RC19 – New Skater Survival feat. Disaster Chief

Objectives

To help new and intermediate skaters get acclimated to gameplay and learn new tricks and strategies to be effective on the track.

Focus

  • Don’t look at your feet
  • Bend your knees
  • Your arms are unnecessary for roller skating
  • Get natural at transitions
  • Get comfortable changing levels
  • Effective derby playing is about space: creating space, clearing space, holding space
  • Do less than you think you need to
  • Don’t say you can’t do it.  You can do it, you just haven’t yet

 

Building a base

  • Proper Form
    • Updated derby stance (tailbone tucked under, hips low but not too low)
    • Changing levels to complete hits and leans. Opening ribs/sides to maintain contact

 

Fixing Form

  • Derby stance
  • Targeting and Blocking Form: By targeting certain parts on an opponent’s body you can effectively control their body with very little effort. It’s best to maintain contact with your opponent until you’ve moved them where you want them to go.
    • Chest/sternum: targeting an opponent’s chest or sternum with a solid, sustained push will allow you to move them in the direction you’re pushing. By aiming your hit low and finishing high you can lift them off their base and make them easier to move.
    • Shoulder sockets: aiming for an opponent’s shoulder near where the arm connects to the torso will cause the opponent’s upper body to twist. By following through with the hit you can force the opponent to open their hips and give up their space. This target works both from the front and back, but when attempting this hit from the rear be careful to make legal contact. 
    • Ribs to armpit: When attacking an opponent from the side start by aiming for their ribs with your shoulder and moving the point of contact up towards their armpit. This will lift your opponent off their base and allow you to move them or knock them over.

 

Edging

  • Crazy Legs and lateral T push
    • Push from line to line, ending on your edges
  • Lunch Money
    • Buddy pushes on your back, you must use your edges and plows to stop them
  • Picking up the opponent’s leg
    • From a stopped position, put the top of your thigh under the bottom of their thigh. Position your torso around their waist line. Use your tricep as a brace against their ribs. No pinning of arms or legs. Dip a little, use a small step and stand up to move them out of the way

 

Toe Stops

This is to teach you how to be confident getting from your wheels to your toe stops and back again. To start, break it down into small stages:

  • Stand still, drop your toe stops
  • Roll forward slowly, drop your toe stops. Use the momentum to take a step if necessary. This is currently about STOPPING, not moving.
  • Roll forward slowly, drop your toe stops. Use the momentum to hop straight up. Practice landing on your toe stops or your wheels.
  • Roll backwards, reach a foot backwards and grab the ground with your toe stop. Use this momentum to move you a couple steps.

To Practice: Start at the jammer line, push twice, transition onto toe stops for multiple steps, transition back to your wheels. You can practice doing this straight forward, backwards, and also so your body is angled when you’re stepping – transition to your toe stops and turn your chest to the inside of the track to run.

 

Building up the Tripod

  • Effective butts: lateral movement, getting hips in front
    • In a tripod formation, the skaters in the two wall need to focus on lateral movement, seaming, and keeping their hips perpendicular to the track. The two wall is the first line of defense when absorbing the jammer’s impact and should attempt to maintain contact with the jammer for as long as possible. Skaters in the two wall should look for offense coming from the front.
  • Effective bracing: arms on outside, spreading wings, leaning back, one toe stop, avoiding offense
    • Being an effective brace is about communication, supporting your teammates, and being prepared to make adjustments. The brace should allow their teammates to push into them instead of pushing back into the two wall. This limits the two wall’s mobility and leads to a higher likelihood of direction of gameplay penalties. When bleeding off speed the brace should attempt to use only one toe stop so then can maintain their lateral mobility. The brace should not only communicate where the jammer is moving, but also relay if offense is coming from the rear or sides. If it seems like the jammer will break through or clear the two wall, the brace must be prepared to rotate or break off to catch the jammer and prepare to reform the tripod.

 

Message me at Derbyamerica at gmail.com or Chief at Anxiety83 at gmail.com if you have questions or need further information!

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RC 19 On Track Teamwork

RollerCon 2019 with Merry Khaos, at MVP5 on Wednesday at 5:20pm

This is my outline before the class goes off. Things may change during the class, in which case I will come back in and edit. For now… enjoy!

 

Objectives

To help skaters learn how to work with each other better on the track, and to understand that teamwork takes time and patience to build

 

Focus

  • Understanding where the other people are on the track
  • Learning that if you know what your teammates are going to do, then if you get caught they will be able to survive without out (and vice versa)
  • Teamwork = success
  • Look at each other, not the floor
  • Fluid movements
  • Always going to the next thing

 

Reminders:

Teamwork takes time! Neon Genesis Evangelion, Voltron, Korra (pro-bending) all have episodes that show how hard it is to achieve high-level teamwork, because it’s not all about you. So don’t beat yourself up if you and your buddies just aren’t syncing all the time.

 

Warm-Up (in pairs):

  • One foot slaloms, but in sync
  • Leg openers (again, in sync, and within easy arm-reach of your buddy)
  • Transitions
  • “Sprint” around the track, but at each corner, you’re switching sides
  • Mirror drill: Pairs will face the same direction, about an arm length apart. The person in front “leads”. They must stay within the track, and can move within a 5-10 ft rectangle (depending on how much space we have). They may do any move.

 

Spoke of the Wheel

Lines of 4 (or more if I need)

Goal: Keep a wall while moving around the track. 

Secondary goal: On whistle blast, inside drops to outside, with line filling the gap

 

Groups of 4

Box Drill Round 1:

  • 1 whistle rotate right
  • 2 whistle rotate left
  • Long whistle speed up
  • 4 whistles stop

 

Round 2:

  • 1 whistle front skaters transition
  • 2 whitle front & back swap
  • Long whistle switch line (outside/inside)
  • 4 whistles stop

 

Triangle Drill

Round 1: Whistle indicates switching from inside to outside line WITHOUT rotation

Round 2: Whistle indicates rotation 

Round 3: Add a jammer who will pop off and challenge different parts of the track, triangle must adjust

 

If there is time

 

Pacelines 

  • Pairs will trade spots between each pair of the paceline. The person on the outside goes behind the person coming from the inside
  • Pairs race to the front of the line and plow stop in front in sync, and matching the pace of the line

 

Header photo by Phantom Photographics

RC19 No You CAN’T Say That

At 3pm in Seminar Room 7 on Wednesday of RollerCon 2019 this class will happen. I am going to edit this post after the class takes place to fill in notes and (hopefully) upload a video of the class itself, which will also go on the AFTDA’s YouTube Channel.  For now, here is my outline of the class ahead… and sorry about the formatting. Google Docs to WordPress was not the best copy/paste decision I’ve ever made.

 

Who am I?
President of the AFTDA, skater/writer/coach for 9 years, ref for 4 years, announcer for 3 years. I have been a vendor and brand rep, I have traveled the world. I have spoken to people about derby and who are involved in derby from all cultures and backgrounds. And yes, I too have made mistakes.

 

Why this class is important:

People of privilege and those who do not live in certain worlds are often caught up in their own language, manners, and behaviors that they do not realize when something can be offensive, hurtful, or downright rude. This is meant to be a discussion and information session as much as a ‘class’, since as a person of privilege myself, I certainly cannot TEACH others. 

 

Goal: 

To discuss the microaggressions and language we use as announcers in Roller Derby and bring further awareness to the struggle of the humans in our community. To help people understand how their words have an effect on the community, and how we can learn and grow to become better humans together. To teach individuals how to handle receiving and giving information to friends and partners about offensive language or hurtful behavior. To have open discussion from the attendees about their feelings about language and how to improve the community at large.

 

LET’S DIVE IN!

 

Microaggressions

  1. What is a microaggression?
    A statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority. Examples:

    1. Calling a player ‘black’ instead of by jersey color
    2. Commenting on how capable someone with a disability is “despite”
    3. Female-identifying skaters being called ‘more aggressive than typical’
    4. Racially-charged slang (gypped, scalped, tomahawk, mohawk, thug, pow wow, war paint)
  1.   When we hear a microaggression, how should we respond?
  1. Getting angry is understandable, but not always the best approach
  2. Be honest and direct about what has been said
  3. Ask the person to correct their language moving forward
  1.   How should we respond if we are confronted about microaggressions?
  1. DON’T GET MAD OR DEFENSIVE! We all have committed a microaggression at some point. The person pointing this out is doing the right thing, even if we may feel guilty about having made someone feel bad.
  2. OWN IT
  3. Apologize
  4. Process what has been said, and correct behavior moving forward

 

More great reading!

https://advancingjustice-la.org/sites/default/files/ELAMICRO%20A_Guide_to_Responding_to_Microaggressions.pdf

 

OPEN TO DISCUSSION ABOUT THE MOST COMMON DERBY MICROAGGRESSIONS:

Gender in roller derby

  •  Gender is a social construct.
  1. Not up for debate. Let me Google that for you: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=gender+as+a+social+construct&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart
  2. Understanding that someone else’s gender construct is different from your own personal definition is critical.

    When in doubt, eliminate pronouns

  1. Using a skater’s name, number, color jersey, or positioning is just as appropriate as a pronoun.
  2. Yes it takes practice, do it anyway

    DO NOT MISGENDER!

  1. Mistakes happen, especially if we don’t have the information, but do not purposefully misgender.
  2. If you do, See instructions for microaggressions.

    Remove gender from your salutations, introductions, and generalizations

  1. No “Welcome, Ladies & Gentlemen”
  2. No “These ladies are really tough”
  3. No “These are the hardest working men in derby”

 

OPEN TO DISCUSSION ABOUT OTHER WAYS WE CAN SUPPORT OUR FLUID, NONBINARY, AND TRANS FAMILY MEMBERS, AND MAKING A LIST OF OUR FAVORITE NONBINARY SALUTATIONS

 

Body Shaming

Stop talking about body types in derby

  1. “Big like a blocker”
  2. “Strong for her size”

    – You wouldn’t say, “7 is pretty think for a quarterback”, so don’t say it in derby

    Find language that talks about the play without body size

  1. “Using their momentum”
  2. “Muscling the opponents out” 
  3. “Taking advantage of every inch of track”

 

OPEN TO DISCUSSION ABOUT THE MOST COMMON PHRASES WE HEAR AND SOME SENTENCES WE CAN USE TO REPLACE THEM.

Misogyny on the mic

  1. What does it look like?
  1. Correcting a partner/responding with “No”
  2. Cutting off a partner
  3. Not allowing your partner a word in, even during color or sponsors

    How do we approach it?

  1. If you have a producer, or are a producer, POINT IT OUT. You may have to wait until halftime, but have the discussion
  2. If you don’t have backup, be calm throughout the call. At halftime, have the discussion with them. Point out what has been going on, how you have felt stymied, and what they can do to help
  3. If they get defensive, go on the offensive, or refuse to change, go to your THR or the Game Coordinator for a home game to explain the situation. Do not be afraid at home games to leave the mic.

 

OPEN TO DISCUSSION ABOUT EXPERIENCES AND HOW WE HAVE HANDLED, OR UNDERSTOOD THIS BEHAVIOR. 

 

OPEN TO DISCUSSION ABOUT ANYTHING WE MISSED.