I’m having trouble with my wheels on our slippy floor on Wednesday nights. It was really bad yesterday but I can’t figure out why. I gave my wheels a scrub before we went in, in the hopes of somehow squeezing a little extra grip out… It had no effect whatsoever.

We practiced a few contact drills last night, which made me nervous, but only because I’m crap at them and need to practice.

We also did more on the strategy elements, both as a jammer (getting way low) and as an offensive wall in a power jam.

Weak areas:

  • Hitting – accuracy is shocking. I tend to want to get in front, forgetting that I’m meant to be knocking them out, not positional blocking. I wonder about where I should be aiming too, because surely hitting someone in the hip is like… The stablest part of their body? I guess cause I’m a wee halfling, I have the advantage that I can hit someone in the thigh quite easily, and therefore have a better chance of knocking their balance or driving them off track.
  • Recycling – So IF I had actually been able to hit the person off, my next trick should have been tomahawking and running back along the track. Needless to say, I was also crap at this.
  • Jamming – I don’t even know what to say… I didn’t get through, ever, so I guess that speaks for itself.
  • Feet slippage – I was skidding around like bambi on ice all night. I have to get my feet under control, because that was just… beyond comical. The tough thing is that I have no real way of training myself to control skidding. My only available practice time would be outdoors, on Tarmac, which is about as grippy as it gets.

Areas which sucked slightly less:

  • Squatting real low – I’m already okay with this. The issue is doing it at speed without ass-planting.
  • Endurance – This felt okay. We did a masochistic drill of 2 minutes alternating pushing and sprinting. That wasn’t too bad, though that probably means I wasn’t sprinting enough.
  • Transitions – Backward to forward suddenly feels a lot less clumsy. Perhaps due to the slippiness of the floor.
  • Avoiding hits – I wasn’t so bad at not being pushed out of bounds, although this is possibly because they were taking it easy on me. Or because I anticipated the hit. Also, once they’ve gone in for the hit, slowing down and escaping felt fairly natural.
  • Rules – feels a bit like scraping the bottom of the barrel, but my grasp of the rules has improved a lot recently. From actually reading them. Who knew.

Advice I received:

  • Staxx: Be careful not to block with your head (FML I didn’t realise I was doing this)
  • TK: Get ducking low* = avoid hits = profit.
  • (* As in ducking down. Not a typo)
  • TK: Hitting off – lock them in, flick with the hip, use momentum from the flick to 180 stop and sprint clockwise to recycle.
  • TK: Watch more derby! Watch all the derby! Steal ideas/techniques!

Things to work on:

  • Vert skating? – been thinking about this for a while. Reckon dropping into a pipe and ducking to avoid a hit involves much the same skills. Might venture out to the park when the weather picks up…
  • Agility – toe stop jumps, stopping at high speed, juking around the wall, using momentum to change direction
  • Timing of hits – just gotta practice hits til I get it
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