Friday, July 1, 2011

Showercap derby

Alternative names: Sock derby, Skateless derby, Footsie derby
Objective: To learn and practice strategies; to slow down roller derby and allow new skaters to learn more about the basic rules and gameplay; to practice all the different little intracacies of derby without the element of speed; to allow the skaters and bench managers to prepare for all the things that happen on and around the bench during a bout (i.e. panty wrangling, signaling time from the penalty box between jams, signaling penalties from the jammer line, etc.)
Typical length of drill: Depends a great deal on what you are using it for but you should allow a minimum of 15 minutes for this
Materials needed: A WFTDA -regulation size track or just four cones to mark the inside track line (depends a little on who the drill is for and what specifically you would like to practice)
Skill level required: None
Description: I feel like there's been lots of talk about this in many derby circles recently -- playing roller derby without skates.  The idea here is that you do everything you would normally do, from booty blocking and hip hits right down to referees calling penalties and skaters wearing all of their pads (ok, I guess that's up to each league; admittedly I have played some very light-contact showercap derby in my streetwear).  This is great and useful and fun and awesome for so so many different reasons (just check out the list in "Objectives")!  I suggest that you decide in advance what the primary objective or goal is for YOUR team when you do this, so that you're actually using this to improve your strategies, or positioning in the pack, or communication, or understanding of rules, or to create new formations, etc. etc.  This training is especially great for leagues who have troubles securing practice venues -- you can do this outdoors in a grassy park or even in a gravel parking lot!  All you need is some fairy dust and an imagination :) 

Video: Here's a little preview of what you're getting yourself into

Additional notes: We call this "showercap derby" because at one point we actually used showercaps with Sharpied stars and pivot lines.  Kind of hilarious.  They actually DID fit better than the helmet panties do when you're not wearing a helmet.  I actually endorse it for this particular derby activity.  At the start of every freshmeat training period we demonstrate the basic gameplay and rules to the brand new skaters by having our veterans and referees demonstrate a couple of jams in slow motion using Showercap Derby.  I think if we had more time during our training sessions it would probably really bolster the freshmeats' understanding of the game if we did thorough demonstrations followed by them doing it on the track together with our veteran skaters.  You try it and tell us how it works our for your freshmeat skaters in the comments below!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This site is a gold mine!
    I'm the 'fitness / Dry land' coach for Sale City Rollers in Victoria, Aus and i'm sick of core workouts and boring cardio sessions, so this stuff is awesome! My wife is also the fresh meat coach and she is going to love this stuff!
    Thank you so much for putting these drills online, if your ever in Melbourne be sure to look us up, we'd love to have someone of your vast experience in for a session or two, hell we'd even sort your motel and beers for this kind of stuff!!!

    Thanks again,

    Lee 'The Smudger' Smith