How did you get involved in derby?
If I had a nickel for every time this question was laid on me. I joined up with AZRD right after their second demo bout. I contacted this crazy woman Ivanna S. Pankin and told her I would love to help...her response “Yeah we just need fans”...Ouch. Being the persistent person that I am I spoke to my favorite skater “La Diabla” who told me “hey man just go to the league meeting and show them” I did that was five years ago. Since then you know the story.
What is your background in coaching?
I have coached wrestling, football, and weight training. I really enjoy seeing people unlock abilities that they never knew they had. It makes it all worth it.
How do you find dealing with a league full of women?
First and foremost I am of the mind that Derby was revived by strong independent women and that we “Danglers” are here at their leisure. This is their sport and we are here to help. Not the other way around. Dealing with women has always been easy for me, but dealing with derby girls much different undertaking all together. I have devoted the last five years of my life to my league, to this sport and to all the skaters I have trained across North America. Once someone sees your true colors communication is simple.
What is your favorite part about the sport?
I love the way that it flows. What I mean is I love that offense and defense melds together and one minute you have the advantage and a jam later you are in the whole looking at the last jam with 10 points to make up...beautiful!
Where do you see this sport in ten years?
If we can keep money out of the equation I think it will get more and more refined. AZRD and TEXAS had the first interleague bout and from that starting point things have just got better and better.
What would you tell other guys looking to help out in this sport?
I would tell them what I tell guys coming into our league...this is not a dating pool. Let’s face it, I understand that there are a lot of beautiful women and they are the people that you spend the most time with sometimes but as soon as things go south you now have a league of woman that will be square in your business no matter how you try to keep it separated. You run into “favoritism” people questioning your integrity and even though you may be honest Abe you will still be held in contempt. In our league it’s cool to date in other leagues just not with your own skaters.
Give us a few coaching pointers and tips.
Tips for the coaches: first If I could lay one gem on you it would be: Explain to your skaters that all of them pay dues to skate so don’t waste time, skate hard from the first whistle to the last you paid for it don’t waste your money.
For the skaters: If you have someone that is willing to take all that you dish out and still come to every practice, show them the common courtesy and bust your ass every practice.
Would you do it all over again?
That’s a tough one. Yes, I would. I have met some of the coolest people I know in derby.
Can you skate?
I can ice skate and back in junior high I used to tear up the skate land. But if you are asking do I skate anymore? No I don’t. If I did I would focus and me and start playing myself. My love is coaching.
What is your worst vice?
Derby. I don’t see my folks very much and have been on the road every weekend except when me girls are bouting. As my MySpace quote says “Roller Derby Is like Crack with No Rehab” it’s true. When I am done and have had my fill I think I will start a “AA” for derby. Hi my name is Paul...
What are your future plans?
Spend time with my special lady and who knows only time will tell. But for now get off your typewriter and get skating woman...