Training Tip of the Month

Lucille BrawlOffense! Defense! Offense! Defense!

If you’re the rookie who’s trying to break out from being a stare-bear and actually do something on the track, you should probably learn what your teammates mean when they yell these cryptic terms.

Listen close, I’m going to tell you a secret… Offense is when you are trying to help your jammer score and defense is when you are trying to stop their jammer from scoring. Super simple? Sure! But I have teammates who’ve been playing for years who still need a mnemonic device, “I have to play defense, I have to be ‘de’ fence against their jammer.”

There are a million ways to play offense and defense in derby – especially when you start getting into various strategies and scenarios. However, for the rookies out there looking for an answer as to what to do when you hear, “Hooker Bycrook (insert your hilarious derby name here), play offense!”  or; “Jane Smith (insert your boring government name here), play defense!” Here’s the most basic answer:

Offense: Get on an opponent blocker, stay on that someone until your jammer is out and safe. Start by making sure the biggest threat is covered, don’t try to match yourself to someone of your own skill and figure someone meaner on your team will get the biggest threat. Controlling and containing the opponents by priority from the biggest to the smallest threat will ensure your jammer scores points. Now if you’re fancy you can try to knock that opponent down or out of bounds and give your jammer an easy score on the floor – just don’t make yourself an easy point as well.

Defense:  Get with a teammate and make a wall that the opposing jammer can never get through. Jammers are freakin’ slippery little buggers and they come into the pack fast! One blocker is always going to have a hard time containing a jammer – but wall up together and she should never get through. By working as a team on defense you build a bigger fence. You can slow that jammer as a wide wall or hit her as a lateral wall, and protect each other from any offense by trading the power position. The main thing to remember while playing defense is to keep your eye on the prize and that prize is the jammer. You should be ignoring opponent blockers as they try to bait and distract you, and just focus on holding onto your prize.

Drill of the Month

Patient Jammer – Played like a normal scrimmage only the jammer cannot pass an opponent without an assist from her teammate (whip, push or block.) The jammer may frontal block opponents that are attempting to pass and reengage her. Only one jammer goes in at a time. Goal: For blockers to work on offense and containment, opponent blockers will work solely on defense, and for jammers to learn to see the help their blockers are giving them and not always go it alone.

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  • August 15th, 2010
  • blog, Training
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