Starting with a new team can be intimidating. I always feel like I’m starting a new school. Will the other kids like me? What if I say or do something stupid? What if they think my clothes are dumb?
Here is what I’ve found works for me.
1. Play it cool. You don’t need to roll into practice acting like you’re the best thing the team has ever seen. This is like slapping a giant target on your back that says, “Please lay the biggest hit on me!”
2. Be observant and adaptable. Every team has different ways of doing things. If you aren’t sure about something, don’t be afraid to ask. It helps me to skate behind people who have been there longer.
3. Make new friends. Is there a team-related event coming up? Go to it. Is there a derby girl who lives close to you? Offer to carpool. Do you and some of the other girls have the same favorite TV show? Record it (because you’ll be at practice) and invite everyone over for a watch party.
4. Do not give up. There will be moments (physical or mental) that seem harder than anything you ever went through with your last team, but keep pushing yourself. Sing a motivational song. Picture the scariest girl on your last team yelling at you. Whatever it takes to push you to the next level. Just don’t give up.