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The DC Rollergirls are hosting tryouts this weekend! Exciting, right?

As a whole new crop of fresh meat skaters are gearing up to show off their skills, I’ve been practicing for our first bout of the season against Baltimore’s Charm City Rollergirls and thinking about all the stuff I wish I knew as a fresh meat skater.

I think if you keep this stuff in mind, you’ll do great:

1. BREATHE. Seriously – you’re probably not breathing because you’re so nervous. And to your assessors, visibly nervous or shaken means you ain’t ready to hit the track against other women waiting to kick your ass. Breathe, let the anxiety go, and have fun. Kick THEIR ass! Yeah!

2. SLOW IT DOWN. Especially for skills like transitions. If you’re ready to barrel through because you’re confident, then by all means go for it! But if you’re not there yet, don’t be scared to slow it down, focus on what you’re doing, and get your form right to attack your skills with precision. You don’t have to be Bonnie Thunders during tryouts, but you do have to be able to get through your skills without looking like you’re about to break a leg.

Note: This doesn’t mean move at a glacial pace. It just means you don’t have to be going super-fast to impress your assessors – a moderate pace may slow you down enough to be more precise.

3. HAVE FUN. Smile a little! It’s infectious, it evokes confidence, and people will want to play roller derby with you because you make it look fun – even if you’re struggling a bit. We all do this with our free time because we love it, and you should too!

4. BE AWARE. It may get chaotic at times, especially during a scrimmage, but keep your wits. This is a sport, so be competitive and show them that you know the rules, or at least know how to skate in a pack and bump wheels (that sounds dirty) without screaming in fear or breaking out into a panicked frenzy.

5. DON’T GIVE UP. No matter what happens. If you find yourself rolling when you should be stopping, just push harder. If someone hits you and knocks you down, get back up with the quickness. If you think you can’t skate another lap during your 27-in-5 before passing out, skate until you pass out and then get back up and skate some more. Roller derby is a tough sport and a lot of people can’t hang. You’ve made it this far, so don’t quit, keep pushing, and you’d be surprised at who notices your fight.

Good luck to everyone around the world gearing up to try out soon, including our own fresh meat in DC!

With derby love,

Bebe Aggressive

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