Monday, March 4, 2013

Plateauing and Feeling Invisible

Okay, so this is a really tough subject to talk about but if you have ever felt this way I want you to know you are not alone. If you are reading this blog looking for an easy solution or a reason to justify bitching, just stop reading because you won't find and you will be just wasting your time. The things below may not work for everybody but it works for me and may help others

So when you join roller derby, its all new, exciting and considering where you started from you progress is exponentially, and you can see it every time you put on your skates.

After a while a couple things may happen
-you become the best skater on you league
-you become a pretty good skater for your league and begin to think your leagues training is holding you back from progressing, making you slightly cocky
-you don't feel like your getting any better

If any or all of the above have ever happened to you, you can take try and take a leadership position with training in your league, or move to a bigger, more competitive league. I moved to a city with some of the best leagues in the world and "tried my hand" in the big leagues. After skating with my league (with 70 or so bouting skaters and currently 5 hometeams), I have realized the grass is not always easier on the other side, but it makes me realized how hard I have to work to progress to even keep up with my teammates and how much my heart loves the sport of roller derby. I often feel overshadowed and invisible on the track when I remember all that is important, ITS NOT ABOUT ME as an individual, its about what i can do for my team with a group. MANNNN what a tough pill to swallow sometimes. Its about not the glory of the win,but the mental and physical journey to success that makes you a better person and better teammate. I have been coming up with ways to help me get better as a skater and make me feel better as well.

Prioritizing- as much as i want to be awesome at roller derby, it will not pay my bills. The girls on my league that are "over night successes" work their asses off 4-7 nights a week and sacrifice a ton of stuff, I am not willing to do that. My current priorities are my relationships with my loved ones(including family,boyfriend and dogs), my financial health (paying off my credit card debts, and having grown up insurance by working two jobs), and then my roller derby career. Unless I want to sacrifice any of the first two, I am just going to have to be happy where I am and work as hard as a I can when I am able to be on the track.

Making meaningful relationships on the track-I may not be the best skater on my league but I am one of the biggest and am really nice. If I am having a rough time, I have no problem asking one of the more skilled players for tips and help. I also mimic effective skaters with my similar body shape, they are doing something right to be effective.

Know You Weakness(es) and find fun ways to work on them- mine are currently agility, footwork, control and lack of explosiveness. And honestly I am not terrible but I am always wanting to get better. Our league had a fun jam(DANCE not Derby) skate practice last Friday, man talk about control!!! Because your not rolling, its all core and control. So know when I have a moment I am working on that stuff because after one focused session of that I feel more skilled and aware when I am rolling.

Take and Give Compliments, and be open about taking criticism- If you notice one of your teammates giving you "the business" more than usual: don't get mad, be glad she is ultimately on your team and tell her. Something easy and funny like " holy smokes, don't be so awesome Im having a hard time getting around you", or "Don't be so good". This not only helps build your teammate up but also gives credit where credit is due. Some unclear compliments in roller derby are when the opposing teams assign one of their uber skilled players to "man on man" you, I know it makes your job tougher but you are getting better every time you play against her and they see you as a threat. With taking criticism about your game, consider the source and then take it from there, I have some really awesome teammates and if they mention to me something that I am doing that may not be legal, I pay attention and take notice.

Have Fun- I know this sounds crazy but sometimes but remember roller derby is fun, I would rather scrimmage with my friends then go have a girls night with cocktails, and I am not always going to have the best days on the track but then I just get silly with my teammates or start dancing.

In closing, remember you are not alone and everyone reaches a plateau, you just have to find a way to work harder and make sacrifices, or be happy with you place in the sun. Ultimately, you may not be a star player but if you leave roller derby a better person than when you started, then the sport and the communtity is doing its job.  If you need a a little encouragement feel free to email me

Peace Love and Roller Derby
Randi Maehym
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Monday, March 19, 2012

The Wheel Great Collaboration


Randi Maehym here. I am a derby girl 1st and a sales rep 2nd(for better or for worse), I get alot of wheel questions and have decided to put together a database of what works for what skaters on ALL surfaces. It started with just SkateCourt, but while Im at it, I might as well as know what works for all derby surfaces. So I am starting the Wheel Great Collaboration(get it hehehehe). Most of the wheel companies have their own performance charts, but I want to know what works for actual skaters! This is our sport and we matter!

All of your opinions matter! I have put together this form for all skater to fill out. Please share with everyone derby you know.

I am hoping to have input from 2,000 to 5,000 skaters so please spread the word. My ultimate goal is to make tables of what wheels are preferred by what skaters based on weight, height and skill. I am so excited about this project!!!!!

Any suggestions or anything at all, please email me

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Body Lock- my new best friend in derby

HI Maehym here, I think I am getting access to the SkateCourt Floor Blog so i can finally talk about skating again.

I joined DRD about 4 months ago and my newest and most useful skill is the "body lock", bare with me because this is a little tough to explain in this format.

What is a body lock?
SO a Body Lock is positioning yourself in a place where you are in COMPLETE control of your opponent. The physical position of the "Body Lock" is where your ass is under your opponent's ass and you use your torso and your shoulder to wrap and hold on to them until you can steer them out of bounds. Does that make sense? I feel like Im more effective doing this to the out side (locking on opponents left side and using your right side to lock and pushing/steering them to the left. As with anything in derby you want to be able to do this to the inside and the outside.

How to do the body Lock?
To define this movement, start by yourself offskates and sit in your derby(yes get low) position and now to a side oblique crunch to the left and then to the right. Do you see the dip/curve your torso makes between your armpit and the top of your hip bone. That will be what you are using to "lock" on your opponent. Now you have to position the lock a little more forward, so your torso is a little more diagonally so you can lock her body from back to front. In this position she can't go anywhere .

The approach
SO this is what puzzled me for a couple weeks but my teammates helped me out with it. There is NO SWOOPING in this movement!!! You almost want to "sneak up" behind you opponent and target the back  outside of their glut muscle with your leg. Think of it as "docking" on her.  You should be low enough to scoop your ass right under her's slights or at least get the top outside part of your leg engaged with the target zone of her outside upper glut. As you engage with your legs, lean forward and "wrap/crunch" with your torso around her, and for goodness sake- DO NOT ENGAGE OR USE YOUR FOREARM OR YOUR ELBOW. with complete physical control of your opponent you can steer/push her out to take her out of the equation.

Thats the brief summary or the Body Lock according to what I learned w DRD

Uses-steer opponent out of bounds, basic control and ultimately toss them off their skates but I am still working on that part.

Some tipe and things to keep in mind
-if she sees you and firms up, bounce lower and get under her further
-you are using your femur as a fulcrum, so depending on how long your femur is compared to hers you may have to adjust where you need to "dock"' onto her. For example, my femurs are mega long so if my opponent is smaller my knee may be closer or infront of hers.

To see "the bounce" please check out this video with my pal Isabelle Ringer

Please email me and let me know your thoughts on this post or if I can make it clearer or if you have any questions

Thursday, October 6, 2011

FUNdraising- ways to maximize your leagues rev in the off season

Hi everyone,(not finished with this post but you may want to use these ideas sooner rather than later)

I have been working with a couple teams on fundraising and sponsorship coaching and thought it would be a good idea to make some of this stuff a bit more public

Holiday Party for your fans and a chance to sell season tickets for 2012 and sponsorships
There is a couple way to do this, if you have your own space or your rent a time in a rink this could be perfect. The idea is to have a family friendly holiday party for you fans and a chance to sell (discounted) season tickets for 2012. Some ideas to make the party less expensive is to have your sponsors donate the food, you may even want to have a silent option. Also have your sponsorship committee ready to go and information at the ready. The goal of this event is to socailize and meet all of your fans and thank them for their support. If you have the party at your practice rink, ask the owners of they could give a discount for skate orders received during this time and a commission that could go to your leagues rent.

Help out charities while maintaining  ALL your ticket rev
So we work out butts  off to promote bouts but we also need to support the community around us. Some leagues do this by offering discounted tickets if you support the charity, I think I have found a what of "having our cake and eating it too". I propose instead of giving a discounted ticket rate, you should offer priority seating instead. Rope off the best seating in your venue(about 30%or so) and have boxes located (and a derby girl to monitor) at the beginning of the seating area for your fans to deposit the donations they have brought. Seats are still first come first serve, but those with donations get priority. You are still supporting your community but lets face it if you have 1500 fans coming to your event, and 30% of your fans(450 ppl) bring a donations and receive $2 off per ticket. That's $900 off just the door sales.If your league can afford this, awesome but don't feel like the only way you can support a charity is to donate money. You also might want to have the charity set up their own table to raise awareness of their cause. They can even have a raffle with their own prizes and keep that revenue.
Here are some ideas
Area Pet Shelters-Donations of pet food, toys, litter, leashes and other pet necessities
Food Bank-Donations of nonperishable food
Homeless Shelters-Donations of slightly used outerwear(coats, sweaters)
Battered Womens Shelters- Donations of old cell phones
Low-Income Schools- Donations of new school supplies

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What can a SkateCourt do for your league?

Hola Maehym here,

SkateCourt may be the best investment your league could ever make. I know I am partial because I am the rep but I want to go through the numbers to explain my case.

Why go from rink to renting a bouting arena/facility? Portable flooring allows your league to skate in a facility larger than a rink whose capacity is between 300-500ppl at $10 a ticket equals $5,000 in gross ticket sales. With hard work on the promoting end, you can pack the venue with 2,000-5,000 fans at $10 a ticket equals $20,000 to $50,000.  It will cost more money to rent the venue, but even if the venue is $5,000 to $10,000 a bout(which is mega high btw). With 3-6 home bouts your team is well on its way to paying for the floor as well as being financially secure.

Renting out a venue means your league has more control over the residual income made at the bout?
My former league LowCountry Highrollers are one of the best in the country at sponsorship and bout production, this being a big reason.  When fans come to derby games, they are there not only to watch some derby but also to support your league. Residual bout income is not only merch but also anything else you team can come up with,
Some awesome ideas for residual bout income
-Fav Derby Girl Jars- take pics of all skaters(and refs too) and place the pics on the jars. Have the table set out in the entrance when all the fans come in and have the annoucer talk up the crowd to come and donate to your jar. At half time, the jars are counted. The skater with the most money in their jar is the king or queen of the bout. All the money goes back to the league, you may make $100-1000 but it is a really easy inexpensive way to fund more training or whatever your league may need.
-Half Time Contests- There are many ways to do this but the main focus is to get everyone involved. My fav idea for this is from Jersey Shore Roller Girls. It cost about $300 for the supplies but can make a bundle. Its called Chuck a Duck,  Your league orders about 200-500 rubber duckies from a party catalogue, number the ducks 1 through however many you have. You can have a party and have your league paint the ducks all crazy is you want to get saucey with it. At the bout, you will sell the duck one for $3 and two for $5. You also have a giant tarp that is painted  with a bulls-eye in the center. Roll the tarp out at half time, everyone comes and throws their ducks and the ducks closest to the target get a prize(that was donated by your sponsors). Its a way to keep the kids moving and tucker them out as well as make a lil money.
-Face Painting- self explanatory but at $5 a kids it starts adding up.
-Bake Sales during the bout-self explainatory, but $750-$1000 per bout is nothing to sneeze at

Larger venues mean you have more space to sell advertising and hang sponsorship banners
Your league now has more of a "sellable" appeal because your league is able to have 2,000 to 5,000 fans gather in one place. You have more to offer sponsors because now their company will be seen by more people.

Sell the floor space as advertising
WFTDA does is with Dr  Hauschka, you can get a large vinyl decal and has it as a perk for large sponsors like Pepsi or another company that has the $$$ to invest  in a fantastic revolutionary sport!!!

Rent the track out to other leagues
The floor normally leases or rents for $1,000-$2,000 per event/night and the renter pays for transport to and from where the floor is housed. If your league leases the floor out 20 times in 3 years, the renting fee has already paid for the floor.

SkateCourt holds its value well
Re-sale value of used floors is incredible and they hold up for 15-20yrs

How the FU&K does our league afford the SkateCourt in 1st place?
This one Im good at, I am a fundraising guru. Im actually going to school for this hehehehe.Please contact me directly and I will work with your league for fundraising,sponsorship and grant research. THIS IS WHAT I DO BEST besides skate., call me anytime, only time not available is when Im on the track and Ill call you back.

Please contact me if you want more info. Heres a link to our site for technical info

Hugs,Slugs and DerbyLuv
Randi Maehym
Head of Sponsorship,Denver Roller Dolls
Roller derby rep for skateCourt

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Big Hits dont win games, but I LUV BIG HITS

OK, Reality check time

So with the revolution of this game of ours has brought some of us to a revealtion,
Big hits are too risky, here's why
-to chase a big hit you leave your pack and your partner
-your more likely to go to the box, sometimes even clean big hits will land you in the sin bin for a min(not sayin it right just saying it happens)
-if you swing and miss, you've let the jammer sail by ya
-most times you need to accelerate prior to the hit increase the pack speed
-chances are even if you knock the jammer down, you're away from your pack and she is going to skate around ya
-you can screw up a strategy(the trap- if the girl is on the floor, shes not in play, so you have a split pack and have to rejoin, and your jammer will continue to get beat up)

BELIEVE ME, I love a sweet Juicy big hit, I dream about that shit, hell thats why I started to play derby. The reality is Roller Derby is game of control. My friend TranquLiza told me this when I just started skating, how right she was.

Roller derby is about being in control of
-Your mind
-Your body
-Your Skates
-Your pack
-The Opposing Jammer
-The Opposing Pack

This is one of the hardest lessons for me to learn but the Training &Recruiting Team with Denver Roller Dolls have done a great job in coaxing me into smart derby. We are nothing with out our packs!

Big Hits are still useful, but they need to be taken when
-the opportunity is right, dont chase it
-you are playing with your partner ie sit and hit
-your pack has an impenetrable wall up front and you're in the back with and opposing blocker and their jammer. Hit her out and have your whole pack run with you, carrying the other blocker.
-jammers-I love a big hit off the starting line!!! BUT DONT GO IN THE BOX

Friday, May 20, 2011

Im not getting any better-what the F*&k

Hi all,

So this is for the skater who feel like they are stuck in a rut and are not getting any better
This happens sometimes and you ask your coaches help you pin point the problem and they give you vague answers like agility,strength, awareness. I know this is frustrating but here are some things that help me "plateau-ing"
1. Check your skates-I know we cant all afford fancy new skates (including this girl) but there is some things that will drastically effect your agility and lateral motion.
                 your trucks-this is the rockstar part of your skates, its what your wheels are attached to. When you start learn to skate, they are really tight and the more comfortable you get on your skates, the more you can loosen them with a skate wrench. *If you have the Powerdyne Revenge plate, make sure they are not too loose(ie jingling), they are designed to "react" on their own and if they are too loose (ie jingling) they make get stuck in a certain position and  snap/break due to your weight on they. If you have good plates and bushings, they shouldn't jingle. This helps dramatically with lateral movement.
                 your bushings/cushions- these are the rubber circle things that are right under the nut when you are loosening your trucks. They are a cheap fix-$16 for a set of 8 and come in different degrees of "hardness" and slightly different shapes(conical or cylindrical). Depending on how "heavy" of a skater you are, I am 6ft and about 160 but I am on conical yellow cushions, they are pretty "hard/85A"
here is a link to Ivanna page for pic Your cushions/bushings should be replaced every 4-6months depending on how often you skate.
                  interior of your skates- the cushioning on the sole of your skates where your feet sit often gets worn out. It is preferable for your feet to "sit into" your skates and for the insole to mold to your feet. Easy fix is getting a cheap insole from Dr Scholls or any brand and cut them to the shape/size of your skate. These are pretty fancy ones-, but you get the idea. The snugger your feet are in your skate-the more control for have over them-the better you will play
                  Toestops-Check the height of them, if your have problems with your run-out, maybe make them longer. I am currently a big fan of the gumballs and the new moonwalkers, but any monster big toe stop will make you more comfortable to walk around, and run out on them.              

2. How many practices are you going to? If you only "just making league attendance", its your fault. Im sorry but thats the reality, if you are restricted due to other obligations like family and job stuff-Start working at on "dryland-offskates" drills, plyos, squats, core stuff. Put your outdoor wheels on and skate the park with the kids in strollers and on bikes. Even 30 squats a day will dramatically help you.
I love this video (cut and paste this link- and have modeled my own workouts from it, especially the footwork stuff. Its only 3mins, These gals with Demolition Derby definitely know what they are doing. I do the footwork stuff when Im waiting in a public place like the airport, there are plenty of tiles to jump and hop on.

3. check your stance? Are you falling easily? If so you arent getting low enough, thats where the squats come in handy. YOU NEED THESE LEG AND ASS MUSCLES!!
4. Outdoor skating makes you stronger- its tougher but it makes you better

Any specific questions please email me , if I dont know the answer I will find it out

Hugs,Slugs&derby Luv
Randi Maehym