Many moons ago, in the mists of yesteryear, Maria Montoya and I skated together at Rose City. During her time there, she occasionally worked with skaters to help with their mental game. Even if you’re not looking for a coach, I think you’ll find that she’s thought through a lot of common problems in a helpful way – read and see.
Frisky: Tell us a little about Do That! Coaching. What makes it different from other coaching companies that have been popping up in the last few years?
Maria: I wanted to create a service that helps skaters significantly improve their performance in a short period of time. It’s like a derby accelerator. I’m a firm believer in the performance formula to help people get better, faster.
Performance is a combination of skate skill + conditioning + mindset. I’ve seen skaters with awesome skate skills, but terrible conditioning, who get their asses handed to them. I’ve also seen skaters with awesome conditioning, but not great skate skill, who also fail to perform. I think the most painful failures in performance I have seen is when someone is awesome in their skates, and very well conditioned, but lacks the confidence or self worth to perform to their physical capability. I have yet to see other derby coaching businesses that have clearly articulated this performance formula, or create ongoing services to cater to all 3 needs. Other businesses usually serve 1 of these 3 faculties, but not all 3.
Also, I am not a believer in bootcamps. Other derby coaching businesses do a great job of providing drills and information on bootcamp weekends, but there is little follow up, long term accountability, or assurance that their bootcamp has significantly impacted the skaters skill for the long haul. Real change requires repetition and accountability. I believe I owe it to the people I serve to follow up, follow up, follow up.Dust Devil 2014 Day 1 Arizona vs Pikes Peak © by Alethea Photography.
Mental fitness is one of the most popular topics I’ve ever had on the blog. Why do you think that is? What kind of answers are people looking for?
In short – skaters are looking for different ways to be better skaters. I see mental fitness consumers in 2 categories: People in transition, and people looking for a competitive edge.
People in transition are attracted to roller derby because it makes us feel powerful. We find strengths in ourselves we never knew we had. It is an undeniably emotional experience, no matter how hard of a badass you think you are. As people are discovering their power, they don’t know what to do with it, or how to manage thoughts that challenge this new-found awesomeness. In short, as people discover their inner badass, they go through some cognitive dissonance along the way – shedding their previous thoughts about themselves, and adopting a new self image. This is hard work, and there isn’t a guide for how to make this jump.
For those who already have a powerful self image – they are searching for ways to enhance their performance beyond the track. There is plenty of science that demonstrates the powers of visualization, goal setting, deliberate practice, setting intentions, etc. These are additional means for skaters to improve performance, especially when they are confident about their athletic ability.
Do you offer any services to people who aren’t in Arizona?
The long term plan is to scale Do That! to have an international presence. In the short term, I can offer the mental fitness coaching to people outside of AZ, assuming the client already has access to on skates and off skates training. Again, its the combination of skate skill + conditioning + mindset that makes Do That! different, so I’d want to ensure that remote clients are utilizing the formula.
Before scaling more nationally, I’ll be partnering with AZ leagues to make AZ the best state to train and watch roller derby. (Look out Oregon & New York!)
You offer filming and film analysis, which is pretty cool. What’s the biggest hurdle you see with people learning from their own film? What’s the biggest benefit that you tend to see?
When people watch their own film, they are already pre-disposed to reinforce their own decision making. They have a hard time seeing themselves objectively. That’s the benefit of having someone else evaluate your performance on film for you – I’m objective.
65% of us are visual learners. However, we scarcely have the opportunity to view our own performance. While we rely heavily on proprioception (aka how we feel in our own bodies) to tell us when we are low enough, stable enough, or wide enough – we can’t see it. When you can see it (visually), feel it (kinesthetically), hear it (auditorially), you can improve it faster.Brendan Adam-Zwelling — with Maria Montoya at Dust Devil 2014.
Anything else we should know about Do That! Coaching?
We’re in the process of developing a proprietary app that will help auditory learners get better, faster. I can’t spill all the beans, but I’m pretty excited about the impact this app with have on skaters’ performance and positive self view.
In short – I just want more people to experience the transformative power of roller derby, enjoy it through longer skating careers, and come away feeling, thinking, and being stronger & more powerful. This is a company of service to the skater and the sport. I want to serve the skater through a unique formula, and I want to serve the sport by making it even more accessible to more people over time. It starts first in AZ, then the nation, then the world.
Um, yes, I remember being told 59047252 time to get lower and thinking, You jerks! I am low! I’m just not as low as everyone else because I’m tall. Then you get the pictures back. Hahahahahaha.