Lock It Up: Being in the Moment vs. Setting Goals

By Lux Mayhem

You’re pushing hard on the track, sweat, snot and spit drips off your face as you wince at the burning in your quads. You’re lead jammer, hustling through the pack on your second pass. Or you’re jam kill, hitting bitches out left and right. Either way, you’re owning it. Suddenly you think, “Damn, did Killo just pull my panties down doing a whip? MY CRACK IS SHOWING!” And you Lose. Your. Mojo.

Sports performance weighs on being in the moment. A grudging nod goes out to every sports coach who ever yelled, “Get your head in the game!” You take it for granted when you’re completely present and in the zone for an entire bout (or scrimmage or practice)…until you’re not.

Let’s use the wisdom of Peanuts. When Lucy apologizes to Charlie Brown for missing an easy fly ball she says, “I thought I had it, but suddenly I remembered all the others I’ve missed…” And she sums up what messed up her performance: “The past got in my eyes!” It takes practice to let everything go but what’s happening in the now.

And while the now is important, it’s also a reflection of all your preparation and goals. Goals, shmoals, right? Dr. Denise Wood, a sports coach and former USA Track and Field champion, says, “Athletes tend to be more focused and committed to training when goals are clearly established and they know unquestionably when they have achieved them.”

Dr. Wood (I just like saying that, and it reminds me of the Siren’s “Mourning Wood”, swoon) is right. Goals are about intent, and having a clear idea of what you want. A lot of top skaters at RollerCon said they give themselves little goals for each practice, and big monthly or yearly goals. Kamikaze Kitten says in DerbyLife, “You need goals. Realistic goals. Little steps to take that lead towards your ultimate goals of being the best player you can be. You need to look at your areas of weakness and give yourself actionable tasks that will make a difference to those weak areas.”

So what were your derby goals in 2012? It’s worth taking a few minutes to consider them, and why you did or didn’t achieve them. If you nailed it (thanks, Doogie!), rewarding yourself is in order. If not, break the goal down and start again, and reward yourself along the way. If you didn’t set goals in 2012, at least jot down where your skills were at in January 2012, and how much you improved by December. It’ll give you motivation to keep busting it out.

Part II for January’s newsletter will focus on setting goals for 2013. Because goal setting and being in the moment are completely compatible (IMO). The point of goals is to plan and prepare, and once you’ve prepared, it’s about being in the moment. So for the upcoming year let’s set ourselves up for success, by setting short and long term goals for ourselves. No matter how small. And let’s not let the past get in our eyes!

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