Training Tip of the Month

Mad LucyScrimmage Practice

“We should bout more!” How many times does every rollergirl feel that way about practice? And how much does every trainer dread hearing that about practice! Of course, we’re all in it to play the game! Roller derby is way more fun than skating drills. But you have to condition your muscles and use your brain to get better at roller derby and unfortunately just playing the game doesn’t get you there. You can’t force situations to repeat in order to build muscle memory and usually you’re listening more to your adrenaline than your brain during bouting at practice.

But with a little forethought you can get the best of both worlds by incorporating drills into scrimmages. When using scrimmage time to work on the specifics of the game – it’s good to repeat line-ups and plans for 2-3 jams so it can be learned and improved. Remember when you are working on bouting, the goal is to improve your game – not to win those scrimmage jams – so don’t worry about points. Unless, of course, you’re practicing counting points! Try having a hat full of strategies, challanges or plays that each team pulls from every few jams. Here are some ideas to get you started: choose one communicator who talks through the whole jam and gives a play by play, have 3 of your skaters own the front – but don’t race the pack for the entire jam, have 3 of your skaters form and reform a wall in the back for the entire jam, get your jammer through on the outside, get your jammer through on the inside, everyone man up with an opponent and stay with them through the whole jam, have everyone but the pivot only play offense, have everyone but the pivot only play defense, have the jammer only pass opponents with offensive help… there’s a million variations. Break down the game into it’s pieces and then put it back together in a scrimmage without specific rules at the end of practice.

Drill of the Month

Never-ending Jammers – The pack skates as normal but there is a pool of 3-4 jammers from both teams skating about 20 feet behind it. The coach will send jammers through one at time and send the next one when the previous one gets out or if she is stuck for a long time. Goal: For blockers to be aware of where the other jammer is; to switch from offense to defense and vice versa quickly; to set herself up in relation to her teammates and opponents to prepare for what will happen next; to skate a jam for more than 2 minutes and work on teamwork. For the jammers, it is about seeing holes where an opponent isn’t paying attention and sneaking through. The same drill can also be done with never-ending blockers being rotated into play.

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  • April 15th, 2010
  • blog, Training

One Comment

  1. Kitty Cleavage
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    I love Training Tip of the Month! It helps me finding good drills when I organize the practice for Stockholm Roller Derby. ^_^
    Thank you for awesome tips! I love you guys!


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