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(photo: Paul Delooze)
*Training post from Luludemon*
We spend a lot of time focused on skating forwards in roller derby. Working on our speed skating form. Building up to our 35 laps in 5 minutes. My team used to do 100 pace laps as a COOL DOWN!
But being able to move laterally across the track is just as important.
Lateral Rolling Movement for Roller Derby
- Stand with your skates underneath you in a good solid stance. Make sure your skates are under your shoulders and your knees are bent. If your skates are past shoulder width your weight will be in the wrong place and this won’t work. So if anything, bring them in closer.
- Turn one of your feet 90 degrees so that you are forming a “T” shape with your skates.
- Use the skate that is still pointing forwards as your pusher foot. Bend that leg even further and then release it like a coiled spring as you roll onto the other foot in a straight lateral direction.
- Practice seeing how far you can roll with one good, strong push. Can you get from one side of the track to the other? How fast can you get there?
- Make sure you practice with both feet ie. inside to out and outside to in.
- Check out how it changes on different angles.
- Now see if you can do multiple little push-to-rolls in a row. Now change direction as if you are tracking someone behind you. Just like in a roller derby!
Lateral Drills – Using Cones
Set up: Cones opposite each other on each side of the track. 10 feet apart forwards.
- Practice big pushes across the track. Skate forwards to the next set of cones in between each push and use your edges to stop you.
- Practice little pushes across the track. Moving all the way from in to out. Skate forwards to the next cone. Now repeat from out to in.
- Remember to keep your head up and shoulders back – don’t watch your feet! I promise they will still be attached to your legs
Later Drills – Using Teammates
- In pairs: blocker (hips forward) in front tracks the jammer behind them. Jammer can only move laterally. Blocker must use the push-to-roll technique. Start off with no physically engagement and increase the physicality if you are comfortable.
- In pairs: blocker now faces the jammer and skates backwards using the same technique to track the jammer. Note: blockers need to keep the same shoulders back and core tight stance for this – don’t lean towards the jammer – she/he will come to you!
- In 3s: blockers work as a 2 wall and use the technique to move as one unit. Jammer moves laterally to challenge them to work together.
- In 3s: blockers work as if one of them is a boomerang. Jammer comes in with speed and skates to one side of the pair. The blocker closest to her uses the technique in high speed to catch her. The other blocker can assist if needed with a push.
Check out Smarty Pants from Texas Rollergirls demoing the technique!