Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Alternative names: Pinball
Objective: To practice offensive jamming; to get used to hitting whilst in the pack and practice effective timing and placements of hits within the pack; for the pack to communicate the location of the OJ at all times; to get used to being hit and possibly falling whilst in the pack
Typical length of drill: 15-20 mins
Materials needed: A WFTDA regulation-size track or some sort of a taped down track of similar measurements. Also, please please make sure that everyone is wearing all the appropriate safety gear!
Skill level required: Skaters must be cleared for contact

Description: This is an Endless Jammer -type of drill with boatloads of contact in it.  Have all of your skaters build one large pack.  One at a time you will send the skaters around the track and have them jam through the pack.  As they are jamming through the pack the skaters are hitting as many people as they can on their way to the front; jammers that don't make contact with at least 3 other skaters on their way through the pack have to do 15 crunches when they exit the pack.  Once the group understands the drill and a few skaters have passed through the pack, you can start sending more than one skater through at once, making it quite the clusterfuck indeed.  Choose in advance at what % the skaters in the pack will be blocking the jammers (if at all).  I suggest 25%.  Also, clarify before starting whether or not you will allow counter-blocking as you will definitely have skaters ask about that.

If you have a really large group of skaters you can split the pack in half and have two smaller packs going around the track at the same time, matching speeds and staying half-a-track away from the other pack at all times.  Send each skater through the other pack and when s/he returns to the back of her/his own pack have the next person from the same pack start.

Additional notes: In addition to being good for contact practice, this drill is also quite a good way to release pent up energy and aggression (you know, in a fun and loving kinda way :).  Nice for a Friday-night practice when everyone wants to let go of the past week's stresses.  It can definitely get a bit messy, but who hasn't played in a messy jam or two (or heck, a messy bout)?  This definitely gets skaters used to looking around them at all times as they learn that blockers will hit you HARD if they notice you're not looking.

Please note: Because this can be a power hitting training for some, it is important that you have your skaters properly stretch their necks and shoulders before and after practice.  You can get quite sore in that area after repeatedly taking hard hits.

1 comment:

  1. As I Know It. Life???June 30, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    Farking love reading this blog, went to my 1st, Derby class (in Aus.) last night, so am def fresh, fresh meat! Can't wait to go again. Wicked descriptions,info & tips.Thanx!!