3 lessons a transfer skater learns

As you know, I moved from my tiny league in Maine to a nationally-ranked league. As a  home team draft approaches, where people will be picked from “the pool” to join teams that choose to have them, I’ve been reflecting on my experience so far. Mostly because when I chat with other transfers here, we all share a lot in common about our thoughts on the process. That said, the thoughts below are my own.

1. Your experience in “the pool” will be different from the fresh meat’s experience.
This is the one most on my mind these days. The fresh meat who are waiting to be picked up by home teams are so nervous, they might burst, it seems. Stressin me out. It’s probably a lot like what prom would be like if you went to a school with only 5 girls, 4 boys and all the girls cared if they got asked. They’re looking around, seeing who is pretty, who is most pretty, which boys are hot, which boys can dance, and a lot of them seem to think so long as they’re asked by ANY boy, they’ll be happy forever.

As a transfer, it’s not prom, it’s marriage. It’s a negotiation of who is hot enough, who is nice, who will get your jokes and who, in the end, will be your family. That’s how it feels to me. These people are about to be my family and I want to make sure there is a place I can play and grow in that family.

But I get the freshie stance, this is like a graduation day and it’s a big deal and something totally worth being excited about. It’s just a little different for transfers.

2. You don’t skate like they skate
That’s just the way it is with a new league. The things your last league yelled at you for might not be the things your new league will yell at you for. (Well, not “yell at” …) In a way, you have to relearn things. It’s a difficult balance of keeping your style and spark while matching the new game.

On the other hand, it’s a lot of fun to learn new skills and styles, but also keep your old tools in your tool belt to pull out. Sometimes you’ll hear a “woah, what was that?”

3. You might not be who you were
Wow. Sounds philosophical. No. I just mean if you were the president of your last league and ran three committees and were always a pivot in your last league, this new league might need you to instead me on the sponsorship committee in a smaller role and jam. Transferring can be about re-invention and learning a whole new way to play derby and it’s a new start to be the derby girl you always wanted to be.

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