May 16, 2013

Mayday Mayhem!!!

The Mayday Mayhem Tournament was exactly how it sounds- utter mayhem.  Eight teams from around the country laced up their skates and made their way to Greeley, CO to battle it out on the track for the chance to win it all; glory, bragging rights, and a nice trophy.  We all faced lack of sleep, hunger, muscle fatigue, stress, and mental exhaustion, but the Foco MicroBruisers were ready to bring it, and bring it we did.

Our first bout of the tournament was against the Pueblo Derby Devil Dollz on Friday night, a hard hitting team that doesn't take no for an answer.  The girls were hungry to win and we could feel it.  Farm Fresh, a great blocker on their team, delivers heavy hits and doesn't mess around, and the rest of their is just as intimidating.  These ladies were some of the sweetest you'll ever meet, but they fought hard and really gave us a run for our money.  We kept it together, and ended up winning our first bout by over 100 points.

Next was Central Coast the very next morning.  We had played them just a few months before and had lost, so we were ready for the rematch.  Pinball, one of their lead jammers, delivered some hefty points for their team.  We had to fight to keep power jams to a minimum, and we stuck together like glue on our walls.  These ladies were confident and had a real desire for the trophy, but we managed to pull ahead and win.

This meant that we continued moving up, and we knew that it meant playing Junction City.  If you've ever seen Junction City, they have an incredible offense and some great hitters.  Killa Patra, (pretty much everyone's derby crush) is a strong and collected jammer, Vixen can block backwards like a pro, and pickle is the cutest button of a jammer you've ever seen!  That girl has mad hops.  Keeping cool on the track is pivotal when playing a great game; unfortunately we had become flustered and lost our cool.  Junction City is great at messing with your mind, and sadly it had worked on us.  We ended up losing to Junction City, but learned some great lessons in the process.  Bench attitude and togetherness is so important in keeping our game on the track.

Now it was time for a "come to Jesus meeting."  What had happened to us?  Why did we let our attitudes drop?  Why did we have so many penalties?  We all met outside and decided we needed to reset ourselves. Instead of talking about what we did wrong, we talked about what we did right.  This helped us focus on positive aspects of the last bout instead of being sucked down by the negative.

Next we were scheduled to play our third bout of the day against the Cheyenne Capidolls.  These classy ladies are super nice, but make no mistake, they were fighting to win.  They're a smart team that works hard and had drastically improved since the last time we had played.  We won 221 to 123, but the victory didn't come from points; we had fallen apart with Junction City, and had brought it back together with Cheyenne.  We got back to our game of playing it cool and listening to each other. We had kept our level heads and played a fantastic game.

Because we had lost to Junction City, we were scheduled again to play at 8:30am the next morning against Sioux City, the top team in the tournament.  So we played a bout, went to bed, woke up, then played again. Needless to say, we were utterly exhausted, but instead of hanging up the towel against a team that was obviously better than us, we came ready to rock.  We put up a great fight and although we lost, we lost by less than what Junction City lost to them by at the championship game.

The last bout for us was 2 hours later against the Pueblo Derby Devil Dollz in the battle for third place.  We started off strong but by halftime it was neck and neck- 71 to 70.  The Dollz had come for blood.  They wanted the third place trophy just as bad as we did, but by the last 15 minutes we had surged ahead.  We played smart, listened to each other, and won the 3rd place trophy.  It was a sweet victory and we all left the weekend proud of our team.  After 6 bouts in 3 days we knew that we had left stronger and closer than before.

The most important thing I learned about this weekend is managing emotions.  In a tournament or any bout situation, we all wish to play our best, which means emotions are running high.  It's so easy to get caught up in thinking "I didn't play my best," "that power-jam was my fault," or  "I gave up my point."  These failures cannot overcome us.  We need to play 2 minutes at a time.  You did great on that last jam?  Relish it, and then come back and kill it again.  You messed up and feel like you let your team down?  Let it go.  All that matters is the next 2 minutes.  Being able to compartmentalize your emotions will help you become a great derby player, and someone who will be able to calm others down.  Alright, I've taken up enough of your time!


The Original Skankster

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