Tuesday night we had Kitty DeCapitate from VRDL come guest coach us. She was one of the trainers that took the bootcamp I attended back in January. Kitty has been skating derby for 5 years with both the London Rollergirls and currently the Victorian Roller Derby League (but she will be moving back to London sometime soon).
As she states on her blog (Yay Roller Derby!) “I guess as a coach and skater in both of these leagues, my unique experience (and everyone has one) seems to be about making people and leagues better”.
I think it’s highly beneficial to leagues being able to have the opportunity and resources to host such highly skilled and experienced trainers. They bring with them fresh and new ideas we may not have seen before. It lets us have access to new techniques that skaters at the top of their field are using and it’s just so great to have fresh faces sharing their derby love.
We started the session with an off-skates warm up. In 6 minutes of jogging, jumping and explosive footwork I was sweating buckets! – more so than if we were doing a 10 minute surging pace line to warm up (PS: I hate pace lines!).
We then went in to drills where Kitty broke down jammer strategies of juking and jumping around your blocker. Faking them out, then being able to carve around them quickly to get in front, or if you see a blocker lining you up for a hit, set your eyes on them and basically put on your brakes to juke/ jump out of their way.
We also practiced blocking drills with walls being set up with one skater swinging out to skate reverse direction to help support their wall, but ONLY when it was safe to do so. You don’t want to be leaving yourself wide open with all that legal blocking zone down your front if a jammer breaks through the wall, so you need to think quick to transition back to face forward to block with your butt and potential draw a back block.
Lastly we ran a reactive pack drill where the key was to be able to communicate fast with your blockers and react accordingly to wall up wherever the majority of your blockers were (front of pack? – make wall at the front or vice versa).
I love the below photo with Kitty instructing the next drill and Suzz Spender spotting the camera to give a cheeky smile! Ha!
Thanks Kitty for coming out to Northside and training both the freshie session and ours. It was great to have some things broken down and some technical insight in to drills.
PS: High-five to Sunny Day for being our awesome photographer for the night!!