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sarahtonin
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Joined: 24 Jan 2013
Age: 27
Gender: Female
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27 Jan 2013, 4:14 am

Over the past year, I've been heavily involved in roller derby. In the past six months I realized I very likely fall somewhere on the autism spectrum (AQ of 45. I plan on pursuing a diagnosis in the very near future). For some reason, I have always been vastly more coordinated and comfortable on skates than shoes for walking, so the basics of the sport came easily to me and I have begun to excel. It has increasingly become one of my special interests. I cannot imagine my life without it.

But like all team sports, there is a lot going on at one time. Roller derby has a lot of complicated and easily violated rules, not to mention the other five powerful yet agile women whose sole aim is to knock you on your butt (and an additional four teammates you have to alternately dodge and assist). It is constant sensory overload, but it gets a little easier to keep track of everything every time I play.

In practices, I have a hard time following drill instructions, because they are usually given all at once and involve several steps. It often takes me quite a while to understand what I'm supposed to do, which frustrates me. Roller girls also seem to party for any reason (win a game, lose a game, etc.). I like my teammates, but I find myself overstimulated and eventually exhausted after a social event with them. They (lightheartedly) tease me for my social ineptitude, but they aren't aware that I'm probably an aspie.

Can anyone give me some advice on how to manage the physical and social aspects of team sports with an ASD? Should I let someone (maybe my captain or a trainer) know that I think I'm an aspie and how it affects my playing? If so, how should I approach it?

If anyone else wants to share their experiences with team sports, go ahead.



1000Knives
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Joined: 8 Jul 2011
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27 Jan 2013, 11:38 am

I like skating a lot too, I'm a guy, so normally most guys would play hockey. I picked figure skating instead. It's self paced, comparatively little social interaction, and I like it's OCD aspect it has. It's a difference in mindset, too. Hockey has people basically coming for social reasons, with playing hockey as the backdrop. Most hockey players I know don't even practice skating, for example. After the game, the team drinks beer in the locker room and in the parking lot, maybe parties at someone else's house.

So uh.... switch to inline figure skating or maybe speed skating? I don't know really what to tell you, as most team sports are implicitly done for social reasons. If you like roller derby enough, and can tolerate it all, and your team can tolerate you, then if you're at it long enough, eventually you'll adapt and they will, or you'll hate it and quit and do something else. Time will determine a lot. Figure skating is hard socially for me for a few reasons (lots of girls, very "rich" type of culture/environment it has) but things are getting better simply because I've dumped 2 years of my life into skating, so regardless of their opinion of me personally, I'm either more respected or better understood.

Wish I could be more help.