I seem to have developed a habit of doing a weird stop. It’s like a T stop because it uses the wheels of one skate to create friction with the floor. Except it’s kind of like a ‘V’ shape because the dragged foot is at a very acute angle with the rolling foot. Where on earth did I pick this up from? I suspect it’s the roller disco – when I’m too lazy to do a full T-stop… Maybe it can be my special, signature move. The V-stop.

Fun session last night, even though it was quite intense. It was obvious I had no clue what I was doing, but I felt slightly less like a rabbit in the headlights when in the wall. Teammates were able to just tell me where to be and what to do and I tried to obey.

While waiting in between drills, I practiced my side surfing and step transitions. To my elation, my right-foot-forward side-surf has kind of “clicked”. I can still only go in a fairly tight arc, rather than a straight line, but the fact I can propel myself at all is a big improvement.

I’m beginning to get a rhythm going with my fast cross-overs, and I’m trying to time my pendulum arm swings (back and forth) rather than do my best “aeroplane” impression. New wheels feel great on the floor (no sliding out).

Plow stop on the right is almost there now, and I am confident stopping rapidly/moving fast, or stopping gradually. It makes the most gorgeous/horrendous squeal now when I plow. I was so jealous of others’ noisy plow stops, and now I have my own at last… Muahaha!

So I’ve been practicing “big” hockey stops – i.e. going very fast and doing a hockey stop to a sharp halt. It’s working well on the right-side, but I still end up on my knees occasionally. I haven’t worked out how to do it on the left side yet either.

I need to practice my “small” hockey stops, i.e. contained movements within a pack. On similar lines, my laterals are still awful. I’m instant bambi when I’m trying to pick up my feet and do steps/hops from foot to foot. This is really critical to work on!

Weak areas:

  • Being totally confused within the jam. Not being able to pay attention to what’s happening because I’m concentrating so hard on not falling over and taking out all my team-mates
  • Resisting going outside my comfort zone. There were one or two opportunities yesterday for me to try something new and terrifying but I was too chicken
  • Taking things to heart. I’m easily the weakest player on the track. That’s not a personal insult, it’s just a fact.

Areas that sucked slightly less:

  • Confident at jam timing
  • Side surfing, baby! (At last!)
  • Getting better at not leaning forwards too much while blocking and therefore getting knocked on my face
  • Using my butt to get in the way of the jammer
  • Practicing leaning into teammates.
  • Hit Bea a few times (ineffectively, but…)
  • Stepped Backwards to forwards transitions much improved. Getting my feet pointing at a 180′ from each other. But not both ways. It’s easy to get my right foot at 180, but my left foot can’t do so well stepping back.
  • Did a few baby one-foot transitions! Was impressed!
  • Only a few butt-falls during jams

Things I was taught:

  • TK: Types of jammer assist/offensive play
  • TK: #1 priority is to block the other jammer. Only play offence if it is safe to do so
  • TK: Do not present a nice juicy target zone when bracing, otherwise you will get pelted in the chest by a full-speed jammer
  • Gran Derby: Stick your shoulders back

Stuff to work on:

  • Laterals!
  • Mini hockey stops
  • Being recycled without cutting track
  • Being more aware of the game (where’s our jammer, where’s their jammer?)
  • Derby stance (as in, blocking, wall stance – butt down, knees bent, shoulders back)