This was the second year that Bremerton had hosted the Wild West Tournament and it was bigger and better than ever! I went down with my team the Terminal City All Stars and competed in the non WFTDA sanctioned Challenge Hall. Although we had achieved full WFTDA status a few days earlier, we were not able to compete as full members just yet.
It was such a fun weekend full of awesome derby and amazing people. Our games were against a pick up team the Bremerloes and the High Desert Darlins of Tri Cities, WA. Although we only had ten players and the teams were a bit unevenly matched, it was a great opportunity for us to practice our strategy and tight teamwork that we have been working so hard on. And we won both games pretty decisively. Yay!
Most of all though, this was a really important weekend for us to bond as a team. This has always been a challenge for this team because of the strong sense of rivalry between skaters who play on competing house teams. Because we were one of the earlier leagues to form, we created house teams as a way to have someone to play against (there wasn’t really anyone other than Rat City near us at the time) and the competition between those teams has always been intense. But this creates problems when you have an All-Star team where skaters from all house teams are expected to play “as a team.” In previous years, by the time we had got everyone on the same page and working together it was time to go back to house teams. Booooo.
This year is different. Not only are we practicing and playing games all year round, not just in the off season, but members have the choice to play only for the All-Star team. This was highly contentious and a league vote on whether to make this optional or mandatory split the league straight down the middle. In the end we went with optional and right now we have seven members of the team that are All-Star only players. Although this is not ideal, it’s a start and I hope that by continuing to play at the highest level we can convince more members that skating for the All Star team is worth giving up their home teams for.
So travelling together, playing together and having fun is SUPER important for the team dynamic. This weekend we all stayed in this amazing house right on a lake, which meant that we had lots of time for hanging out together in the evenings, making breakfast in the mornings and talking about stupid stuff til the wee hours. The games we were playing were not particularly high stress, so we had lots of time to relax, watch some great derby and even play it some hilarious pick up games.
It’s really special when you can see a team coming together. Even more so when members have to get over the fact that at another time they were enemies. A happy team works well on the track. You trust your team mates to do what you ask them, you respect each other and push each other to be the best you can be, they are there for you when you need them.
A few years ago you could win games by having great skaters. Now you have to have great skaters AND great teamwork to beat the best teams out there. I am looking forward to some awesome teamwork with the Terminal City All-Stars this year.
Thanks for a kick ass weekend ladies!
love from your captain xoxo
oh and check out me chatting with Val Capone about Pivotstar 🙂