Coach Panda

SXSW 2015 Vote


Vote Here!
Vote Here!
Vote Here!
Vote Here!

I am extremely excited to share that I have submitted a session proposal for SXSW (South by SouthWest) Interactive 2015. This annual conference in Austin, TX is a showcase of the leading trends and innovators in design and technology industry. Sessions are voted on by the community and a panel of judges will announce the selected sessions in October 2014. Voting is open now and will close on Friday, September 6th.

My proposal is focused on sharing the surprising similarities between designing at PayPal (my day job) and coaching roller derby (my true passion). The session is a fun mix of practical advice and tips relating to collaboration for designers. Speaking at SXSW is a designer’s dream and something that would be the highlight of my career. I’m also excited to announce that this session has already been picked up by the WebVisions Chicago design conference!

Want to help make my dream come true? Here are a couple of ways to help out:

1. Submit a vote: All you have to do is click this link ( and click on the thumbs up on the left-hand side. To ensure fair voting, you will be asked to sign in (creating an account takes a quick second to do; it’s free and doesn’t require attendance).

2. Share on social media: On the voting page, there are social media sharing buttons that you can use to promote my session. Or simply share my proposal link with an explanation of why you're supporting me!

3. Leave a comment on the voting page: To spark interest in the session, it’s really helpful to leave a comment on your experience with my coaching or design process. This shows the judges that there is a genuine interest in the session.

Why promote this session? This is an amazing opportunity to promote roller derby as a legitimate sport and that goes beyond the many stereotypes that are commonly associated with it.

Thank you for your help!

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RollerCon 2012 – Seminar Feedback

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I’m teaching at RollerCon 2012!

Coach Networking Hour
Thursday 11am - 12pm, Room 114
As a coach do you ever wish that you had someone coaching you through the experiences of training a roller derby league? This seminar is an opportunity to network with other coaches and chat about your experiences. There will be a brief round table discussion followed by time to make connections with other coaches. All levels of coaches (new to experienced) are encouraged to attend this seminar.

Crisis Management Skills on the Bench (co-taught with Razorslut)
Thursday 4pm – 5pm, Room 115
Bench Managers are tasked with the difficult job of managing a team in an often overly chaotic environment. From failed strategy to serious injuries to broken equipment to ejected skaters; Bench Managers have to maintain their composure. Successful bench managers understand how to defuse chaos and maintain a calm and focused environment. Coach Panda and Razorslut share their experiences and expertise in bench management. This seminar is for anyone interested in learning more about crisis management skills for Bench Managers.

RESPECT: Gain & Maintain It (for Coaches) (co-taught with Razorslut)
Friday 5pm – 6pm, Room 115
Having a successful roller derby coaching career begins with having the respect of your skaters. Earning respect requires a coach to be sincere, honest, approachable, and patient. Maintaining respect is a constant work in progress and absolutely necessary to a successful collaboration between a coach and their skaters. Coach Panda and Razorslut share their experiences and suggestions for gaining and maintaining trust as a coach. Coaches, bench managers, and anyone interested in learning more about coaching and respect is encouraged to attend this seminar.

Communication Skills for Coaches
Saturday 2pm – 3pm, Room 114
In the stressful and fast-paced situations that coaches face, their communication skills are constantly put to the test. From facilitating discussions to giving feedback to leading training; coaches need to possess strong communication skills. In this seminar Coach Panda will give an overview of various communication methods and skills. Attendees will have the chance to practice their communication skills by participating in practice sessions with other attendees. This seminar is for anyone in a leadership role that is interested in improving and/or learning more about communication skills.

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Derby Deeds Interview – Big O Tournament

Tune in at the 39:30 mark to listen to Lindsay Lohanded, Bionic Baby Doll, LaRAWR, and myself chat about the Silicon Valley Roller Girls heading off to the Big O Tournament

Listen to it here: Derby Deeds Episode 92

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Shout Out on Derby Hurts Podcast!

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My buddies, Raven and Roxy, over at the Derby Hurts Podcast gave me a shout out in Show 27. Thanks ladies! Listen to it here.

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RollerCon Memories – 2011 Photos

RollerCon 2011

RollerCon 2011

RollerCon 2011

RollerCon 2011

RollerCon 2011

Sorry the photos are crappy, I just had my phone with me during the weekend.

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Back from RollerCon!

I have actually been back for a couple of days now but have been so super non-stop busy that I haven't had a chance to post a quick recap of what went down at RC2011.

    Highlights from this year:

  • Having a ton of international skaters/coaches at my seminars! Germany, Australia, Netherlands, and Canada to name a few.
  • All the amazing Derby Dolls led seminars. Sniperella, Razorslut, and Isabelle Ringer did an amazing job! Each of them has excellent practical information and lots of real life applications of their information.
  • My favorite group outfits, the LADD refs doing "direct ref to you".
  • My scavenger hunt team all collectively chickening out of doing the scavenger hunt (did you see the list of items/photos you need to get?!?!)
  • Dirty Deborah Harry's advanced agility moves class! So Fun! I can't believe that I was able to do 360spins after taking the class.
    Things that I liked about this year:

  • There were classes booked at night during the Black/Blue Ball and the Derby Wedding. I opted out of the social events and instead decided to attend classes. It was super great because you didn't have to wait for tickets and they were smaller, more focused classes.
  • Everything was centrally located in the Riviera, made it really easy to attend seminars, scrimmages, and on skates workshops.
  • Tons of awesome vendors!
  • The ticket system for the on skates workshops. It made it easy to prioritize which classes I wanted to take
    Things that I didn't like about about this year:

  • The seminar rooms were hidden upstairs. I talked to several people that were confused about where the seminar rooms were. Maybe more signs next year that direct people to the upstairs area. Also a sign downstairs that has the daily seminar schedule on it.
  • The seating area for the Denver vs. BAD bout on Saturday night was too packed. I waited for 2 hours to hold my seat for the bout (in a skybox) and I couldn't even see turns 3 or 4. The people sitting in front of me waited for 3 hours.

Overall, this was the most organized RollerCon I have attended. I can't wait for next year!

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Coach’s “Oh Sh!t” Kit

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This kit is an essential item to have at any roller derby team's bench (flat or banked track). After coaching 50+ bouts, I have experienced so many "oh sh!t" moments that it's not even funny. I have seen EVERYTHING break on skates, skaters getting sick (ie. 15 foot stream of barf), and so many random unthinkable situations.

Below is a list of all the items that I have in my kit. I have used EVERY SINGLE ITEM in this kit before (of course I replaced the used mouth guard with a new one). Do your team a huge favor and make one of these kits!

Note: every single category of item is kept in their own separate zip lock bag. Having an organized kit is important, don't just throw everything in there. You don't want to be struggling to find an item when disaster strikes!

    Top Shelf (most used items)

  • Alan wrench multi sizes
  • Classic skate tool
  • Medical tape
  • Pencil
  • Pen
  • Large Sharpie
  • Red Cross sports first aid booklet
  • Mini WFTDA rule set booklet
  • Kleenex
  • Post It Notes
  • Various nuts, bolts, bushings, bearings, toe stop hardware (in plastic organizer)
  • Whistle
  • Mini first aid kit
  • Extra hanger
  • (not pictured) Tums

  • Scissors
  • Various skate tools
  • Bottle opener
    Small First Aid section

  • Ziplock bags (for ice, bloody items, or barf bag)
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Bandages
  • Latex gloves
  • Tampons
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Washcloth
  • Medical tape
  • Moleskin

  • Extra laces
  • Extra WFTDA patch
  • Extra mouthguard
  • Hair ties
  • Mini sewing kit
  • Extra socks
    Various Skate Items

  • Extra wheels (already loaded with bearings)
  • Extra toe stops
  • Extra bearings
  • Painters tape
  • Duct tape

  • Raisins
  • Fruit leather
  • Unsalted nuts
    Extra Jerseys

Traveling First Aid Kit

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This is another essential item to have at your team's bench and at your host hotel. I always bring this kit whenever my teams travel because you never know how well equipped the host team's venue/medical staff is going to be.

Plus it's nice to have this item during tournaments and especially during down time at your hotel. It's not uncommon for there to be only a couple EMTs/Medic at tournaments and they are usually pretty busy taking care of serious injures. This kit isn't meant to replace the assistance from EMTs/Medics but it's there to provide minor first aid to your team.

I also recommend getting certified in "First Aid for Coaches" by your local chapter of the Red Cross. I got certified a couple of seasons ago and it has been an huge help for my league!

    Roller Derby Coach's First Aid Kit

  • Arm sling
  • Bandages
  • Ziplock bags
  • Finger splint
  • Kleenex
  • Moleskin
  • Alcohol prep pads
  • Topical pain reliever
  • Wet wipes
  • Icy hot pads
  • Heat wrap
  • Instant ice pack
  • Large bandages
  • Scissors
  • Medical tape
  • Tampons
  • Pads
  • Insoles
  • Barf bags
  • Gauze
  • Bayer
  • Tylenol
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tums (most used item!)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Latex gloves
  • Red Cross sports first aid booklet

Coach’s Organization Kit

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This is a pretty basic kit that I use for every away bout that my team has (single bouts or tournaments). There is usually a ton of paperwork that I need to keep organized. I know that this seems like a big "no duh" but I see unorganized coaches all the time!

    Typical uses of this kit

  • Keeping all the waivers and sanctioning paper in one safe area
  • Storing line ups and ref evaluations
  • Using the blank paper and markers to create notes to leave in our dressing room (ie. Equipment check at 12pm!)
  • Having one central area to keep a league phone book and emergency contact information
    Items in the Coach's Organization Kit

  • Paper organizer/filer
  • Pen, marker, and pencil
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Eraser
  • Tape
  • Blank paper