Why I Derby - Tater
What is the backstory on your Derby Name?
I got my derby name from some women making fun of my ideas and leadership skills. They labeled me as a dictator. I’m always amused when people are sitting on the sidelines of life talking bull malarkey at the people out there actually doing cool stuff, so I went ahead and took the name dictator and wore it as a badge of honor, but only to spell it totally wrong, because I struggle at spelling Dick Tater is me!
When did you start roller derby?
I started roller derby in 2006
But my skating roots go much deeper than roller derby. I started competitive roller figure skating in 1986, and have actively been skating ever since.
I founded a class called Roller Derby Boot Camp March 2006. In my Roller Derby Boot Camp Class I taught women basic skating skills they needed to try out for roller derby. I was initially training women to try out for “another league” about 50 miles away from us, while I was also learning the things I needed to know to get ready for tryouts as well, but in the end the league did not want me to be a member, due to some weird excuses such as “you’re a great skater, but we fear that you will not take instruction well due to you already being a skating coach, come back in May and try again.”
So at that point I went to my long time friend and skating coach that owned the roller rink I was having my Roller Derby Boot Camp at, and asked him if I could start building a league. 6 months later South Side Roller Derby was born!! I convinced my now business partner Mojo and 4 other skaters to be on my BOD! Mojo is my soul surviving member! We challenge each other mentally and the difference makes our little thing called South Side Roller Derby one of only 9 Banked Track leagues in the world!
Why did you start derby?
I started derby because I wanted to be around other people that love rollerskating.
Has your why changed over the years?
Yes there are so many more whys now.
13 yrs into starting a Roller Derby league, my why list has definitely gotten longer
- I derby because it makes so many women find their passion, confidence, and support and that is something women typically lose once they are out of high school. Getting all that back, or just keeping it going in your adult years is huge. I love being part of that for each person that walks in to there 1st day of Beginner Roller Derby Class.
- I derby for my physical and mental health! Skating 2-3 days a week and eating right will do amazing things to your body and mind.
- I derby for my “Me Time”.
So many women lose their self, when they get married, and have children. I do derby as part of my self care routine. When I’m not roller skating, l’m running a web design internet marketing business, raising my two children, a dog, making time for my significant other, doing dishes, doing laundry, making sure my kids have baths, know right from wrong, and how to love thy neighbor.
When it’s Derby time it’s time for me! And I leave my home life at home. And come back recharged to be an awesome mom, and a dream girl for my significant other🤸🏻♀️🤸🏻♀️
Things you wish you knew when you 1st started derby that you know now.
- I wish I had experience with team sports, I was always an individual athlete, participating in figure skating. Team sports is a totally different animal, when your success is predicated upon your team buying into the same strategy.
- Having an understanding of what a team players roll is and a team leaders roll is. If you are a player you need to buy in to the teams culture. If you are a team leader you need to communicate, learn to communicate with all your players, on their level. Communication is key and you will have to craft your communications differently for different groups of people, don’t ever assume that one blanket of communication is going to resonate with everyone on your team, take your time and talk to your teammates as individuals as well, and that creates the unity that he needs to succeed.
- And all ways be a good listener. Listen to your team members and empathize with them. When you can empathize with the people you can understand how to get them to plug into a thriving team.
Like all my things