At training on Tuesday we were practicing transitions, edgework and laps. My favourite was transitioning around a player and blocking – basically a powerslide. After seeing me attempt to powerslide once, Ram-it taught me this a while ago. But getting to apply it was very useful, as well as fun because transitions are just the best.

On Wednesday, we concentrated solely on laterals and using these in gameplay. Shiiiiut, my laterals really suck. I can’t step, glide or side-surf. But getting to practice them again and again and again did really help.

Then yesterday we were invited up to an introductory session for the Crash Test Brummies, one of the major men’s leagues up in Birmingham. Fenton is chomping at the bit to get better every time we skate, so he seemed keen to go along  – after being assured that they weren’t going to beat the crap out of him.

Anyway, it wasn’t much of a taster session at all really – more of a pre-mins general skills session. It was headed by a few local skaters as well as someone I know as an ex-SRT skater, Stevie.

There were a handful of other boys and girls there, and everyone was very friendly. Will definitely go back again, though perhaps when they have a pre-mins session again rather than a big team thing.

We did a lot of practicing our footwork (sprinting, side stepping). As usual, I really sucked at this, but Fenton was an absolute natural of course. I felt a big improvement though towards the end. We practiced it just a little bit longer than necessary, which as a training technique was very effective.

Then we worked on our crossover form and lap times. I’ve been worried about this, having being tested a few times over the last month and never managing to hit 27. But I made it all the way to 28 and felt I could have squeezed a bit more out. So I’m happy enough.

We did a fair bit of backwards skating – and it is very obvious that I rely solely on fast transitions from forwards skating. I find it almost impossible to accelerate into backwards skating. I just roll lamely, not picking up speed until I’ve got in a few crossovers.

Then we did some general pack-work, lateral track movement and then some walls. I was pretty shocking at jamming tbh. Need to work on my strength and agility.

Weak areas:

  • Laterals (all)
  • Duck runs
  • Jamming through a wall
  • Accelerating backwards

Areas which sucked slightly less:

  • Crossovers/27 in 5 time
  • Backwards skating
  • Powerslides to block
  • Legal contact (mostly) 🙂

Advice I received:

  • Stevie: Pivot on your toes to switch direction when doing lateral steps/galloping
  • Gaz: Lean forwards and pick up your knees when doing duck runs

Things to work on more:

  • Practice lateral gliding, lateral stepping and duck runs
  • ‘Digging in’ and blocking with edgework
  • Getting around blockers who I can’t overpower – taking advantage of holes in the wall (e.g. after butting a blocker out of the way – don’t just back off)
  • Backwards acceleration techniques