Team: (noun) a number of persons associated together in work or activity
(verb) to put together in a coordinated ensemble
(adjective) marked by a devotion to teamwork rather than individual achievement
The Psych Ward Sirens have one more bout this season: the Championships. Something that will set this game apart from the rest of the season is the loss of our All Stars. The championship bout happens to fall on the same weekend as the WFTDA Division 1 playoffs. Mistilla, Lisa Lava, Jekyll&Heidi, Brandi Brown, SyRenge, and AngieChrist (our bench coach) will all be playing in North Carolina the same day we defend our title against the Bayou City Bosses. I’ll admit that it’s sad and more than a little daunting, but now is the time for us to come together as a team.
At Monday night’s practice, Mistilla told the blockers to stop trying to save the world by themselves. Each of my teammates has some amazing skills, but we need to figure out how to use those skills in a coordinated effort… like The Avengers. (For the purpose of this post, we’ll use the movie version.)
What ultimately united the heroes was not fighting a common enemy, but bonding over the loss of a valued team member. We are losing our All Stars, but that shouldn’t be a cause for division or doubt. This is our rally point.
Those of us who will be in Texas for the Champs have talked about what we need to do. We agree that we need to dump the egos, train harder, and support each other’s progress, much like the various heroes in The Avengers. Alone we each have specific skill sets that make us good derby players, but together we can be an unstoppable force.
This isn’t just for my team. There will be moments where your own team has to face a very powerful opponent. That opponent may be another team or it could be a circumstance. Now is the time to ask what makes you a team? What do you offer, and what do your teammates offer? How can those skills be combined?
The Avengers didn’t win against Loki and his Chitauri horde by concentrating on the negative or by putting each other down (though Tony Stark did have some fantastic one liners). You are only as strong as your weakest link. I hear this all the time, but it is very true. You need to encourage your team. If someone is doing something wrong, don’t be dramatic about it. Point out what needs to be improved and how to improve it.
“Maybe your army comes, and maybe it’s too much for us, but it’s all on you. Because if we can’t protect the Earth, you can make damn sure we’ll avenge it.” — Tony Stark to Loki
So, derby players, are you going to let that big, scary team or some derby drama or a season worth of losses beat you? I didn’t think so. Pick up your hammer, load your quiver, suit up, and kick some butt.