Sunday, January 9, 2011

One Week Down...51 to go.

I am not really counting the weeks of 2011 because I am going to enjoy taking this year slow, experiencing and being with every moment as much as possible. We had our first week of the 2011 season this week, with our first practice on Monday. The positive energy was palpable and it felt really good to see everyone on the track excited for the first practice of the season. There is something different in the air at our warehouse and it's good I tell you.

The first practice we focused on stride and basics. I have been skating for many years and spent many years in my childhood skating at a competitive level. When we started working on stroke I went into automatic pilot and just started doing what I know and was taught. But as I was skating around, I remembered a seminar I had recently attended where the speaker told us the four most damaging words in the English language are "I already know that." And it's true, think about it, if you constantly say to yourself, "I already know that," you will never explore something different that might just be better. When I came to this mental realization, I reset my thinking and I decided I was going to try something different. So I bent my knees a bit more and brought my body slightly more forward. I found that I could really accelerate and skate faster and stronger with just a slight modification in my stance. It felt really good to know that I have something I can focus on and improve on my own in my skating.

The other thing we worked on was our stops moving at different speeds. I have no problem with turn stops at high speeds but hockey stops are relatively new to me as I just picked them up about two months ago. So now I had the opportunity to really work these stops at different speeds and found my limits of where I was comfortable doing them. At a full out sprint, I could not quite make the stop effective and found myself falling every time. So, there was another thing to push myself to improve on.

On Thursday night we had our first scrimmage of the new season and damn that was fun! Taking the skills you know about skating and derby and putting them into practice is awesome but working with your teammates and executing the "strategy" that you know is the greatest.
Team White was having a great time that night and we watched some of the younger skaters do some great things and it made the feeling in the warehouse fun, loving and encouraging for the season.

So here's to 2011, where I promise myself I will never say, "I already know that." I will open myself up to what's out there and always look at another perspective and strive to be the best I can be in 2011 for the Santa Cruz Derby Girls.

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