DIAL KIDS BODY + HAIR WASH REVIEW / GIVEAWAY

Thanks to Dial and Purex Insiders for providing me a bottle of this product for review!

It’s always a struggle to get my almost 8-year-old into the shower at night.  “Can we skip showers tonight, Mom?  Can I do it later?  Just a few more minutes?”

So I love having products on hand that make showering just a little bit more fun for her, like these Dial Kids Body + Hair Wash products!

For those of you with preschool-aged kids, there’s the tear-free Peachy Clean variety for children ages 2 through 5, who have outgrown baby wash and shampoo but aren’t yet ready for adult-strength products.  And for those of you with older kids, there are two varieties for children ages 6 and up: Watery Melon and Berry Cool, which are packaged in fun, bright colors and yummy scents.

As their name shows, these products can be used both for cleaning your child’s body and their hair!  The tub is cluttered enough with everything the kids use, so it’s nice that this one bottle can replace two, making it just a bit less cluttered.

My daughter tried the Watery Melon variety, and she loved it.  She liked the watermelon smell and how her skin felt nice and smooth afterwards.  The body wash was designed to allow for cleansing without drying out her skin, as many kids’ soaps can be.  It’s also hypoallergenic and pH-balanced.  Good to know!

I was happy to see that the color of the product was slightly white – meaning no artificial colors.  I was also happy that she couldn’t get mixed up and use the body wash on her hair and the shampoo on her skin.  No confusion at all!  It also made her shower just a bit shorter because she didn’t have to fiddle with two different bottles – saving time as well as water.

And here’s some exciting news: Dial is running a sweepstakes to give away 250 free bottles of Dial Kids Body + Hair Wash – and one lucky winner will win $1,000!  Click here to enter the sweepstakes.

If you’d like to try out Dial Kids Body + Hair Wash sooner, look for it at your local grocery store, drug store, or national chain store.

Or you can enter for a chance to win a free product coupon here at Frugal Follies!

Three winners will be chosen.  Here is the fine print on the coupon: Get a FREE bottle of New Dial Kids Body & Hair Wash.  Manufacturer’s coupon.  Limit one coupon per purchase of specified item(s).  Limit of 1 like coupon in same shopping trip.  Coupon not valid with other coupons for the same item.  Maximum value: $4.49.  Expires 06/30/2013.

To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter below!  The giveaway is open to US residents 18 and older.  The giveaway ends onThursday, May 9, 2013, at 11:59 pm EST.  If you are one of the winners, Frugal Follies will contact you via the Rafflecopter email you have provided.  If you do not respond within 48 hours, you will be ruled ineligible to win the prize, and another winner will be chosen.  This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or any other social media site.

Good luck!

13 Things Happy People Do Differently

People aren’t simply happy or sad, we’re both.

Sometimes at the same time.

Happy and sad are momentary experiences, just as hunger, melancholy, joy, grief or clarity are things you experience in a specific moment.

These things define a moment, not a person, so while happiness isn’t something you possess as you do with a shoe size or eye colour, it is something that you can cultivate more of.

Happiness can surely get you into trouble if you go about it in the wrong ways (by padding life out with the accumulation of stuff rather than filling it with moments of value, for example), but at its core, happiness can remind you of all that’s good in the world, rather than focusing on all the bad things.

This is why it’s worth bothering about, because happiness adds to your perception and lends you perspective, always lending you a better, simpler way of looking at things.

We’re not setting out to be part of an inane, smiling, delusional cult of happiness here. I can’t think of anything worse or more irritating.

But if happiness feels like something you’d like to experience more of, here are 12 things happy people do differently that you can start with.

1. Practice gratitude

Being grateful and thankful doesn’t turn you into the kind of simpleton who would say “Thank you, I love ducks” right after being pushed into the boating lake. It does however, create thinking that tunes you in to the good things you have in your life rather than becoming more and more blasé about them.

Practicing gratitude focuses you on what life brings rather than what it doesn’t, and that’s where happiness comes from.

2. Prioritise nourishment

Nourishment is more than eating your vegetables and getting a decent night’s sleep. It’s about making sure your head, heart and body are kept topped up with the stuff they need not only to function, but to flourish.

If you’re not taking good care of yourself little else will matter.

3. Don’t pursue status

Your brain is wired not only to figure out where you sit in the professional and social pecking order against others, but to reinforce your position in that pecking order.

Yeah, we’re hardwired to be assholes sometimes.

When you get wrapped up in establishing or maintaining status, the moment your place in the hierarchy drops you’re going to feel pretty horrible, like you’ve screwed up, that you’re no good or that others are better than you.

Don’t get into the status game – there are no winners.

4. Separate success and specific outcomes

Your level of happiness is not dependent on reaching a goal or objective.

Your success and happiness have nothing to do with what happens, and everything to do with how you perceive your achievements, your value and how you’re engaging with your life.

Every time you make your success and happiness conditional on something happening, you’re missing point entirely.

5. Don’t reject or bury the bad

If you’re in the habit of brushing the bad stuff under the carpet, sooner or later you’re gonna trip up over that small hill that’s grown in the middle of the room and end up smashing your ego all over the place.

You can only ignore or shut out the bad stuff in life (and there will always be bad stuff in life) for so long.

Respect it. Integrate it. Welcome it. Learn from it. Accept it.

6. Stay out of the drama

Happy people don’t spend their time whining about how hard they’re having it, how everything’s going wrong, how everyone just needs to stop screwing everything up for you and how life would be so much easier if it wasn’t for everyone and everything they do.

Getting into all of the “he said she said” of the world will keep you down in the detail and drama and you’ll be excluding all the beautiful and extraordinary stuff that’s right there in front of you.

7. Strip away expectations

Inside that noggin of yours, your brain is doing its best to figure out what will happen next so that it can make sure you’ll be safe and sound.

So it starts creating expectations for how things will go, what you’ll do next and how you’ll do it. It creates expectations about what others will do and what that means for your world. It even creates expectations about what other people might expect of you, just so you can fit in, not draw attention and keep on staying safe, secure and certain in your environment.

Only, those same expectations will drastically limit your quality of life and resultant levels of confidence and happiness. So get rid of ‘em.

8. They know what makes them tick

It’s redundant to talk about happiness unless you know something about what makes you happy. So what are the things that make you tick – the stuff that matters to you enough for you to do something about?

You’ll experience more happiness from doing the things that foster meaning, flow and contribution, so doing a little leg work to see what makes you tick goes an extraordinarily long way.

9. Don’t fight against their environment

So many people waste time and energy flapping their wings against the bars of the cage they think they’re in, they never figure out a better way to use that same energy.

If you struggle against your environment, your environment will win. Instead, put in some effort to create an environment that’s congruent with what matters to you – an environment that brings what matters to life.

10. They’re connected

Feeling isolated is pretty darn sucky. It’s a bit like being alone in an attic while the zombie apocalypse happens in the world outside. You end up scared, stuck and listening out for sign of an undead brain-eater heading your way.

Okay, so it’s mainly the scared and stuck thing.

Feeling connected (to others, a project, a community, a family, a cause, etc.) gives you a sense of belonging, a sense that your life and your world are bigger than just you and that you’re part of a network that counts for something.

11. Notice the small things

I talk a lot about doing stuff that matters to you, making a difference and creating extraordinary change, and the temptation is to think that this is some big, grand, oh-so worthy endeavour.

Truth is, there’s wonder in the tiny things too. Holding hands. Sunlight through trees. A steamed-up bathroom.

The way someone smiles. That song you love. Squirrels playing in the park. A car letting you cross the street. The first page of a book. Laughing out loud.

The small things matter massively.

12. Leverage natural confidence

Natural confidence is being able to choose your behaviour with implicit trust in that behaviour. It’s knowing that you can get on, make choices and do stuff, and deal with whatever happens.

Natural confidence is freeing, simple and powerful, and it’s the quality that allows you to get out there and do what matters.

13. Know they don’t need to be happy all the time

Happy people don’t bank on feeling happy all the time. They know that it’s transitory, and they know that there are moments when it’s a choice.

Thinking that you need to be happy all the time or that you’re owed happiness will put you on the road towards Missingthepointcompletelyville.

Happiness is as much an intention – a precursor to a moment in time – as it is an outcome.

How are you with this whole happiness thing?

Written on 4/16/2013 by Steve Errey. Steve is a confidence coach who helps you find your natural confidence so that you can put your dent in the universe – which basically means doing what matters to you in ways that work for you.  Go grab The Code and get more of him on Twitter. Photo Credit

 

Read the next article or check out these related categories: 

22 Things Happy People Do Differently

Posted on April 19, 2013

This article is from Chiara Fucarino. Enjoy!

There are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those whoSanta Monicachoose to be unhappy. Contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn’t come from fame, fortune, other people, or material possessions. Rather, it comes from within. The richest person in the world could be miserable while a homeless person could be right outside, smiling and content with their life. Happy people are happy because they make themselves happy. They maintain a positive outlook on life and remain at peace with themselves.

The question is: how do they do that?

It’s quite simple. Happy people have good habits that enhance their lives. They do things differently. Ask any happy person, and they will tell you that they …

1. Don’t hold grudges.

Happy people understand that it’s better to forgive and forget than to let their negative feelings crowd out their positive feelings. Holding a grudge has a lot of detrimental effects on your wellbeing, including increased depression, anxiety, and stress. Why let anyone who has wronged you have power over you? If you let go of all your grudges, you’ll gain a clear conscience and enough energy to enjoy the good things in life.

2. Treat everyone with kindness.

Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that being kind makes you happier? Every time you perform a selfless act, your brain produces serotonin, a hormone that eases tension and lifts your spirits. Not only that, but treating people with love, dignity, and respect also allows you to build stronger relationships.

3. See problems as challenges.

The word “problem” is never part of a happy person’s vocabulary. A problem is viewed as a drawback, a struggle, or an unstable situation while a challenge is viewed as something positive like an opportunity, a task, or a dare. Whenever you face an obstacle, try looking at it as a challenge.

4. Express gratitude for what they already have.

There’s a popular saying that goes something like this: “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.” You will have a deeper sense of contentment if you count your blessings instead of yearning for what you don’t have.

5. Dream big.

People who get into the habit of dreaming big are more likely to accomplish their goals than those who don’t. If you dare to dream big, your mind will put itself in a focused and positive state.

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Happy people ask themselves, “Will this problem matter a year from now?” They understand that life’s too short to get worked up over trivial situations. Letting things roll off your back will definitely put you at ease to enjoy the more important things in life.

7. Speak well of others.

Being nice feels better than being mean. As fun as gossiping is, it usually leaves you feeling guilty and resentful. Saying nice things about other people encourages you to think positive, non-judgmental thoughts.

8. Never make excuses.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Happy people don’t make excuses or blame others for their own failures in life. Instead, they own up to their mistakes and, by doing so, they proactively try to change for the better.

9. Get absorbed into the present.

Happy people don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. They savor the present. They let themselves get immersed in whatever they’re doing at the moment. Stop and smell the roses.

10. Wake up at the same time every morning.

Have you noticed that a lot of successful people tend to be early risers? Waking up at the same time every morning stabilizes your circadian rhythm, increases productivity, and puts you in a calm and centered state.

11. Avoid social comparison.

Everyone works at his own pace, so why compare yourself to others? If you think you’re better than someone else, you gain an unhealthy sense of superiority. If you think someone else is better than you, you end up feeling bad about yourself. You’ll be happier if you focus on your own progress and praise others on theirs.

12. Choose friends wisely.

Misery loves company. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with optimistic people who will encourage you to achieve your goals. The more positive energy you have around you, the better you will feel about yourself.

13. Never seek approval from others.

Happy people don’t care what others think of them. They follow their own hearts without letting naysayers discourage them. They understand that it’s impossible to please everyone. Listen to what people have to say, but never seek anyone’s approval but your own.

14. Take the time to listen.

Talk less; listen more. Listening keeps your mind open to others’ wisdoms and outlooks on the world. The more intensely you listen, the quieter your mind gets, and the more content you feel.

15. Nurture social relationships.

A lonely person is a miserable person. Happy people understand how important it is to have strong, healthy relationships. Always take the time to see and talk to your family, friends, or significant other.

16. Meditate.

Meditating silences your mind and helps you find inner peace. You don’t have to be a zen master to pull it off. Happy people know how to silence their minds anywhere and anytime they need to calm their nerves.

17. Eat well.

Junk food makes you sluggish, and it’s difficult to be happy when you’re in that kind of state. Everything you eat directly affects your body’s ability to produce hormones, which will dictate your moods, energy, and mental focus. Be sure to eat foods that will keep your mind and body in good shape.

18. Exercise.

Studies have shown that exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft does. Exercising also boosts your self-esteem and gives you a higher sense of self-accomplishment.

19. Live minimally.

Happy people rarely keep clutter around the house because they know that extra belongings weigh them down and make them feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Some studies have concluded that Europeans are a lot happier than Americans are, which is interesting because they live in smaller homes, drive simpler cars, and own fewer items.

20. Tell the truth.

Lying stresses you out, corrodes your self-esteem, and makes you unlikeable. The truth will set you free. Being honest improves your mental health and builds others’ trust in you. Always be truthful, and never apologize for it.

21. Establish personal control.

Happy people have the ability to choose their own destinies. They don’t let others tell them how they should live their lives. Being in complete control of one’s own life brings positive feelings and a great sense of self-worth.

22. Accept what cannot be changed.

Once you accept the fact that life is not fair, you’ll be more at peace with yourself. Instead of obsessing over how unfair life is, just focus on what you can control and change it for the better.

Have you found true happiness in your life? What makes you happy? Share, comment, and be happy with your beautiful life. 

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SELF IMPROVEMENT VS. SELF ACCEPTANCE

 

Close-up of red blood cells and germsApril 19, 2013

(For this week’s audio podcast, click here.)

I had the honor of meeting authorRobert Holdenrecently when we both spoke at the Hay House IGNITE event in San Jose, CA (which was an amazing experience, by the way).  Robert is someone whom I’ve admired for quite some time.  It was wonderful to get a chance to meet him in person and hear him speak live.  In his talk, he said “There’s no amount of self improvement that can make up for a lack of self acceptance.”

This statement really struck me and as I started to think about it more, I realized that so much of my life and my work is focused on self improvement.  And while there’s nothing wrong with me or any of us wanting to improve ourselves – too often we go about it erroneously thinking that if we “achieve” the “improvement” we’re after, we’ll then feel good about ourselves.  As Robert pointed out in his talk (and most of us have experienced this in our lives many times), it doesn’t work this way.

We live in a culture that is obsessed with self improvement.  We turn on the TV, look at magazines, take classes, read books, listen to others, surf the web and more – constantly getting various messages that if we just fixed, changed, and improved ourselves a bit, we’d be better off.  How often do you find yourself thinking some version of, “If I just lost a little weight, made a little more money, improved my health, had more inspiring work, lived in a nicer place, improved my relationships (or something else), then I’d be happy.”   Even though I “know better,” this type of thinking shows up inside my own head more often than I’d like.

The paradox of self improvement is that by accepting ourselves as we are, we give ourselves the space, permission, and opportunity to create an authentic sense of success and fulfillment.  When we insatiably focus on improving ourselves, thinking that it will ultimately lead us to a place of happiness, we’re almost always disappointed and we set up a stressful dynamic of constantly striving, but never quite getting there.

What if we gave ourselves permission to accept ourselves fully, right now?  While this is a simple concept, it’s one of the many things in life that’s easier said than done.  One of the biggest pieces of resistance we have regarding self acceptance is that we erroneously think that by accepting ourselves, we may somehow be giving up.  It’s as if we say to ourselves, “Okay, I’ll accept myself, once all of my problems and issues go away.”

Another reason we resist accepting ourselves is the notion that somehow acceptance is resignation.  It’s not.  Acceptance is acceptance – it’s about allowing things to be as they are, even if we don’t like them.  As Byron Katie says (and I often quote), “When you argue with reality you lose, but only 100% of the time.”

The paradox of self acceptance is that when we allow ourselves to accept who we are, where we are, what’s really happening, qualities about ourselves, aspects of who we are, and more – we actually set ourselves up and give ourselves the opportunity to make changes, improvements, and enhancements to ourselves and our lives in an authentic way.  When we obsess about and/or demand these improvements or changes “in order to” be happy, feel good about ourselves, or think we’re successful, it almost never works.

If you take a moment right now to think about some of the most important improvements and changes you’re attempting to make in your life, ask yourself this question, “What would it look like, feel like, and be like for me to fully accept myself in these important areas of my life?”

Most of the time it’s our own self criticism, perfection demands, and impatience that are actually getting in our way of making the changes, creating the success, and experiencing the fulfillment we truly want.  What if we changed our approach and with as much love, compassion, and vulnerability as possible, just accepted ourselves exactly as we are, right now!

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Is Your Leadership Showing?

You’re the CEO of your company. But do you look and act like a leader? Here are five ways to get started.

businessman looking in mirror

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Most members of a team know when they’re doing their work well. They often have a particular area of expertise, and they have deadlines and deliverables.

For leaders, it’s a bit different. How do you show that you’re leading? Here are five competencies that good leaders demonstrate. They are related to one another, and each is framed with a question to help you think about opportunities to display leadership.

1. Visibility

We know that leaders need to be seen by followers–from formal presentations and announcements, to a crisis, to simple “managing by walking around.”  The less-obvious occasions, however, are easily overlooked. They can be lost opportunities, or powerful expressions of leadership.

As a leader, when do you feel out of your comfort zone? Maybe it’s when you have to deliver bad or unpopular news, or mediate a conflict between direct reports, or perform a necessary task that you just don’t like. One CEO client told me that he found it hard to celebrate the “small to medium wins” that his team wanted acknowledged. He considered these victories just part of doing business. His solution was to ask his executives to publicize accomplishments up to a certain level, allowing him to save his praise for the really big achievements.

Ask yourself, “How am I visible to others when I don’t want to be?” The answer is not to pretend to like being visible–far from it. Instead, ask yourself this question prior to an uncomfortable event, and use it to help you prepare. Consider some behavioral options, and put yourself in a different mental space. Then you’ll be able to be visible in a more productive, less stressful manner.

2. Preparation

Many leaders are great at preparing the logistics of leadership (the facts and figures in a plan, or the pitch for a presentation). Too many leaders, however, don’t prepare regularly for the deeper daily requirements of leadership. This is a shame, because most leaders face complex challenges, relentless claims on their time, and increasing pressures to deliver on goals over which they don’t have direct control. A bit of regular preparation goes a long way.

Just as athletic activities involve physical, mental, and emotional energies, leadership is a “whole-body practice” and requires preparation of the whole person. The next time you are running through your checklist prior to a leadership event, ask yourself, “How have I prepared my whole self for this?”

3. Comfort

This is closely related to preparation, because leadership discomfort is greatly enhanced by a lack of preparation. In order to be more comfortable as a leader and to appear that way to other people, you need to practice (which is simple preparation repeated).  By “comfortable,” I don’t mean perpetually happy or even relaxed–I mean groundedin your complete embodiment of leadership.

Ask yourself, “How do I display that I am comfortable with the responsibilities and demands of leadership?” Look for nagging doubts in the back of your mind; or instincts that need to be surfaced around what you feel should be happening instead of what is happening, or that feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach about an issue not faced. This is valuable data, and if you do not address your lack of grounding and comfort, others will certainly sense it for you.

4. Listening

One reason that modern leadership is hard is because an effective modern leader must listen to others. Though few people manage to do it, this may be one of the easiest competencies to demonstrate–provided you can resist the urge to talk.

Ask yourself, “What one thing can I tell myself as a reminder to listen more?” It’s vitally important that you think up an effective cue. If you can’t come up with one, that in itself could indicate a deeper internal misalignment.

5. Blend

This list started with visibility. When the opposite is required, a leader must blend in. Otherwise, he or she risks drawing attention away from the people and issues at hand. When you pull back, it makes it easier for other people to bring you hard problems, bad news, and perspectives that challenge the status quo.

As a leader, it’s not all about you. The clearest way to demonstrate this is to find the right moments to step out of the spotlight so that other people get the attention they need. Ask yourself, “When necessary, how do I lower the volume of my leadership presence?”

Though leadership can be hard to demonstrate at times, regularly questioning how you embody your role will serve your leadership well.

Brian Evje is a management consultant with the organizational-effectiveness practice Slalom Consulting and an advisory board member of Astia, a global not-for-profit dedicated to increasing women’s participation in high-growth businesses.

From The Web

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inShare

Most members of a team know when they’re doing their work well. They often have a particular area of expertise, and they have deadlines and deliverables.

For leaders, it’s a bit different. How do you show that you’re leading? Here are five competencies that good leaders demonstrate. They are related to one another, and each is framed with a question to help you think about opportunities to display leadership.

1. Visibility

We know that leaders need to be seen by followers–from formal presentations and announcements, to a crisis, to simple “managing by walking around.”  The less-obvious occasions, however, are easily overlooked. They can be lost opportunities, or powerful expressions of leadership.

As a leader, when do you feel out of your comfort zone? Maybe it’s when you have to deliver bad or unpopular news, or mediate a conflict between direct reports, or perform a necessary task that you just don’t like. One CEO client told me that he found it hard to celebrate the “small to medium wins” that his team wanted acknowledged. He considered these victories just part of doing business. His solution was to ask his executives to publicize accomplishments up to a certain level, allowing him to save his praise for the really big achievements.

Ask yourself, “How am I visible to others when I don’t want to be?” The answer is not to pretend to like being visible–far from it. Instead, ask yourself this question prior to an uncomfortable event, and use it to help you prepare. Consider some behavioral options, and put yourself in a different mental space. Then you’ll be able to be visible in a more productive, less stressful manner.

2. Preparation

Many leaders are great at preparing the logistics of leadership (the facts and figures in a plan, or the pitch for a presentation). Too many leaders, however, don’t prepare regularly for the deeper daily requirements of leadership. This is a shame, because most leaders face complex challenges, relentless claims on their time, and increasing pressures to deliver on goals over which they don’t have direct control. A bit of regular preparation goes a long way.

Just as athletic activities involve physical, mental, and emotional energies, leadership is a “whole-body practice” and requires preparation of the whole person. The next time you are running through your checklist prior to a leadership event, ask yourself, “How have I prepared my whole self for this?”

3. Comfort

This is closely related to preparation, because leadership discomfort is greatly enhanced by a lack of preparation. In order to be more comfortable as a leader and to appear that way to other people, you need to practice (which is simple preparation repeated).  By “comfortable,” I don’t mean perpetually happy or even relaxed–I mean groundedin your complete embodiment of leadership.

Ask yourself, “How do I display that I am comfortable with the responsibilities and demands of leadership?” Look for nagging doubts in the back of your mind; or instincts that need to be surfaced around what you feel should be happening instead of what is happening, or that feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach about an issue not faced. This is valuable data, and if you do not address your lack of grounding and comfort, others will certainly sense it for you.

4. Listening

One reason that modern leadership is hard is because an effective modern leader must listen to others. Though few people manage to do it, this may be one of the easiest competencies to demonstrate–provided you can resist the urge to talk.

Ask yourself, “What one thing can I tell myself as a reminder to listen more?” It’s vitally important that you think up an effective cue. If you can’t come up with one, that in itself could indicate a deeper internal misalignment.

5. Blend

This list started with visibility. When the opposite is required, a leader must blend in. Otherwise, he or she risks drawing attention away from the people and issues at hand. When you pull back, it makes it easier for other people to bring you hard problems, bad news, and perspectives that challenge the status quo.

As a leader, it’s not all about you. The clearest way to demonstrate this is to find the right moments to step out of the spotlight so that other people get the attention they need. Ask yourself, “When necessary, how do I lower the volume of my leadership presence?”

Though leadership can be hard to demonstrate at times, regularly questioning how you embody your role will serve your leadership well.

Brian Evje is a management consultant with the organizational-effectiveness practice Slalom Consulting and an advisory board member of Astia, a global not-for-profit dedicated to increasing women’s participation in high-growth businesses.

New minimum skills have potential to make derby go ka-boom (in good and bad ways)

Everyone is slowly waking up from their weekend bangovers and hangovers to become lucid enough to read through the updated minimum skill requirements the WFTDA released. There’s no question, if a derby-wanna-be doesn’t strap on skates now and start moving, they may miss their window to play. There are some high expectations in there. But they are necessary expectations that will reduce time in the penalty box and reduce injury when skaters pass and start bouting.

Derby in Canada is in the middle of a major shift and I think these minimum skill requirements are going to be the black powder to trigger a bigger explosion of change. My province has over 20 leagues in existence right now. My guess is five years ago there were half as many, if not less. Many started their recruitment as, “Come out, we’ll teach you how to skate, you get to have fun, meet new people and wear fun outfits.”

With the new minimum requirements, leagues that continue to recruit in this manner are going to have some problems because this is bringing the sport to a new level. We all know fishnets and ass-creeping shorts are on the out while moisture wicking and performance gear are in. Skaters will be taught to skate, but if they can’t turn 360 degrees without breaking stride, they won’t see a bout until they can. Sure, they will be meeting new people and having fun, but don’t do it while the coach is giving instruction or you will be responsible for your team holding a plank for 1 minute.

Now is the time leagues need to be brutally honest when they are recruiting, if they aren’t already. Roller derby is work. Roller derby is commitment. And when your province has skaters moving so they can skate with better leagues, roller derby is turning pro (without the pro salaries).

I anticipate many leagues will be discussing these minimum skills at length over the coming days (and if it’s not on your radar, it should be). Many skaters who started the sport for fun and something different to do, as indicated by the recruitment poster in their local rec centre, will have to seriously evaluate their commitment and whether or not they will be able to continue. Granted, skills like hopping and lateral jumps are like riding a bike; once you get them you often don’t forget. But the new endurance and speed benchmarks require maintenance of your fitness level all year-round. (No more gorging and TV watching during the off-season.)

This is what everyone has been begging for… to be taken seriously as a sport. Here we are folks, this is serious.

But I still see opportunities for everyone to get to play.

I foresee a future of farm team rec leagues skating under the old requirements, where fresh meat will benchmark to skate and play until they want to be drafted onto competitive teams as rookies. These will be the skate-hard-and-have-fun leagues where if you need to leave the track during practice to answer your phone because your babysitter is calling, you won’t be punished. I’m sure this is already happening in the U.S. But I predict a sudden spike in rec leagues within Canada.

I foresee more teams moving to yearly intake to stay competitive and build a team intelligently (as opposed to monthly or quarterly). But expectations will be set high; you’ll have to play with a rec league and know the rules before even attending an intake practice.

I foresee serious athletes gravitating toward derby in great numbers. Athletes such as rugby players and hockey players may have stayed away because a league with constant open recruitment shows an un-established organization. I’m making huge assumptions here, but if you’ve played conventional sports your entire life and then move into a newer roller derby organization, I bet it would be very frustrating due to the constant coaching challenges, venue challenges and money challenges leagues have. Standardizing recruitment and having a venue that supports a full season would be very palatable to an established athlete.

I foresee leagues that have loaner gear programs ending them because the expectations to join will mean a new recruit owning skates and knowing how to use them before attending their first practice.

Finally, I foresee an exodus of existing skaters if leagues do not sit down and talk about these new minimum skills and how they fit in with their existing recruitment and practice policies. Some skaters are going to throw their hands up and say ‘I’m out’ if they feel they can’t keep up. If three or four skaters do that within a smaller league, the league won’t have enough players to roster and will be months away from training their fresh meat to reach the new minimum skills in order to be at the competitive level they want. Larger leagues that already have a high-level recruitment policy will make the shift to the new minimum skills more seamlessly. Smaller leagues playing catch-up will be left behind. I won’t be surprised if we see some leagues fold with these changes.

If your league isn’t talking about this right now, you should be. It’s going to change the sport we love. It’s going to be hard to work. But it’s also going to be awesome.

I’d love to hear from other leagues across the globe. Does your league have a recreational team? Do you use it to train and recruit skaters to the next level or is it strictly for fun? What do you think about the new minimum skills?

Here’s some other blogs on the topic that came out the last few days…

New Minimum Skills Highlights the Darker Side of Derby by Moxie

The new WFTDA minimum skills by Rachael

Minimum skills requirements upgrade – what does it all mean by Elusia

Edited (Apr 18/13) to add:

Mad Skills by Left 4 Deadwards

New WFTDA Minimum Skills – let’s chat by Frisky Sour

New Minimum Skils… and? by Elektra Q-Tion

Things Roller Derby Must Lose by Lightning Slim

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