Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fuckheads on a Pedestal

Which two people am I talking about?  Why the two former captains I spoke so truthfully and lowly about in my "go fuck yourself MHC" story before of course!  haha 

The league that hosted us was so kind as to pay for us to go and give us places to stay.  I believe they did more than I think anyone could reasonably ask of them in terms of accommodating us and making us feel welcome.  This includes a welcoming party as well as being taken around to various places during our stay.

So what did those two former captains (and still DRD skaters) provide to this league?  Two bad attitudes as self-centered as you could ever ask for.  We were there for 8 days and there were 20 hours of practice scheduled for us.  We definitely didn't have a ton of time for sightseeing and the like, but when you're getting paid to be there, that's the gig.

I watched these two stay off skates at practice for almost the entire 20 hours & 8 days of practice we had there.  Excuses like "I think people are trying to hurt me to prove something" or "I'm tired" were what was thrown about.  But really it's because they wanted to feel idolized by someone else.  I watched them just soak up the accolades and give back so very little.  Couldn't even be bothered to participate in the drills with the ladies.  There was also a nice little get together after one of the practices in a pub and this sealed the deal.  It was towards the end of our stay and people that hadn't been able to attend some of the other things came out to this one.  The league skaters were more interested in talking about their derby experiences, which were of course on a different level than mine or the two I went with.  But that's also part of it.  People shouldn't want to hear you talk about how great you are or the like.  You're there to help the sport and the people you're working with improve.  But not these two arrogrant ones I brought with me.  They sat completely disinterested, rolling eyes and the whole nine for pretty much the entire time.  I was taken aback by such behavior and I asked about it afterwards because it came across to me as very disrespectful.  This was another supposedly "tired" time for them.  But upon reflection (then and now), it was because these moments weren't about them.  These moments were about the group and because they had no real interest in supporting them and getting to know them, they couldn't be bothered.

I've been on a lot more such trips without these two since that 2010 one.  And while I think there have been varying degrees of success depending on the league, I've never since had another negative experience like that.  And it's simply because I've either gone alone or taken someone that doesn't have that kind of ego to damage the overall goal. 

Let's extrapolate this little story for a second.  Think about how many different people are brought into help, whether it be individuals, a team, Rollercon, or whatever else.  There are a lot of high level skaters that can't teach what they do.  That's just a fact.  Paying them to come and be the belles of your little ball is unlikely to have much impact on your team.  Bear in mind that one of the little divas I'm talking about above is also on Team USA.  It's a fun cycle of derby the past three years (at least).  Certain individuals benefit by cannibalizing the sport.  Some may actually be of help in some way although your league is unlikely to get much strategy help in terms of cutting edge drills their team uses to be at the top.  (Standing still and watching referee define a pack on power jams doesn't require anyone to teach it either.  haha)  But the majority are just douches overcharging for what they will provide on track.  And that's not even counting the crappy attitudes you'll encounter. 

But this is the most interesting part of the boot camp/guest instructor phenomena.  People tend to equate spending a lot of money with improvement.  If I spent $500 on self-improvement, I believe it's human nature that I want to believe it works great and so I will think that because I want to think that.  Derby is no different.  I bring in star skater X for a couple of days at a substantial cost to my league.  Whatever they do is going to be swallowed in whole by almost everyone on the host league that interacts with that paid skater because you paid a lot of money to have them there and they are a good player with their own team. 

As with most things, buyer beware.  If you're comfortable wasting league or your own money on something that's unlikely to have any real impact on your ability to play the game at a high level, then you're going to do that.  But you should know going in that you're not going to get your money's worth.  You're more than likely providing some douchebag a vacation.  The majority of these people are just popular in the community.  They can't even live up to the realities of their performance in footage.  Hey, I'm confident and am perceived as a douche by a lot of people.  I know that and accept that.  But I would also say that of the many others trying to get a vacation or make a buck at this, a whole lot of them are douchebags too.  And they don't give a single shit about you.  They just want your money and for you to tell them how amazing they are constantly. 

So just say no to putting these undeserving types on a pedestal.  Best thing you can do for your league in my opinion.  Free your mind and your ass will follow.

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