It's Bout Day!

Do you know what day it is? It's BOUT DAY. The Chicago Outfit Roller Derby, member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), takes to the track for their second home bout of the season today, Saturday, May 24, 2014.

Doors open at 6:00pm at the Windy City Fieldhouse (2367 W. Logan Boulevard) in Chicago. The double-header kicks off with The Outfit’s Shakedown vs. the Southland Slashers (Channahon, IL) at 7:00pm, and the excitement keeps rolling with The Outfit’s Syndicate vs. Bleeding Heartland (Bloomington, IN). Tickets can be purchased at the door for $20.

Suzie_blocking2014 And now, for a few last thoughts on teamwork and Spring Roll from Pain Gwen, bench coach Althea N. Hell, and Suzie Crotchrot:

What were you thinking about going into the bouts last weekend at Spring Roll?
PG: The first thing I was thinking about going into Spring Roll was about how important having a good showing was to our rankings.
Althea: I was thinking about all the hard work the team has put in and how we needed some big wins to secure a spot in the D2 playoffs.
Suzie: I was really excited about my first tournament back with The Outfit.  We have been going through a major team turnover during the past couple of years so I was eager to see how we all gelled for our derby weekend.
Playing three games in one weekend can be really tough. How did you prepare yourself for that, mentally and physically?
PG: I love playing consecutive roller derby games! It pumps me up! So really I was mostly focusing on my mental game, maintaining focus and a positive outlook.
Althea: The girls prepared by staying focused. We are really working on our mental game right now. Lucky for the Outfit they only played one game a day.
Suzie: Preparing to play three games in one weekend has never been a chore for me unless we have early games (who likes waking up early? NOT ME!).  After each game, once we are finished with our team talk, I break off individually to visualize my personal wins, and replay my weaknesses to quickly nip bad habits in the bud.  I really don't do anything out of the ordinary as far as preparing myself.  Stay well hydrated, stay well snacked, make sure you get enough rest.  I say "enough" rest is whatever is enough for YOU.  I don't know your sleep schedule, but if you could kick ass on 3 hours of sleep, please do! Oh, if anything GET SOME ALONE TIME.  During tourney weekends all you see are your teammates.  Seeing your pretty 'mates is great and all but a whole 3 days of traveling, bunking and derbying with them can make you want to scratch your own eyes out.

There was some amazing teamwork out there during all three games. What would you say were some things that contributed to the Syndicate's murder machine? PG: I think that our teamwork was on point because we are obsessed with each other! We were all on the same page. We've been really focusing on mental training and visualization and really using all of our individual talents together as one mind; one unit. We need each other to be successful.

Althea: We have been working on our defense, and reforming a ton over the past few months; practice makes perfect. It just really started clicking during the Cincinnati game and they just really played to their strengths.

Suzie: Some things that contributed to the Syndicate's teamwork this past weekend was trust, containment and positive attitude.  We were all able to really hone in on eachother's strengths and fill gaps that had been missing in years prior.  The support that we gave each other stood out above all, as we were able to keep each other in check when attitudes would become anything but focused and congratulated when our plans were executed well.

What was your favorite moment on the track during Spring Roll? What about off the track? PG: My favorite moments from Spring Roll come from watching my teammates work together to play some sick, smart, clean roller sports. The smiles around the apex, the high fives from teammates, and the fist pumping from the coaches make for really awesome moments. Big hits and pulling jammer penalties are fun too.

Althea: My favorite moment on the track had to have been during the Tri-City game, just seeing the Outfit as a whole come together. Everyone's roll was being fulfilled and we were a cohesive team. My favorite off track moment was our huddle at the 6 minuets mark of the 2nd half, we visualized our win, we knew we had 6 minutes to win or lose. The girls went out and did exactly what needed to be done to bring us home the big win!

Suzie: While there were many special moments on track at Spring Roll, there was an instance during our game against Cinci where the opposing jammer slipped past our initial wall in the back and I hauled ass along the inside, did a quick tip toe between an opposing blocker and the line and was able to snag her and push her out in time.  Getting MVP for our game against Connecticut was pretty great too.  Offtrack my favorite moments were spent in awe of the hard hitting fast paced games that the men of the Gatekeepers and Southern Discomfort were playing.  Who needs NHL when you got MRDA?

What are you looking forward to in this season going forward? This upcoming home bout on May 24th against Bleeding Heartland? PG: I'm looking forward to using the momentum of how great winning feels and the positive vibes to push us through this weekend and the rest of the season.

Althea: I'm looking forward to watching the Outfit become the team I have always knew they were. They are putting in some serious work and it shows. With our upcoming bout I'm looking forward to seeing everything that happened at Spring Roll to continue getting stronger and stronger.

Suzie: This season I'm looking forward to working with a fresh, motivated version of The Outfit. I honestly haven't seen this much potential since our 2011 year, even more so.  All of the vital ingredients are there, our spirits are high, our support is strong, we just have to keep the momentum going.  As for our upcoming bout this Saturday against Bleeding Fartland, I'm stoked to get another weekend of demoralizing jammers with my Outfit ladies and can only hope they bring a bag big enough to hold all of their lost limbs. I also hope they bring their children because I'm going to eat them.

Any shout outs? PG: A big shout out to my derby wife Loretta Beretta for being super supportive and telling me exactly how it is, and to the rest of my teammates who yell and scream and make silly signs for us no matter how far or how sick. We are our biggest fans and I love us for this.

Althea: Shout outs to the Yangs who drove all the way to Spring Roll to cheer us on, and to our wonderful roster alternates who came to support us for whatever needed to be done!

Suzie: My #1 fan and love of my life, Christopher for the tremendous amount of moral support and encouragement he gives me daily.  Althea N. Hell and Tine Bomb as "Gordon Bombay" for putting together great lines during our games and giving major pep talks. Our 2014 captains Lindiana Jones and Matza Ballbreaker for even taking on the challenge of being our captains and keeping us focused and motivated. Shebiscuit, for saving my life with a set of 88 wheels for me to borrow on that slick floor.