Friday, June 3, 2011

Awareness & Communication Progression

In order to effectively play roller derby, you have to know where the opposing jammer is, where your jammer is, where your own teammates are and what they are doing, not to mention the other team’s blockers. You also need to be aware of track boundaries, pack definition and ref calls. You need to know who is lead jammer, if she's on a scoring pass and how many seconds are left in the jam. And then you need to be able to communicate all that stuff to your teammates. So, awareness and communication are kind of important. And by "kind of," I mean "extremely."

Alternative names:
Objective: to focus on and improve awareness and communication
Typical length of drill: Each phase should last 2-5 minutes. If skaters are struggling with any phase, repeat it until moving on to the next.
Materials needed: 2 jammer panties
Skill level required: ability to skate safely in a non-contact pack


Phase One - Awareness

Skaters are divided into two teams and wear a jersey that matches the jammer panties. Skaters pack up into one big pack and skate at a moderate pace. They traverse through the pack (never getting comfortable in one spot). Jammers skate through the pack repeatedly. Blockers try to locate where the jammers are, where their teammates are and where the opposing blockers, all while staying in bounds, keeping a legal pack and not touching opposing blockers.

Phase Two - Awareness & Communication

Repeat phase one, but instead of the jammers just skating around, they will reveal any number of fingers they chose, wherever they chose (behind their head, beside an ankle, in front of her face). Her blockers try to be the first to yell out the number. Both jammers hold numbers at the same time, and they can hang out in the pack for awhile or sprint through and race back around.

Phase Three - Awareness & Communication regarding your jammer

Repeat phase one. Blockers must communicate where their jammer is and what she is doing. They are instructed to use the league's designated derby language. Examples: "She's coming up!" “She’s on the inside!” “On the outside!” “She’s out of the pack!”

Phase Four - Awareness & Communication regarding the opposing jammer

This is the same as phase three, except blockers must pay attention to the opposing jammer. If a league has a code word for the opposing jammer, for example "doucheface," the blockers use that language. Examples: “Douceface coming up!!” “Douceface on the inside!” “Douceface on the outside!” “Douceface is out of the pack!”

Additional notes: n/a

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