Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Asshole

Alternative names: New York Driver, Boston Driver
Objective: To learn how to avoid blockers and sudden obstacles; to practice closing up holes in the pack; to practice good communication
Typical length of drill: 10-15 mins
Materials needed: One helmet panty (preferably a jammer panty) and a full track or just a couple of cones to mark an inside track line
Skill level required: None (though your designated asshole does need to know how to fall safely and correctly)
Description: Get all your skaters together into one gianormous pack.  Designate an asshole and give them the helmet panty.  On the whistle the pack begins skating around the track.  Their job is to maintain a a tight-knit pack, keeping holes from forming, to sustain a steady, medium pace, and to loudly communicate with each other.  Once the pack is going the asshole starts doing the dirty work (teehee).  His/her mission is to make the other skaters' jobs much more complicated.  The asshole will: Fall down in front of the pack, bump wheels with skaters, slow down in the middle of the pack, force her/his way to the inside line and stop there, turn around and skate 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, and work hard to communicate.  The skaters should consistently be yelling out the asshole's position (i.e. "Asshole in the back!" "Asshole moving up along the outside!") and communicating the pack's needs to each other (i.e. "Close the hole on the inside!" "Move around the fallen skater in the front!").  The skaters are not to block the asshole in this drill.
Additional notes: This is a really fun drill that I learned while skating with New Hampshire Roller Derby; I think we learned it from the Boston Derby Dames and that's why it was called Boston Driver when we played it there (I changed the name for Helsinki Roller Derby since we at NHRD always ended up calling the designated Boston Driver "asshole" -- go figure -- and because if you've never been to Boston the name of the drill might not make so much sense).  When we've done this drill at practices we've usually started with a coach as the asshole and then we've passed the duty (no pun intended) around to other skaters every couple of passes through the pack.  Sometimes we'll add a second asshole to the game so that the skaters will get used to paying attention to more than one person in the pack at a time, and to keep them moving their heads from side to side (a big rookie mistake is to only look over one shoulder the whole time).  Another alternative is to have only one designated communicator in this drill to help everyone individually work on their communicating.  That person constantly yells out the asshole's position and loudly directs movement within the pack.  Asshole is a really great way to introduce freshmeat to packwork (in fact, HRD has used it as part of their Freshmeat Training Period multiple times), and almost everyone loves to be the asshole :)  

3 comments:

  1. The Z├╝rich rollergirls used a version of this drill to great effect with our fresh meat skaters. The skaters really enjoy it and it's a great way to generate a lot of alertness before progressing to other drills.

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  2. I used to drill today with our recreational team and everyone LOVED IT. We only had about 7 people, I can't wait to try it with more girls.

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  3. In BDD, we call it "Driving in Cambridge". We usually split up into a few smaller packs for safety, and have several "drivers".

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