Fancy Football Footwork – Merry Khaos Notes

Here is another class that I revisited at BEAT ME HALFWAY 2014! I’m just going to revamp this blog to incorporate some of the new, fun stuff we did at BMH. We didn’t have the space we did during RollerCon, so we couldn’t do as many of the fun routes.

This was my most popular class .. probably because it was offered the most out of all of them! Here is a run down of what we did (mostly), and explanation of the trickier named things on the list, and drawings of the ladders and routes. E-mail me at if you need further explanations!

For everything – focus on derby position, sharpness and PRECISION. It is better to do it slow, low and precise than sloppy, high and fast.

Warm Up
“Jump Rope” (basic, feet back/forth, feet in/out) – each for a minute
Squat Jumps

Walk these across a space:
Lunge & Stretch – As you lunge, bring the elbow of the side that is forward down to the floor next to that foot (right leg is forward, right elbow comes to match it), look up at the ceiling, hold for a second and come up.
Side Lunge – You will move to your right, bringing your left leg behind your right and touching your knee to the floor in a ‘lunge’. Stand back up, and now bring your left leg in front of your right to complete the lunge. You should do this both directions.
Monster Walk – Keep your body tight. Flex your feet and bring your right leg to a 90 degree angle with your body. This should be slow, controlled and precise. This is NOT a high kick. This is not fast. Bring your foot back down slow and controlled. You should have only traveled one length of your own foot.

Feet Warm Up:
Shuffle Step
Grapvine (hips square)
Back Pedal
Quick Feet (feet shoulder length)
Quick feet (wide stance)

Quick feet = lowering yourself into derby position, and jack hammering your feet into the floor. When in the short stance, you should be on your toes. When in the wide stance, you should be on your heels.

The goal is to hit both feet on each step to increase the difficulty. It’s better to add an extra step in rather than trip up your brain. Also, if you lead with one foot the first time through, try to lead with the other foot on the second.

LaddersYes, the orange is in the push-up position. Scoot up the ladder by moving your hand and foot at the same time to gain momentum. Keep that butt down!!

Use routes to develop quick twitch and explosion. Incorporate side-stepping, loops, spins, back pedal, quick cuts and full stops. Use cones to develop routes. You can even incorporate football more by making the skaters catch something at certain points in the routes. This will not only force them to keep their eyes up, but will increase their awareness for the world around them.

Use cones to denote places of action, they are quick and ease to move around into new patterns. Also, linking patterns makes for a harder workout. Set up three patterns in a row and have your people move through them by jogging from the end of one to the beginning of the next.

What is this

Once you get a feeling for how patterns work and how to incorporate motion into them, it’s just a matter of making things up for you to do. You want to do routes a minimum of twice. Up to 5 times for maximum burst work. Stay low. Do everything sharp and precise. When you say stop, STOP DEAD and QUICK. Burst back out of it. Work on making some patterns very tight, and some longer to get a variety of speed adjustments.

Don’t be afraid to add some hand-eye coordination. You can have one person in the middle throwing a ball at people at different points of the routes, or even the next person in line will throw the ball to the person doing the run currently.

Box Drills
Set up your cones in a square. Now pick some different routes to run! Some ideas…
– Shuffle left, sprint up, shuffle right, back pedal
– Spin at each cone, hit each cone twice
– Sprint to each cone, use your feet to ‘circle the top’ of the cone, like you would if you were playing soccer and faking out the opposition

Some things to think about again is keeping low, keeping tight, and being PRECISE! Don’t let your hips swing, keep them square as you move through any box or route drill. Stay low, loading your legs with power, and keep your eyes up, and be quick and tight with every motion. Going onto YouTube and watching football (and futbal) players doing box and footwork drills will really help you understand how to stay in the “box” of yoru own shoulders and keeping your weight centered and strong.

Don’t be shy about checking out my other blogs too. Some that might be of interest to you:

Shifting Perspective (a blog about changing the way we look at training for derby)
Building You as a Better Skater
Eating Healthy Even When You’re Not at Home

And message me at if there’s a topic you would like me to cover in the future. I’m available for roller derby coaching and clinics! Drop me a line to get rates and to set up something with your league.