Mental toughness, by Scarlene

My league-mate Frisky Sour keeps a blog about derby and manatees. This week she featured one of my other league-mates, Scarlene, who talked about mental toughness. Listen to the lady. She’s hilarious, pretty and smart. Woah.

Here is an excerpt of their interview:

Frisky: What is mental toughness, and why is it important?

Scarlene: In my humble opinion, roller derby is 80% mental. You have to convince yourself that you aren’t tired, you can get back up again, you aren’t afraid of anyone you’re blocking/jamming against, you know what to do when your teammates get penalties and leave the track. The list goes on and on. When everything else fails, or seems like its going to fail, you can really only rely on your brain.You practice strategies and skills over and over again – do you do the same thing for your brain? Do you visualize greatness or agonize over mistakes? We are most critical of ourselves and need to look inward for strength when, for lack of a better term, shit is gettin’ cray.


You led a session at Derby Daze last summer about mental training, which I hear was super popular. What do people want to know?

I have a lot of catch phrases I use in my life. Almost every time I step on the track I have to have a mantra to stay focused. I shared a lot of those, and stressed the importance of staying positive. Instead of saying “I’m not going to the box,” say “I’m going to skate clean.” If you’re plagued with arms penalties, think about putting emphasis on your hips instead of thinking about NOT using your arms. Many moons ago a coach told me to stop looking at the wall I want to bust through and look THROUGH the wall at my destination. It was such a simple thing but has always stuck with me. I use that for my mental game as well. I don’t think about the thing I don’t want to do, I think about what I need to do to succeed instead …

Read the full article here.


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