Thursday, November 18, 2010

Angel 'n' Asshole

Alternative names: --
Objective: To learn how to avoid sudden obstacles; to practice good communication, closing up holes in the pack, and assisting your jammer; to practice jamming
Typical length of drill: 15 minutes
Materials needed: A full track or just four cones to mark the inside track line
Skill level required: None
Description: This is a variation on the drill called Asshole.  Get all your skaters together into one gianormous pack.  Designate an asshole and give her/him the pivot panty.  Designate a jammer (or angel) and give her/him the jammer panty.  On the whistle the pack begins skating around the track.  The pack's job is to:
  • sustain a steady medium pace
  • maintain a tight-knit pack where everyone can easily touch several people on command
  • make holes for and assist the jammer through the pack
  • close holes immediately after the jammer has gotten through so as to keep the asshole from being able to easily disrupt the pack
  • loudly communicate with each other about what is happening in the pack, most specifically about the positions and movements of the angel and the asshole
Once the pack is skating around the track at a steady pace the asshole begins to do the dirty work.  Her/his mission is to make the other skaters' jobs much more complicated by:
  • falling down in front of the pack
  • bumping wheels with skaters
  • slowing down in the middle of the pack
  • forcing her/his way to the inside line and stopping there
  • turning around and skating clockwise through the pack, etc. etc.
S/he creates obstacles for the pack so that they have to work hard to keep holes from forming for anyone but the jammer, and work hard to communicate.  The skaters are not to block the asshole in this drill.  At the same time that the asshole is wreaking havoc in the pack, the jammer is trying to get through as swiftly as possible.  The jammer's job in this drill is to just jam through the pack without incurring any penalties, and to communicate her/his needs to the pack (i.e. "Open up the inside line for me!" "Give me a push out of the pack!").  Every jammer goes for one pass through the pack and then hands off the panty to someone else.  This part is easiest if the jammer (once s/he's gotten through the pack) skates 20 feet in front of the pack and stays at that distance from the pack until the coach has yelled out the name of the next jammer and that skater has come to grab the panty from the former jammer.  Then it's easy for the new jammer to just take off from in front of the pack and start skating towards the back of it, and for the old jammer to just drop back to become part of the pack. 

Additional notes: This is a fun way for greenhorns to get to try jamming for the first time -- no one is blocking, everyone is helping, it really takes the pressure off.  When I've run this drill I've tried to give everyone at least one chance to jam, and we'll pass the asshole -panty around so that at least a few people get to try that as well (plus it's quite tiring to be the asshole for a really long period of time).  It's a fun drill that feels more like a game but at the same time it's really good for practicing communication and alertness.

Lire cet exercice en fran├žais!

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