Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fight for the Front

Alternative names: --
Objective: To practice controlling the front of the pack and taking control of the front of the pack; to practice speed control; to learn basic strategy
Typical length of drill: 10-20 mins
Materials needed: A WFTDA regulation-size track (or a taped down track that's as close to the measurements as possible); pinnies/vests or two different colored shirts on your skaters for teaming purposes
Skill level required: None if you choose to make it a non-contact drill

Description: Split your skaters into two teams using pinnies, vests, or different colored shirts.  Have four blockers from each team skate around the track in a pack.  Each time you blow the whistle one of the teams of blockers fights their way to the front of the pack where they can then control the speed of the pack and/or block the opposing blockers from getting up there.  Repeat this multiple times so that both teams get many chances to try to get to the front.  If you wish to make this a bit more challenging, add a pace-setter who skates a few meters in front of the pack so that the blockers have a smaller space in which to try and take control of the front, and so that they have to use speed control and awareness.

This drill can be played in bigger groups as well, you don't neccessarily have to have just two teams of four blockers on the track playing against each other.  It can be quite fun as a 10-on-10 game as well.

Additional notes: I honestly can't remember where I learned this but I'm under the impression that it's quite a common drill among derby leagues all over and I've seen this (and many fun variations of it) practiced and mentioned in multiple different places.  This is a really fun, and a really useful drill.  It's one of those drills that you can also use as filler because the time can be conformed to whatever you have left at practice.  In addition, this is a good way to introduce new skaters to basic roller derby strategies.

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