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“It will be tough at times, but that is when you grow as a person and athlete: when you are challenged and you push through.”— Jackie Daniels, #07, Texas Rollergirls

First off, let me say congratulations on joining one of the fastest growing sports in the world! With over 1200 international leagues, roller derby has definitely taken off after its Y2K revival. Thank YOU for keeping it growing! Whether you are new to the sport, or an existing vet, you saw something in roller derby that made you think "I wanna try that!" and we are going to talk about how to keep that love for derby growing!

Since its revival, roller derby now consists of two teams composed of one jammer and four blockers. Essentially, the jammer scores points while the blockers try to stop them (see our What the Heck is Roller Derby? post for more details). Jammers flying by and blockers knocking them down can be quite mesmerizing, so it’s no wonder you decided to join. I personally wanted to look like a badass, and well.... am I there yet? Let’s face it, life happens. Work becomes demanding, families grow, people move, injuries occur, so on and so forth. Lots of obstacles can knock us off track, keeping us from getting to where we want to be. It’s imperative that we take a step back to readjust and push ourselves forward. Below are a few helpful tips on how to motivate yourself!

1. Find A buddy

There's no need to derby solo (unless that's your thing, of course). Derby is a team sport and finding a teammate to dish with is a great motivational start. Having a buddy to push you to keep going, and vice versa, can keep your spirits high and strengthen your drive. If you feel discouraged or anxious, your buddy is there to go through it with you.

2. Research and Advice

Having a buddy is great, but words will only get you so far. In some cases, it might be time to reach out to see if your obstacles are more than just in your head. There are numerous articles, blogs, team meetings, and players that can go over the things you might be going through. Reach out! Chances are at least one of your resources is able to help.

3. Skating Outside Of Derby

Skating comes in many forms that can be just as exhilarating as derby. In my best Bubba Blue voice, "you got your artistic skate, your jam skate.... ramp skate, indoor, outdoor, speed skate," and so on. If a derby drill has got you down, try falling in love with skating again, and challenge yourself in other ways. Take a break and reconnect with your skates.

4. Self Care

Taking a break can be off skates as well. Perhaps it's just time to reconnect with yourself. Having a day or two to take care of yourself, physically or mentally, could be your secret ingredient. In this busy world of adulting, another anxiety-inducing task (like passing that 27/5), might feel overwhelming. So, take the time to read the book, hit the gym, get that massage, whatever you need to do to release some tension and get back to where you need to be. Just try not to OVER do it. #treatyoself

5. Remembering Why You Started

When all else fails, think about why you joined. You knew it would take time, sweat, and maybe a few tears, but you knew it would be worth it. You knew you had what it took to do it, so don't let those obstacles stop you. Apex jump them and get back on track!

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