Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Quick Feet Drill

Tigre Force's guest blogging series: 5 drills from the Skater Progression Diagram.

Basic Skills and Endurance: SumMo Payne’s Quick Feet Drill

Alternative names: I bet this drill has got a real name too, I learned it from SumMo Payne when I joined the Kornstalkers practice so I named it after her.
Objective: To learn how to skate forward, to the sides, backwards by moving your feet quickly without turning around
Typical length of drill: 15 mins
Materials needed: 4-8 cones (or more if you have a lot of skaters)
Skill level required: Basic skills (skaters need to be cleared for contact to participate in step 2)
Description: Four cones are set up in a square formation, as shown in the illustration that follows.  Depending on how many skaters you have, you may want to put two or more sets of cones around the track/ floor so that as many skaters as possible can practice at the same time.  The distance between the cones does not have to be too big, the idea is to keep on moving your feet all the time, not to Sunday skate.

There are two steps in this drill:

Step 1
For one minute each skater moves around the set of four cones at a rapid pace.  The purpose is to keep your eyes in one direction, to not look at your feet, and to always go through the middle in order to maximize the agility practice (as shown through the blue line in the illustration).  Skaters are to use their hips to move around but should always keep their torsos and eyes facing forward.  Skaters should use their feet while moving around the cones in a random order (back to front to left to front to right to left to back to front etc.).  They should make sure that they pass the cones from all sides and not always from the same side, and to switch direction and choose randomly which cone they are about to pass next.

Illustration of SumMo Payne's Quick Feet Drill

Step 2
Another skater stands in the middle of the four cones, in a proper derby stance.  As the first skater is moving around the cones s/he gives a hit to the person standing in the middle every time s/he passes her/him.  Skaters should make sure not to hit this person while skating backwards (that's a direction of gameplay penalty).  Also, skaters should do their best with the hits in a tight space.  Try to make the person in the middle fall.  If there are many new skaters doing the drill, the hits don’t have to be that hard.  Switch the person standing and the person skating around the cones every 1 minute.

Additional notes: The drill probably has got an official name. I didn’t catch it while skating with the Kornstalkers in August, 2011.

SumMo Payne is a derby skater and a derby coach. She skates for Sioux City Roller Dames and coaches the Merby -team Kornstalkers.


  1. Is the skating rolling forward or facing one direction and shuffling/taking steps the entire time while moving around the cones?

  2. You can do either, but generally when I run this I definitely notice skaters shuffling more than rolling.