Last night was TCRD’s year-end party. Every season, I look forward to the our wrap-up, and the chance to share how proud I am of my team. This year was no different. My home team had a great, if brief, season. The skaters all progressed, we played well together, and we had a blast.
Even though afterparties are becoming a thing of the past, we need to remember that it is important to unwind with your league. Running a derby league is hard work; arguing at the BOD, seeing each other more than you see your own family – it wears on relationships. That’s why taking the time at year-end to celebrate your successes, and honour the work that you’re all putting in keeps a league healthy. Sharing some food, drink, and conversation can be a salve to grind of daily operations.
Ask anyone, I’m not into the parties – but last night, I had fun.
Sometimes we need to remember that derby IS fun.
And that’s what I think home teams are about – giving skaters a chance to skate outside of the pressure of travel team play. The Tramps give me that in spades. As I told them last night – they are the reason I love this sport. They remind me with every game why I still do this crazy thing.
I’ve captained my home team for 5 seasons, and this season will have been my last wearing the C. It’s time for me to re-evaluate where I want to be in derby (an injury will force you to do that). It’s time to give new leadership a chance. I’m so excited for the skaters who are looking to take the lead. I think they’ll do an awesome job. And I hope captaining is as good to them as it has been to me. I’ve learned so much captaining – how to be diplomatic, how to prioritize, how to balance the desire to win against the desire to build a strong team. My team’s trust and support have made me not only a better captain, but a better person and I’m so grateful for all that I’ve gained because of this team.
As derby grows and evolves, it’s easy to get caught up in points and rankings and wins – make sure not to forget that this sport is still about the people that are in it, and that watch it, and that love it. Celebrate those people, and the ways that they enrich your life.
So, long story short – go to your year-end party. Take a couple of hours to enjoy your team and leaguemates when there’s no pressure to perform, when the only thing you have to do is appreciate each other’s company. Remember to keep the fun in derby.