New Skater: How I Joined the Chicago Outfit
Since making The Outfit in December, I have been chirping excitedly about my new team to all my closest friends. The question I get asked most is how they can get started playing roller derby. Roller derby is very appealing as a sport because it is SO MUCH FUN to be on roller skates and can be played at any age. It takes a lot of fitness to be able to play roller derby competitively, but there are tons of opportunities to play and get involved at any level of fitness.
A bunch of us new team members started at Derby Lite. Derby Lite is a non-competitive environment that offers participants a way to get comfortable on skates and learn some of the drills and exercises from roller derby.
When I first started at Derby Lite, I was like Bambi… wobbly legs and slipping. It was great to look around the rink and be surrounded by group of ladies in the same place. We were a big group of Bambis! Over the course of our 12 weeks together, our group of Bambis transformed into a pretty sturdy set of young fawns. Deer reference aside… we were all stronger skaters by the end of the DL sessions.
Some of the other women at DL were very connected to the derby community. From them I learned about speed skating classes, The Outfit bootcamps, and other opportunities to train on skates.
The Outfit bootcamps were the best preparation for trying out and being on the team. Our coaches put us through drills that we would later build on in team practice and there was a lot of basic strength and endurance training. The bootcamp coaches are members of The Outfit's charter team; they observe and give feedback during drills. If you have interest in playing roller derby, The Outfit bootcamps are an unmissable training opportunity.
There are other opportunities to get involved with roller derby and other positions on the team, like a non-skating official or sponsor.
This was my path to becoming a skater for The Outfit. For any of my friends considering roller derby as a sport, I always tell them to get on skates. Through Derby Lite or speed skating classes or just open skate, nothing is more fun and better preparation than skating!