Furicorn loves to blog! And we love to share our team mates musings and ponderings post game. So this seems like the perfect opportunity to share her experience during our recent scrim with the Sheffield Steel Crucibelles. This scrim was a bit of a pre-cursor to our first T4WN British Champs game of 2018, and it went rather well!
Where to start… Well it probably goes without saying I was nervous; that is standard practice for me before any game, be it a friendly or not.
The team had been training hard and gearing up for this for a couple of weeks. We knew it was just a game for fun and to get us used to playing together, but it was also a little bit of preparation for our Champs games which are descending upon us quickly.
I got to our training venue like normal, said a quick hello to everyone that was there and then took myself off to kit up. I was so nervous. I was more nervous for this game than any other because it was the first time I’d been told I’d be on the jam rotation instead of being a blocker, and I was terrified I’d let my team down.
After kitting up I said a few more hellos and went to have a gentle skate to try and shake off some of the nerves. The hall was full of busy with the NSO’s getting stuff together and the referees deciding who would be doing what. Thankfully the lovely Sheffield girls brought a couple of refs which made things easier and took pressure off some of our newer zebras.
The Crucibelles were first to warm up and as they did we had a quick pep talk with our captain, Flying Kiwi. She likes to try and get us to set small goals to work towards before every game, whether it’s something for yourself as an individual, or something for the whole team to concentrate on. It always goes down well and gives the girls something to reach for.
Something we sometimes struggle with is communication when on track, so that was a big one for us to try and overcome. We also have different things we train every month and, most recently, we have been looking at offence; how can we help our jammer get out of the pack and start scoring points as quickly and efficiently as possible? So that was another group goal; do as much effective offence as possible.
We warmed up and before I knew what was happening, the whistle was going for the first jam (which I begged our LUM not to put me on for!). We got lead, we scored points, we listened to our bench (another thing we sometimes struggle with!) and everything was good. Second jam was up and there was more of the same; we scored points, we didn’t panic, we were talking to each other and more importantly, we were listening. Then the star panty was handed to me and I was told I was on for the next jam – I don’t think I’ve ever felt so anxious in my life. What if I didn’t get lead? What if I didn’t score points? What if I ended up being so terrible that I’d never be asked to jam again? Ever?!
As I stood on the jam line waiting for the 5 chickens countdown, the jammer from Sheffield gave me a reassuring smile and asked me if I was okay. It didn’t make my anxiety go away but just the fact she bothered to do that small thing, made me feel more at ease. As the whistle for my first jam sounded, I can honestly say I didn’t feel like me anymore. It was a surreal feeling and one I can’t really describe; I’m usually quite quiet and polite, and I apologise for hitting my teammates on track constantly (something I know they wish I didn’t do!). But after that whistle, I didn’t care about saying I was sorry when I sent anyone flying; I wasn’t afraid to tell people to move out of my way; it didn’t phase me that I’d been knocked off track and knocked down – I got up as quickly as I could and went right back to hitting the opposing team as hard as I could. And you know what? I got through and out of the pack. Not only that, but I got lead – I actually scored points for my team. Something I continued to do for the remainder of the game (to my utmost surprise).
I jammed maybe one in four jams and most of the time I got lead. By the time the first half was over, DCRA were winning and everyone was enjoying themselves. We had a quick break (in which I was convinced I was going to die or throw up – both felt likely, God damn anxiety) and another quick discussion where we mentioned what was going well, and what we could be doing better. Everyone was in high spirits and it was such a great thing to be a part of.
With half time up it was time to get back on track. Usually, DCRA use the first half of a game to get to grips with things; we have a panic and it takes us a little while to get into a rhythm. Not this time; we’d gotten all of that sorted and out of the way at our training session earlier in the week which meant we were gelling well and understanding what each other needed, which meant the second half was as good as, if not better, than the first.
Our blockers were doing amazing offence off the line and almost every subsequent pass after, and our jammers got lead more often than not. I jammed some more and didn’t die – but I was sent flying where I must have looked like something from a cartoon the way I sailed through the air and skidded on my stomach backwards to a stop. Whoever did that to me, I salute you for a brilliant hit, I’m still aching now and it hurts to cough! The second half went over far too quickly and before anyone realised, it was game over. Queue sadness for the end of the game but sheer joy at the fact we had won!
We said our thank you’s to the refs, NSO’s and of course our opponents for making the trek to play us. After sweaty hugs and of course sweaty team pictures (why do we never seem to get a picture before we look like we’ve been stood out in the rain?) it was time for awards!
Our captain, Flying Kiwi got Best Jammer, Best Blocker went to Bam Solo and MVP was awarded to our longest serving member, Laura Lockdown. Thoroughly well deserved all round!
This was my third proper game playing as part of DCRA and my first where I’d seen us win. It was amazing to be included and I can’t wait for the next one. Just so happens that will be British Championships!
Read more of Furicorn’s adventures in life, love and everything else by clicking HERE