Amie Colosa shares how participating in women’s roller derby empowered her to improve her web-design strategies
Amie Colosa shares how roller derby helped improve her web-design strategies
With my starter roller skates in hand and a few hours of practice under my belt, I walked into the rink anxious but excited for a new experience. It was a recruitment event for a local roller derby league just starting up. I prepared myself to observe from the sidelines but something totally different happened – when I got there one of the women convinced me to put on my skates and safety gear. ‘Get out there!’ she said while pushing me onto the rink. This began my roller derby career.
I primarily play the point-scorer position called jammer. Jammers have to be speedy and agile to fight their way through a pack of skaters on the opposing team before their Jammer does. I quickly found that in order to be successful I had to learn to be resilient and flexible.
Flexibility is important in roller derby and the creative process. I used to be stubborn in starting everything from scratch and doing things the hard way – I was reluctant to utilise resources that would help my workflow. Now, I welcome working smarter and being open to new tools and ideas. Similarly, in derby, you can’t have tunnel vision or you might miss the help of your teammates.
There is a misconception that roller derby isn’t a ‘real’ sport – that there isn’t athleticism involved, even though it is full-contact. When you’re a spectator watching, it’s easy to look past the sport aspect of the game and just see girls in fishnets skating around. But what the attendees of a game aren’t seeing is the hours of practice we spend working together and perfecting our strategies, which is similar to prepping to design a website. Like derby, making a website has rules and involves a lot of work behind the scenes. All of the research, UI/UX decisions and lines of code are not apparent to the end user.
Playing roller derby has improved my selfefficacy. I can directly see how gaining a better understanding of game strategies makes me a better teammate and skater. This confidence has transferred into my life and especially my career. This quick-thinking sport has empowered me to trust my judgements and my skills to work with others towards a common goal. When you trust yourself and fully collaborate with a client or teammates, that’s when the magic happens.
Amie (@amiegrrl) is a multipassionate designer, front-end developer and DIY enthusiast.