Who is your slingshot?

On Saturday we went to see a roller derby match – Sirens vs. Fight Crew….and I have to tell you it was F A B U L O U S!

Held in the ‘Doll Factory’ in downtown LA we were greeted with organic goodies, a thrash band and a crew of skimpily clad women on roller skates.. and for what is known as a pretty hardcore sport it was incredibly PINK!

I was thinking of covering the experience in regard to being nourished by the bizarre; did I mention the lobster mascot, the promenading fearleaders (cheerleaders for the Derby Dolls league), the tongue in cheek names of the girls who play or the ‘disco boot’? I also thought I could simply point to the fact that doing something that is out of the ordinary for you can be a really great experience. However what I realized in watching the game was something a bit more profound.

There are rules…Each team puts four blockers on the banked track who start skating, once they have traveled 20 feet the ‘jammer’ from each team starts skating… the idea is for the jammers to make their way through the pack of blockers then lap them for a second time, scoring points for every opposing blocker they pass on that round.

That means the jammer not only has to make it through the pack the first time but then has to skate VERY fast to make it around the track a second time and back through the same pack, this all happens in 60 seconds so each round occurs at breakneck speed. Once I became a little more familiar with the rules it felt the blockers were fundamentally misnamed.

Yes their job is to block the other team’s jammer BUT they are also creating gaps in the pack for their own jammer and on several occasions one of the blockers would hang back in the pack grab their jammer’s hand as they approached and slingshot them to the front of the pack.. now that was impressive! So even as I sat watching this particular Derby Dolls match I began to think of coaching parallels – it is an occupational way of being!

I started thinking that this was a great metaphor for those situations when you are running on empty or when you feel that the most exhausting part of a challenge is still to come.. often people choose to suffer in silence or are stubbornly self reliant, but what if it was as simple as holding out a hand? Who might effortlessly grab it and slingshot you in the direction of your goal? So this week’s call to action is to let someone know you need a little pull or to be open to receiving what you need this week.

On a fun note we will definitely be going back for the finals in November so if you are in the LA area (or anywhere else) and want to join go check out www.derbydolls.com and book tickets for the finals on November 8th.

You may just find someone out there who will help propel you toward your goals….

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

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1 Response to “Who is your slingshot?”

  1. 1 Bridget September 16, 2008 at 4:15 am

    HOORAY! There is nothing like a Derby Match to cheer you up and get the blood pumping. I had never thought of the slingshot in daily life, but it is a great way to look at it. The Detroit Derby Girls really now how to play as well. At every match they invite the kiddies to come out and hula hoop during intermission. The smiles on their faces say more than words ever could. Next year I plan on going to Philadelphia for the Women’s Derby League Nationals. All of the derby teams throughout the U.S. compete to name a national championship team.

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