The mental game of roller derby: fear of success

We lost last night to the Missfits 140-93 and while it was a disappointing loss, it was a fun game to play! I came away from it somewhat unscathed, but two of my teammates did not. Thankfully, their prognosis is favourable and we should see them on the track soon!

On another note, this marked another successful game for me, scoring 58 of the 93 points for my team. I’m thankful for the very hard work by our amazing blockers to help me accomplish that.

I should be proud of myself, and I am…

But at the same time, it scares the shit out of me.

When I joined derby my intention was to merely be a cog in the wheel that contributes to the overall productiveness of the team.

However this ‘streak’ I’m on… (Is it a streak when you’ve accomplished something twice? Sure, let’s go with that) …is bringing all sorts of apprehension and a new level of stress to my game head.

I see it time and time again in the NHL; a player gets on a performance streak and they get metaphorically hoisted on the shoulders of their team, media and fans.

If and when the streak ends, I’ve seen instances where the player gets immediately dropped on their ass.

“Thanks for coming out. But you’re not performing anymore so… Ummm… BYE!” And onto the next thing.

It brings a lot of questions into my head.

How does one maintain momentum when one is in a moment of success?
What if the success is a fluke?
How does one exude confidence without ego overruling?
How does one prepare themselves for an impending fall?

I don’t want to let my team down by setting high expectations for myself and not achieving them.

At the same time, if you aim low, that’s what you’re going to get.

How does one find that delicate balance of skill, confidence and ego?

No one tells you how much of a mental game roller derby is; from getting your game face on, to psyching yourself to lay hits, to coming back from an injury. Mix that in with the delicate balance of being competitive and having fun, it’s no surprise skaters can be really hard on themselves.

I suppose acknowledging that I had a couple good games and staying focused on my own goals is a good first step in creating a state of mindfulness to better myself and be the best that I can be for my team.

From there, I guess we’ll see where things go! 🙂 I’ll just take it one goal, one game at a time!

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