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Check out this guy!

On Saturday night, we volunteered for another three hours’ skating to marshal a roller disco in the town hall. Fenton seemed keen to practice and by the end, he’d managed to teach himself crossovers(!) He even wore kneepads… I’m so proud.

Fresh meat training on Tuesday covered some more wall and contact drills as well as toe-stop work, which I’m always needing. On Wednesday it was more tactical, as the team is bouting on Saturday. I have such a way to go with gameplay and tactics, so this was very useful.

I’m still finding that my plates are squirrely on crossovers, although this is getting better.  My left leg is still getting speed wobble, which is particularly noticable going backwards. I’m so tempted to tighten up my trucks, but I think I should probably just man up until I’m used to it.

Weak areas:

  • Side-surfing – I find this so frustrating. I cannot figure out how to skate in a straight line. I’m sure it must be a case of not being able to spread my feet wide enough. Do I need to get lower??
  • Getting too grabby in a pack – I was getting a bit too used to randomly grabbing and holding onto people. Luckily not while jamming, but this is probably a habit I ought to break sooner rather than later.
  • Confusion – we did a continuous start-up drill and I was so dazzled the whole time when blocking. I clung onto my poor pivot and could barely concentrate on being where I should be, let alone helping to stop the jammer. Brain basically overheated, argh.
  • Communication – As above. I know I should be communicating, but I don’t even know where I am or what I’m doing, let alone voicing it to my team-mates.

Areas that sucked slightly less:

  • Clockwise backwards crossovers – have seen some spontaneous improvement (love it when that happens). The Sausarge Roller figure-8 drill  is within reach…
  • Being bossy – When I’m not confused, I’m getting better at chatting shit all the time. I barely even hear it any more…
  • Tried jamming – I was nominated to jam in the second round of the start-up drill (probably because my blocking sucked so bad). It was a ton of fun being able to go all-out, but I wasn’t very effective. Also it was pretty tiring. I know, I know – woe is me…
  • Toe-stop turnaround/running – Got to get some practice in and they’re getting much better. Now just to work on doing it after a hit.

Advice I received:

  • More hip, less shoulder when hitting. I do really struggle with hip checks. I worry about locking skates, and I worry about losing balance, and I worry about going in for a hit so hard that I just fall over. Going in shoulder first seems the logical answer and I’ve been getting away with it simply because I’m small.

Areas to work on:

  • Hip swing – out and up
  • Crossovers – practice until more comfortable pushing off
  • Left leg balance – until less wobbly at speed. Then left-foot weaving
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