One month from tonight is the first game of the Minnesota RollerGirls' Season 9. Can't believe it's only a month out -- I am getting VERY excited for the start of home season. I was so nervous and frightened and intimidated at the start of last season, and I think it might be a different story this year. But I can't wait to find out.
Last night at practice we scrimmaged with the men's team in town, the Twin Cities Terrors (AKA Minnesota Men's Roller Derby). They have a game coming up and they wanted to practice playing someone other than themselves. It's always exhilarating skating with -- and against -- the boys. They're bigger than we are, in general, and have different muscles and centers of gravity. But they've always been coached by members of our team, so they employ a lot of the same strategies and terms. When we play them we get to wear our pretty All-Star jerseys and Serious Bottoms, plus there are boatloads of refs and non-skating officials on hand, so it feels festive, like a real bout.
Before the scrimmage started, one of our team leaders called out, "Hey, even though it's just a scrimmage, try not to cut the track!" (Cutting the track is a penalty that can get you sent to the penalty box and temporarily out of the game, leaving your team short a player.)
And I thought, hmm. As a team we have been doing a lot of mental preparation, including "practicing how we play." We hit hard, skate hard, play hard during practices, so that our bodies instinctively know what to do in an actual bout. Shouldn't that also apply to trying to avoid penalties?
It's no secret that in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago, losing all 3 games we played, we were absolutely plagued by penalties. I jammed, and I don't remember lining up behind a full pack but maybe one or two times, way early in the game. I've been watching the MNRG All-Stars for two years now, and when it comes to big games the team seems to always be plagued by penalties. So it would seem to follow that we should practice NOT committing penalties.
Ack! Joel just got home, time to make dinner. Cheers!