Be patient with yourself.
Are you frustrated with yourself because you can’t pirouette like Bonnie Thunders? Girl, she was a figure skater for years and years. Of course she can do a pirouette. Check out the roster for the 2008 Gotham Girls All-Stars at WFTDA Nationals (back when it was still called Nationals and I saw Gotham skate for the first time, my jaw on the floor the whole time):
Sweet Sherry Pie
Vicious Van Go Go was skating for Texas at Nationals 2008. That’s seven people on this 2013 Championship roster who have been skating at this level for that long. There’s no reason why you should be able skate like that after a few months or even a couple of years. Let’s be honest – most people never will. Don’t put that expectation on yourself. Just be your best self, whatever that looks like today.
Gotham talks about their “hive mind.” Somehow, they’re all on the same wavelength. They know what strategy to implement, and they do it together. Practicing and playing together helps this happen. You know what else hives do? They buzz. Gotham’s blockers are always talking, yelling, and pointing. That’s easy. You don’t even have to be good at skating to do that. (Communication was always one of my strong suits, for better or worse. Another one was “following directions.”)
Keep your head in the game.
Do you ever see Gotham skaters freak out on the bench or argue a call? Nope. Have you ever yelled at your screen for a skater to get to the penalty track faster? I have. But it’s never been a Gotham skater I’ve yelled at. There’s something to be said for discipline.
Stay with your friends.
All of those blockers could shut down most jammers one-on-one, but they don’t have to, because they stay together.
Blocking is a team activity.
Sure, the last line of defense will block one-on-one for short periods of time. Other than that, you don’t see Gotham breaking off from their walls very often to make big hits.
Hard work pays off.
Those women work really, really hard.
What else have you learned from watching Gotham play?