48 ways to get the most out of roller derby

Posted on July 31, 2014 by


Have you ever read a list of things to do to get the most out of roller derby and felt that they just didn’t apply to you? Maybe that’s because they didn’t. Everybody has their own unique set of personal strengths. The secret is to tap into your strengths and leverage these for maximum success/happiness.

First you need to ascertain what your strengths are. If you’ve got 10 minutes take this test (don’t worry about giving them your email address, you can leave the box for future contact unticked). If not, bookmark the page and come back to it. Or take a sneaky look below and cherry pick the actions that appeal to you.

Once you’ve done the test, you’ll get a list of personal strengths. The top ones listed are the ones you scored highly in. The ones at the bottom of the list are not your strengths. Don’t worry about pouring lots of energy into slightly improving on the stuff you’re already a bit weak on. Let’s just take your strengths and turn them into super powers.

Ok, identify your top five strengths and then check out the list below for ways you can get more joy and triumph out of roller derby.

If you’re so inclined, leave a comment at the very bottom of the page listing your top qualities – I’d love to see if roller derby attracts people with the same strengths or people from across the spectrum.

Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence

• Put time and effort into creating the perfect boutfit
• Use your creative talent (poetry, painting, etc) to document your love of derby


• Protect or stand up for a teammate who won’t stand up for themselves (or work with her so she feels comfortable standing up for herself)
• Speak up when you feel the league is being pulled in one direction by a loud minority


• Design and make a poster to take along with you next time you spectate at a bout
• Research new strategies, break them down and communicate them to your team


• Subscribe to an informative roller derby blog or magazine
• Visit other leagues and guest train with them


• Assess whether your league is accessible for people from different backgrounds and suggest measures to improve intake of minority groups
• Educate yourself about trans* issues and propose a trans* policy for your league


• Make a list of skaters against whom you hold a grudge, then either meet them personally to discuss it or visualize whether bygones can be bygones
• Plan out what your response should be the next time someone offends you. Remind yourself of your plan (rehearse if possible) and periodically affirm, “No matter how he/she offends me, I will respond as I have planned.”


• Write a heartfelt thank you note to someone who has helped you on your derby journey
• On the journey home from training, reflect on three things that went well


• Speak up if you see injustices at your league. Silence implies your approval and diminishes your authenticity
• Develop (or review) a Code of Conduct for your league


• Document three derby accomplishments in detail and let them inspire your future (if you’d like to document them publically, I’d be happy to publish them on this blog)
• Spend time once a week generating optimistic ideas for your league. Discuss them with your teammates and plan to work on them together


• At the end of each training session, identify something you did to impress people or put on a show. Resolve not to do it again
• Identify a skater who is better than you at something and give them a sincere compliment about it


• Read or write roller derby comics
• When you’re low on energy, gravitate towards teammates with great senses of humour. When you’ve got energy to spare, spend a training session cheering up someone who seems down


• Volunteer to be a Board member, your levelheadedness will be very welcome!
• Mentor a new player


• Deliver a get well card and some pre-cooked dinners to an injured teammate
• Donate any little-used wheels, bearings, etc to someone who struggles financially to stay involved with roller derby


• Nominate for team captain or chair of the Board
• Join the training crew


• Take the time to select an appropriate derby wife and then shower her/him with attention, hugs, gifts, etc
• Go to all your league’s social events and connect with your teammates off the track

Love of Learning

• Keep your eye out for boot camps or derby conventions to attend or organise accomplished guest trainers for your league
• Research roller derby’s rich history or learn the ins and outs of how skates work


• Set yourself some derby goals weekly. Break them into practical steps, accomplish them on time, and monitor your progress from week to week
• Set up a five year derby plan and put in place measures to achieve it


• Become a grievance officer for your league
• Read, create and/or share inspiring quotes that relate to roller derby


• Think twice before saying anything at training. Do this exercise each time you attend and note its effects
• Visualize the consequences of your roller derby decisions in one, five, and ten years’ time


• Set up a cross-training and eating plan and stick to it
• Avoid talking about teammates behind their back

Social Intelligence

• Find someone in your league who relates most empathically with others and emulate them
• In a league debate, focus on being kind more than proving you are right


• Include meditation in your cross-training regime
• Reflect on your purpose in life (the legacy you want to leave) and connect your derby goals to this


• Set up a carpooling system for your league
• Join the bout organising committee and help set up for games


• Throw yourself 110% into each training session and gravitate towards others who do likewise
• Use an outdoor activity as your cross-training: an outdoor skate, hiking, run down the beach, etc

The list of actions above was highly influenced by Action for Happiness’s list of 340 ways to use character strengths.


Posted in: LimboLand