Going Mental

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Apr 212010

Professor X says: It's all in your mind

In my last post, I talked a little bit about the importance of setting concrete physical goals and using them as benchmarks to evaluate your performance. We’ll be going back to that next week, but right now we’re going to discuss another important goal all derby girls should have: Keeping your focus. Specifically, keeping your focus when life outside of the track turns to shit. It’s easy to stay focused when life is running smoothly, but when things start to get bumpy it can be a completely different story. And sooner or later, real life (or rather, the sucky parts of real life) will start challenging your focus.

This was definitely NOT ME on Saturday. You got it? NOT ME. PS I hope you get eaten by a shark, dude.

Maybe you’re having trouble at work, and you’re spending more time at practice mentally going over your latest encounter with the boss than working on your can opener. Maybe you just found out that a loved one is very ill and you’re having a hard enough time just making it to practice, let alone actually focusing on the drills you are participating in. Maybe the guy that you had the gut wrenching breakup with a mere two or three weeks ago comes to your bout, stands directly next to your bench, and puts the full court press on some random girl with big knockers and indie rock glasses while you tear up on said bench like a 5 year old girl who just discovered that My Little Ponies aren’t real (not that I’m speaking from blisteringly painful and extremely recent experience or anything).

These are all examples of things that can split your attention, demotivate you, and keep you from performing at your highest level. So how do we deal with external mental and emotional duress? How do we push past all of the outside crap and focus on kicking ass and taking names, derby style?

Destroy, my bitches! DESTROY!!!

Purposefully try to check your issues at the door: Acknowledge when you’re being distracted by personal issues and make a conscious decision to set them aside. This isn’t always easy, but it’s always helpful.

Take it one drill at a time: So, now that you’ve decided that you’re not going to let Crappy Circumstance X distract you, try to give your complete focus to every derby task as it comes up. Not thinking about Crappy Circumstance X for two hours might seem like an impossible task, but not thinking about it for a ten minute drill is doable, right? And when you keep focusing on tasks that take up smaller amounts of time, they magically add up to great big chunks of time. It’s kind of awesome.

When in doubt, hit a bitch:We are lucky enough to have a built in outlet for all of our frustrations and inner turmoil. Channel all of that aggression into the physical aspects of our sport. Don’t think, just do. Exhaust yourself if you have to.

Keeping your head in the game: priceless

These are things that help me when life starts getting in the way. What helps you? How often do you find yourself struggling to maintain your focus? Discuss this in the commments or hit me up at blammeration@gmail.com

Photo credits: newsarama. com, Jill Greenberg, Toho Co. Ltd, Ben Loveridge


  One Response to “Going Mental”

  1. Thanks for the helpful tips at practice last night! I wrote a similar article about a week ago, soon to be posted on LDG. It’s scary how we think alike! ;) At first I thought that most people didn’t really struggle with staying focused and motivated, but I see now that it’s something we all have to deal with to a certain degree. Some days are harder than others, but it can’t rain all the time. By the way, that guy sounds like a complete douchebag. I hope angry squirrels find their way into his pants! Dpn’t waste your emotions and energy on douchebaggery. You’re way too boss for that! Much love.

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