So you want to play roller derby?? The SVRG bootcamp experience.
So you want to play roller derby? Prepare thyself.
As a recent graduate of the Fall 2015 SVRG boot camp I’d like to share with you my experience so you’ll have a better understanding of what you can expect.
Unless you are joining boot camp with some prior level of skating experience, you won’t become an awesome skater overnight and certainly not by the end of the boot camp. So do yourself a favor and throw those expectations out the window. Nothing, I repeat NOTHING has come easily to me in derby. I have had to work my butt off for every skill I have attained.
Don’t expect that you will magically “get it,” by attending the classes offered 2-3x a week. Practice the drills you learn outside of boot camp. I was skating 5-6 days a week my first 6 months. The learning curve is steep and as a new skater you have to allow time for your body to build the muscles and muscle memory. There isn’t a quick and easy way to become good, but working on your overall fitness in conjunction with skating helps tremendously.
You may have to take more than one boot camp to pass your minimums. It took me roughly 6 months from the day my skates arrived to passing my minimums. I failed tryouts the first time. YOU WILL FAIL IN DERBY. Get used to it, cry about it, swear, but don’t give up!
You will hopefully master the art of falling. Learning how to fall correctly is HUGE, and your tailbone won’t be able to thank you enough.
The friendships you form with your fellow boot campers will be like no other relationship in your life. There will be blood, sweat, and tears, yours and theirs. Roller Derby is a full contact sport so expect a skate punch to your privates or an elbow to the face on occasion. If you are someone who needs personal space then this sport is not for you.
If you are still reading this and I’ve managed to not scare you off then you might be ready to try roller derby through SVRG’s upcoming boot camp.
SVRG has implemented a classroom portion to their boot camp structure that I found to be extremely helpful. You will learn about gameplay, strategy, and rules from WFTDA certified Referees, NSO’s, and experienced league skaters. Let’s be real, the WFTDA rulebook, is pretty dry reading material. Having a classroom setting gives you an opportunity to ask questions. The boot camp classes are purposely kept small so that you can receive individual attention and feedback from the training staff and league skaters. Come prepared to work hard and you will see results! I wish all of you well on your upcoming boot camp journey and hope my words have helped motivate rather than deter you from trying this sport. I look forward to seeing you on the track!