
Do not let money get transferred through too many people. The sponsorship person can collect and deposit money and then immediately report deposits to treasurer. Creating a paper trail is key to prevent internal theft and money issues.
When league members are distributing materials, they should be briefed beforehand on a history of the league and of roller derby. (Some leagues require a public relations class before a skater is allowed to certify) If they don’t know the answer to a question, they should say that they don’t know the answer, but will find out for them.
Who is the info going to? If you know who your target market is, you know who you should be courting as sponsors. Decide ahead of time your stance on political groups, religious groups, sex-industry businesses, etc.
Decide league goals before you go any further. If you don’t know what the goal is, what are you fundraising for? Some goals could be to host more home bouts, to travel more, to have a big public event or tournament.
If your league members are already heavily involved in sponsorship, offer rewards for participation (lower banquet fees, money off of travel costs). If they refuse to be involved, make it a mandatory requirement.
Be creative, always be looking for the next sponsorship opportunity and don’t be afraid to ask for the sale!
Let me open this blog by saying that I do not want to go back to Pennsylvania. I’ve been in Melbourne, Florida for almost a week now and to say that I’m dreading going back is not that far away from the truth.
So while I’ve been in Florida there have been a lot of things happening. One is that my business seems to have hit some kind of speed up track. You know, like in RC Pro Am, when you would hit the arrows and suddenly you’d be going a lot faster?
**I couldn’t find an image of the RC Pro Am cars on the acceleration feature! #NESscreenshotFAIL**
So I have a lot of awesome new clients and new coaches and potential clients and potential coaches. It’s been an amazing ride while I’m down here. I’m so grateful for my coach, Krissy Krash. Without her, I would not have been brave enough to dive head first into this business. I would not have gotten awesome health results and would not be building a strong team of amazing people.
That being said, I know that she didn’t do it for me. I did it. I have taken the steps I needed to advance my business. I have talked to people. I have reached out and I have gotten results and SHARED them.
I honestly believe that ANYONE can be a successful health coach. I know that anyone could get the financial freedom they desire while helping people be healthy and happy. Not only am I getting to live the life I want, and am building to be a financial powerhouse, but I am impacting the lives of people as I do it.
You can’t ask for anything better.
Part of my job is to push myself physically. Most of you reading this know that I have injured my knee a couple times in the last two months. Well … I kind of made it owie again at my bouts in Richmond. I thought maybe it wasn’t healing. I thought maybe I was in trouble.
Now, I think that it just was still draining from my last big owie.
I’ve run 14 miles in the last 3 days. I’VE RUN 14 MILES IN THE LAST THREE DAYS!!!
I can’t even believe it!
My legs can’t either. Or my back. Or neck. In fact, the whole of me is pretty sore. I also got a bit sunburnt between the two runs and the day at the beach. Um. Totally worth it though. Because, you know. I was at the beach while my boyfriend was prepping for the snowfall.
I will say this though … If I didn’t know about my protein levels. If I hadn’t been eating my mini meals, hydrating, taking my multi, cell activator, Restore and Herbalifeline… I think I’d be in REAL trouble. I’m sore; not dead. I really thought I’d be dead.
I am so happy. I am getting to challenge myself. I can walk around in a bikini and not hide. I can go to practice tonight sore but energized. The tea concentrate is keeping me on my toes and alert. I have a ton of appointments in the next two days. I am building my team members.
I am changing lives. Mostly mine. I am so happy. Thank you to everyone who’s let me into their circle. Thank you for joining my tribe.
Now… if any of you have any tips for sore muscles … I’d love it if you would leave them in the comments section. ❤
Oh!! And don’t forget about the Fit for Summer Challenge that I have coming up on April 1!! It’s an 8 week challenge. I want to fill it with 100 people. Let’s get something mind blowing going on, people!!
“But I can’t lose weight or eat healthy when I’m traveling… it’s too hard!”
I call shenanigans.
I just got home from a three day debacle of an adventure. It was supposed to be a trip down to Virginia Beach to run an off skates clinic and nutrition class on Friday night, then a bout on Saturday in Richmond and a hangover bout in Richmond on Sunday.
Those things all happened, but thanks to the WORST traffic I’ve ever experienced Matthew (my boyfriend) and myself were trapped on I95 and 64 for an extra three hours on our trip to Virginia Beach. Then there was an hour trip to Richmond. Then the trip home from Richmond, to avoid the traffic… added an extra 2 hours.
Ok, so we stayed in hotels and we were in the car a lot. So what did we eat? Yes we ate out twice. However, it’s amazing what a little bit of preparation can do for you.
Step 1: BUY TWO COOLERS and a TON of ice packs.
Why two? Because you always think that one is going to be enough. It isn’t so just get two. The $50 investment will save you a ton of money and calories in the long run.
Step 2: Plan your meals out ahead of time
Yea, just like at home. If you know what you’re eating for your snacks, your meals and your pre- and post-workouts… well it makes life a whole lot happier.
Step 3: Don’t forget the protein
When you’re buying your food for the trip, think about your protein intake. Milk, cheese and yogurt handle themselves very well in those coolers you bought. Canned tuna comes in a pop top now. Many grocery stores have “bag your own trail mix” options. Get high protein/low sugar protein bars to snack on along the way. Bring celery and peanut butter. Being in a car or in a hotel does not justify potato chips and bagels. There are a lot of awesome foods that travel well that don’t require cooking. I also hard boiled half a dozen eggs to have in the cooler with me at all times.
I, personally, brought several shake mix canisters (I had milk and Matt has his almond milk), we both had our favorite flavor of Herbalife Beverage Mix as well as soy nut snacks and the Herbalife Meal Replacement Bars. So good for traveling!
Step 4: Get a water pitcher filter
My derby trips and overall travel has become so much happier since I did this. In preparation for Rollercon last summer, I saw a lot of threads saying “when you get to Vegas, go to the store and buy a TON of water! Make sure you do it quick before it sells out.” Well… I thought to myself, “that’s silly. There’s water in the hotel room. I’ll just bring a pitcher with a filter” … and I did.
I think my roommates since that revelation (Rosie the Retaliator, Treasure Chest, Rum n Choke, Laverne N Surly, Disaster Girl, Toxic Shock, Luna Kitty and LaLa Lionheart) would all attest that it’s been an amazing thing to have. Also – bring an electric tea kettle. It plugs into the wall and you can make tea without having to fuss with a hotel room coffee pot.
Step 5: When you go out to a restaurant think before you order
Being on vacation is awesome. Traveling can be cool. Like me, maybe the only time you get to eat out is when you’re traveling. I totally understand that you want to splurge. However, think about your goals. Think about what damage you could be doing in the long run if you order that 1 pound burger that was deep fried and topped with cheese, bacon and ranch that has the side of fries. Get the smaller burger. Or sub grilled chicken. Get a side of broccoli instead of fries. Add a salad on the front of your meal instead of cheese sticks.
Drink water with that glass of wine. Sip your drink. Chew 21 times before you swallow each bite. These are things that will slow you down so that you not only enjoy your meal, but you won’t shove everything in your face before you’ve even tasted it.
“BUT KHAOS! I’m flying… not driving”
Ok that one’s trickier. You could apply all of these steps to once you get wherever you are going however. Get a disposable cooler and some ice at a grocery store and buy your groceries while you’re there.
Again, make sure you pack your shake mix and vitamins in your carry on so that you have it in the terminal – you’ll only have to buy the milk. The Beverage Mix, LiftOff and Hydrate are also super handy to have in a carryon for mid-flight snacking and hydration. J
“BUT KHAOS! I’m staying at a resort with all you can eat EVERYTHING”
Just because you CAN eat it, doesn’t mean you should.
“BUT KHAOS! I want to eat it!”
Well, than ask yourself what you really want? If your goals are flexible enough to allow a five pound gain on vacation than I guess you’re going to do what you’re going to do. And that’s ok. But do not eat and slack on your program and then get upset or be surprised when your weight loss or training schedule gets a bit derailed.
Sadly, you can’t eat an entire buffet of bacon cupcakes for a week and then expect to be as rock solid and energetic by the time you get home.
Only you are responsible for you. No one is going to babysit you. No one is going to smack the cookie out of your hand. It’s all on you. If you want to achieve hard, lofty goals it means giving up some things. It means getting the broccoli instead of the french fries. It means making some tea concentrate in your mug instead of stopping (again) for coffee. You want to conquer your challenges (while saving cash ps) or you don’t. That’s all. Either way. We all still love you. We all still support you.
But this is about you. Not me. I’m just Khaos. I can give you the tools. If you use them… that’s up to you.
If you want some more tools … well… KGreyActiveNutrition@gmail.com …. and make sure