Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Wolf Pack

This drill is a reader submission from Elsie Thudd, formerly of Steel City Roller Derby, and currently coaching their brand new junior derby league, the Pittsburgh Derby Brats.

Alternative names: One Man Wolf Pack
Objective: To be able to trap and slow a player down, to be able to work with partners/wall to slow down a pack or player, to able able to effectively communicate with your teammates, to learn how to break through walls.
Typical length of drill: Customizeable
Materials needed: A delineated track and 5+ skaters
Skill level required: All, this can be tweaked to be non-contact if need be, but will work with contact as well.
Description: This is a variation on tag.

One person is designated "IT." We like to make it a surprise. We have all of the girls close their eyes and we tap someone to be "IT." 

Everyone begins by skating on the track in derby direction. When she is ready, the "IT" sets out to trap and slow someone down. When she accomplishes this, that person becomes part of her "pack." Then they must work together to trap and slow the next person, who will then join their pack. This continues until they have a pack of 5. Communication is key once the pack forms to identify their target and execute a coordinated attack. For the skaters trying not to get caught, it is an excellent drill for breaking through walls and getting unstuck. When we've done this, magic happened on the track with the free skaters banding together and creating strategies to disorient the wolf pack so they could all get through. It is a great way to practice stop derby and how to counter stop derby and how to counter counter-stop-derby strategies.

  • The trapped skater is considered in the pack when the "IT"/wolf pack has legally blocked and slowed her down for 3 seconds. 
  • If a penalty is called on a free skater, she must exit the track, do a lap on the outside, and re-enter behind the wolf pack. 
  • If a penalty is called on a member of the wolf pack they lose a member.
  • If a penalty is called on the "IT" before she acquires a pack, she forfeits her "IT" status.
  • If a member of the wolf pack goes rogue, or the pack gets separated/split-up/forgets they are a pack, they forfeit a member. 

Make it harder:
  • If the "IT"/wolf pack traps and sends a skater out-of-bounds, she may only become part of the pack if they effectively pull her back at least 5 feet....10 feet? 
  • Put a time limit on how long the "IT" has to pick up her pack. 
  • Only allow positional blocking!

Additional notes: Elsie says, "While conducting performance reviews with my brats I got a lot of feedback that led to [this] drill. I think it would work well for both juniors and freshmeat/rookies. Or all levels just for fun. It seems a little complicated now that I've written it down, but the girls absolutely LOVED it."

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Do both wolves and sheep (the rest) have to skate in pack, or is there no pack-requirement?