Friday, December 21, 2012

Pre-Gaming Off Skates

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

As the topic says, this post is about learning roller derby off skates. All the new skaters are always very anxious about getting to play. But since not everyone of us are talented skaters when we start derby, we must keep safety in mind and make sure we know the basic skills well enough before starting to scrimmage.

Nevertheless, roller derby is a sport that requires multi-talented focus. That is one reason why skaters should start doing pack drills, blocking and all possible derby drills both off and on skates. You can actually play roller derby off-skates as well. Keep in mind that you must learn to do those moves on skates later on, so don't focus on knocking your teammates down like a boss, if you are not able to do such a killer job on skates yet. Rather have your focus on the right technique so that you can build your muscle memory.

Footwork drills are also good to start off-skates before putting the gear on. We just had a practice with Helsinki Roller Derby (Tiina Kimari as our trainer) that we started off-skates, doing jumps on the stairs (after a proper warm up!) and ice-hockey footwork drills before putting the skates on and doing the same drills on skates.

I started this guest blogging series by posting the Skater Progression Diagram (link above) which will help you explain to your skaters why derby takes so much practice before you get to play. I decided to choose five drills to give a few examples of what the different sections could include. So far we've made it to the step three.

1) Basic Skills and endurance - the example drill for this section is the Quick Feet Drill
To this subject I'd like to add another link from the All Derby Drills -blog, and that is of course Showercap Derby aka "Sock Derby". You can do this outside, inside, in any weather!

2) Blocking: positional and contact - check out RMRG's Blocking Drill

3) Pre-Gaming off skates - this is the section that the Human Shield Obstacle Course is for (and I know 2x4 Roller Derby from Argentina has tried this drill out with an on skates variation but I encourage you all to keep it off skates! Murder City Roller Girls from Adelaide, South Australia has also tried the drill out)

Off skates derby with Helsinki Roller Derby

These two off-skates drills are a perfect choice to ease down the anxious skaters who wish to already get to the next level of practicing their derby skills. If you can play derby well wearing sneakers, it will make it easier to get comfortable doing all that on skates.

I will post the last two drill examples of the Skater Progression Diagram soon, so stay tuned and keep following All Derby Drills!