Episode 26: Smarty Pants
Air date: December 7, 2016

In Episode 26 of Flat Mat Radio, Kickit chats with roller derby skater and international coach Smarty Pants. Smarty shares her thoughts on the difference between a trainer and a coach, direct and indirect learners, her love of roller derby, and what to consider when you start coaching.

Nadia Kean (aka Smarty Pants) is a derby skater and coach who plays and lives in Austin, Texas. Nadia has played for Texas and the US National Team since 2011. Nadia is the owner of Get Smarty Coaching and Strong Athletic. Nadia is an advocate for equality and equal access in sports. You can find her online at Get Smarty Coaching and Strong Athletic.

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What Happened When

  • 3:30 So who, actually, has the longest derby career?
  • 5:35 Smarty’s missed brushes with fame, including being passed over for Whip It and edited out of Rollergirls. Three grown adult women shouldn’t live together. In my opinion.
  • 7:15 In the beginning Smarty Pants didn’t know a banked track from a bank account, but it was probably better than playing Chinese Checkers against herself, right? They’re all just complete badasses.
  • 11:45 How Smarty Pants started coaching, the distinction between training and coaching, and (at 16:45) when Smarty made that shift. I have a knack for looking at a situation or a team and then creating content for them based off of what I see.
  • 18:33 The evolution of Smarty’s coaching style, and (sounding suspiciously like possible robot Bonnie Thunders) Smarty Pants is a little too emphatic about not being a robot. Smarty is working on a book, which has helped Smarty key in on things to know when teaching other humans sport.
  • 21:25 Are brains different based on gender, or just based on… how different brains work? Smarty’s theory about direct and indirect learners at 25:25.
  • 31:05 Top tips for new coaches: What’s their intention? Who has the power? Who’s learning? Who can be wrong? Who belongs to who? Who respects who? I want coaches to realize that athletes are humans with brains and the ability to think for themselves.
  • 35:10 A reminder about intellectual property, and for athletes learning new concepts that their coaches have developed. Coming up with concepts and ideas and wanting to share them with others is a very special thing, especially for somebody that lives their life by creating ideas.
  • 37:40 Smarty Pants waxes poetic about derby for a while. Like, refers to it as a lover.  There’s a massive beautiful gigantic world where derby doesn’t exist, and I have a hard time straddling the line between my love for derby and my love for the rest of the world.
  • 39:40 …And then talks about the times when she and that lover are in a fight. On occasion that does occur to me, that this is very shallow. So when I think about that for too long, then I have a hard time with it.
  • 43:35 What keeps her coaching, and what derby should bring to people Those very things that make me feel as if it’s shallow are also the things that make roller derby beautiful.

More About…

Smarty Pants is Nadia Kean is apparently always moving, considering that in 2014 she coached roller derby in 8 countries and forty cities. In a year! After that she was part of the national team that took gold at the 2015 World Championship with USA against England. She started skating on the banked track in 2003, and has been a vital part of the derby scene in Texas (and in general) since then.

More About… Lemony Kickit

Kickit is Kat Selvocki, an ex-Gotham skater and the owner and sole yoga teacher at Flat Mat Yoga. She likes butts, anatomy, and helping people get out of pain. (Well, in yoga classes, anyway.) In addition to teaching and practicing yoga, you’ll often find her skating, running, and snuggling with her pitbull.

Much Derby Love to: