Encouraging newbies during MST’s

We had an AMAZING class of folks in our most recent New-Skater Training, and they took their skills test last week. It’s been a blast cheering them on as they learn to skate, and I had every confidence that they would do great on their skills test. When you’re in the middle of testing, though, it’s easy to forget that and get too much in your own head, so I wanted to give them something physical to remind them of how great they are, and how they have the support of our whole league behind them.

An idea was born: motivational wristbands!

Paper wristbands that the skaters could wear over their wrist guards!

I spent about $6 on a huge pack of Tyvek wristbands from Amazon, and made up one for each skater in the group using a sharpie. I’m not great at lettering, so I used the “preview phrase” feature on DaFont to give me a few ideas.

With the help of /r/rollerderby and #derbytwitter, I got a whole list of great ideas for wristband slogans:

  • Dig deep
  • You’re a superhero
  • Shoulders up
  • You can do this!
  • Build yourself up, not down
  • Skate fast! Hit hard!
  • Drive forward
  • For fun!
  • Pick up your feet
  • Strong stance
  • Find your friends
  • Trust the training
  • Get low
  • Better than yesterday
  • Stay strong
  • I know I can
  • You belong here
  • You can and you will
  • Keep trying
  • Stomp their throats

They went over GREAT! And I think they definitely worked their magic, since everybody did just as amazingly on their tests as I expected them to. (No surprise there!) I think I’m going to start doing this for every group of new skaters, and maybe for anybody who’s dealing with self-doubt going into a bout or something.

If anybody else tries this, I’d love to see pictures!

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