Training Tip of the Month

Lucille BrawlHit Timing

There are two common mistakes when it comes to hitting in roller derby. The first is hesitating; waiting for that perfect moment to make a giant take-out, half the time the moment never comes so the hit never happens. The second mistake is hitting and hitting and hitting like a woodpecker on a tree with no regard for timing and placement. There are a few options to try and fix this:

1. Take a physics class and learn about centrifugal motion.

2. Wait for a beam of light to shine down on the jammer, signalling the perfect time to make the hit.

3. Pay attention, recreate and practice when, where and how hits are successful for you, on you, or when watching others. It’s not just about being bigger, faster or stronger to take the opponent down. It’s more like karate where the little guy can take down the big guy – only you don’t have to wax cars and paint fences to learn it in derby.

Big takeouts happen most often to the outside on the curve, and to the inside on the straightaway. In the beginning focus on making those big hits where they are the easiest. When you make the hit don’t just let it go there, double tap or twist down on them – try to add that unexpected movement that will prevent them from wiggling out or regaining their balance. The hitter should be slightly in front, so the hittee doesn’t just squirt out with the added momentum of the hit. Oh it is so hard to be patient for that extra step to get in place – but so worth it. Patience young blocker and the hit will come to you.

Drill of the Month

Hitting Hurricane – Split into two or three groups depending on the size (no more than 7 in a group). There are four parts to this drill and in each of the parts one group is the hitters and the other group(s) are the hittees.  In each part the hitter should hit each hittee just once and move on – hittees should return legally if knocked out of bounds. Part I: Have the hittees skating slower on the outside and the hitters faster in the middle – as the hitters pass they hit each hittee – just once and move on. Part II: This time the hittees are going faster on the outside and the hittees wait for them to pass and then hit them. Part III: The hittees should be on the inside line going slower, the hitters are in the middle going faster and hitting each hittee as they pass. Part IV: The hittees are on the inside line going faster while the hitters are in the middle going slow. They have to wait for a hittee to pass them on the inside and then they hit them.

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  • February 15th, 2010
  • blog, Training
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