Monday, December 9, 2013

Musical Stops

Alternative names: --
Objective: Stopping on command in small spaces; pacing
Typical length of drill: 10 mins
Materials needed: Varies -- I use a track that is permanently laid down and create "boxes" between 10 ft -markers, but you can also choose to create boxes elsewhere in your space, and depending on your skaters' skill level they can be either large or small boxes.  At the very least you will need either chalk, masking tape, or cones to mark out the boxes that you will want your skaters to stop in.
Skill level required: Safe stopping and falling skills

Description: For the original version of Musical Stops you will need a laid out track with the 10 ft -markers included.  Use chalk, cones, or masking tape to mark out the boxes.  What I'm referring to here are small areas in which your skaters will be required to stop.  For my freshmeat, I mark out five 10 ft -boxes as in the illustration to the right.

Now comes the fun part: While you play music, the skaters skate around the track in a counter-clockwise direction.  Each time you abruptly stop the music, the skaters come to a complete stop within one of the boxes on the track.  The last person to come to a stop within each of the five boxes is out of the game (this is on the honor system, people).  If a skater is all by herself in a box, s/he can remain in the game.  The game is over when you decide--I usually end it when it's clear that the five people left on the track have set a pace that allows each of them to get to a box by themselves when the music ends, but, what you can do alternatively is reduce the number of boxes once you get down to the same number of skaters as there are boxes, and from here go with the traditional musical chairs -route: The last person standing wins.  Depending on the skill level of your skaters this can be a fun way to end it.

If you have really skilled skaters, this game can be adapted and made more challenging:
  • Mark out the boxes in different parts of the space
  • Don't dictate what direction skaters can skate in
  • Reduce the size of the boxes
  • Increase the number of boxes while limiting the number of skaters allowed per box like traditional musical chairs
  • ALL of the above as in the illustration to the right

Additional notes: This is a really fun drill that I came up with while training the freshmeat in Boston.  I really like to always end every practice with a game that uses the skills we've practiced over the course of the three hours, because games (and especially competitive ones) gets the skaters to think about the object of the GAME and not about their feet.  This one is good for pacing and stopping in short distances.

1 comment:

  1. I'm putting this on our agenda tonight! One variation I may try is only having a few boxes and allowing multiple stoppers but requiring that the second person stopping in one box must do a specific stop to stay in. Putting increased pressure on a more advanced stop can help lower a skater's inhibition. Awesome sauce drill!