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So this is what I want..
The one with Tori Bee

So we had the privilege of guest coach Tori Bee, of Manchester Roller Derby’s A-Team CheckerBroads, one day back in June. Needless to say it was awesome as was she! You could see the effect it had on everyone’s morale and enthusiasm, nothing better than a fresh injection of new skills and drills to get ya pumped.

I won’t go into details on the many drills we did aimed at jammers and blockers alike. Just recap on a couple of key points I took away from the session.

Plow stops - plowing in smaller spaces can be tricky and keeping your feet static will only get you so far, when in a good plowing stance try lifting a foot at a time and replacing it slightly adjusted so you regain that all important ‘bite’ (omg works a treat!!) and you can keep your plow small. If you find lifting and stomping too difficult or you can’t do it quick enough try twisting at your hips so essentially swivelling your feet around again to find that bite. 

Apex Jumps - yep I said it! The elusive majestical apex jump. Tori Bee taught us not to be afraid to try it (it had never crossed my mind to even bother haha) and have a few demos then had us ALL jumping the apex! It’s really not that scary OR difficult, ok maybe we weren’t bounding like gazelles but jump (or hop) the apex we did :) one key tip to know is always take off on your LEFT foot and land on your RIGHT, this way you are much more likely to land in bounds almost guaranteed…almost. 

So much was taken away from this guest coached session and everyone left on such a high - might have been as we headed to the pub with Tori post training haha a great time had by all!

The one with Tori Bee

So we had the privilege of guest coach Tori Bee, of Manchester Roller Derby’s A-Team CheckerBroads, one day back in June. Needless to say it was awesome as was she! You could see the effect it had on everyone’s morale and enthusiasm, nothing better than a fresh injection of new skills and drills to get ya pumped.

I won’t go into details on the many drills we did aimed at jammers and blockers alike. Just recap on a couple of key points I took away from the session.

Plow stops - plowing in smaller spaces can be tricky and keeping your feet static will only get you so far, when in a good plowing stance try lifting a foot at a time and replacing it slightly adjusted so you regain that all important ‘bite’ (omg works a treat!!) and you can keep your plow small. If you find lifting and stomping too difficult or you can’t do it quick enough try twisting at your hips so essentially swivelling your feet around again to find that bite.

Apex Jumps - yep I said it! The elusive majestical apex jump. Tori Bee taught us not to be afraid to try it (it had never crossed my mind to even bother haha) and have a few demos then had us ALL jumping the apex! It’s really not that scary OR difficult, ok maybe we weren’t bounding like gazelles but jump (or hop) the apex we did :) one key tip to know is always take off on your LEFT foot and land on your RIGHT, this way you are much more likely to land in bounds almost guaranteed…almost.

So much was taken away from this guest coached session and everyone left on such a high - might have been as we headed to the pub with Tori post training haha a great time had by all!

Four scrims to rule them all, Four scrims to find them, Four scrims to bring them all and in the darkness bind them….together as a stronger team.

As a team we had our first 4 scrims in a matter of 3 months. The 4 scrims were so very different and we came away from each with a new understanding of the game and overall a stronger team bond.
So I’m just going to give a little run down of each scrim from my perspective on what we did and what we learnt.


24th February -Very welcoming, a strong opposition, fast jammers, good tactics, more established than ourselves.

- we have a couple injuries within the first few jams, unnerves the team
- panic kicks in and we get flustered
- negativity fills the bench, we start bitching, focusing on the bad no the good
- walls vanish along with communication as the points rack up for the opposing team
- we get down on ourselves, each other, the other team
- we thank the other team as they handled our first scrim admirably and were kind towards our injured (including me haha)

We started off knowing what we were doing but a major lack of communication and keeping a cool head on the track were apparent, a huge downfall on the day. Negativity is your enemy! Our team pulled together well for our injured skaters after the game.


9th March - The opposing team were extremely powerful with some strong intimidating skaters. Awesome at the afterparty :)
I was injured and unable to skate in the scrim but I got to NSO as head penalty timer :) so my observations are from the sidelines on this one.

- happier remembering to have fun
- much harder hits being taken
- bridging was almost non existent
- lack of listening on track
- as game went on and we tired our walls and tactics started fading

Learning to take harder hits and understanding we’ll need to be a lot tougher and give as good as we get - no matter the size ;) Being more aware of what’s going on and listening to the pivot and bench.


13th April - a negative atmosphere from the get go, a team at roughly our level. Saw in them a more extreme version of how we’d been at our first scrim
(I was skating again for this scrim)

- we had a positive attitude
- supporting each other commending everyone’s hard work and effort
- listening to each other
- focusing on the positive after each jam
- keeping it clean and not letting the other teams anger/frustration influence our atmosphere
- bridges galore

This I feel was a pivotal turning point for NWRD where it all started to fit and we started to really trust in our team and what we had been working on. Playing a negative team can really make you strive for the positive!!


21st April - a friendly game with a sister team making it crazy competitive haha fast jammers, tough walls, good coach, similar skate time to us.
I think a special mention to their hall floor has to be mentioned, a rubber coated vile floor haha like skating through treacle even on the hardest wheels.

- positive attitude
- great team support
- walls getting much better
- working together much better as a team
- it felt like we were a real team

The game was called off early due to an injury, and a nasty one at that! Everyone from both teams and ref/NSO crews pulled together so brilliantly and throughout the worry and upset both teams stayed so positive and supportive, in a manor all true derby teams should be.


So I don’t know how interesting this may have been for anyone reading, but the progression our team made in 3 short months was absolutely monumental in the making of NWRD’s future.
Negativity, stress and flapping about gets you nowhere, if you’re positive and stay focused on the game you’ll not only enjoy yourself more but get much better results because of it…..plus more teams will want to play you :D

I’m so honoured to call these women (and men) my team mates.

So you may have noticed I’ve taken a step back from posting lately but fear not, I am back (YAAAAAAAAY) and have soooooo much to write about - scrims, skateparks, advice, gear, road trips and my first open bout! I’m going to post things in vague chronological order so as not to get too confusing haha So stay tuned :D

A brief explanation to my whereabouts - I decided it was best I took a ‘time out’ as I experienced a less than savoury occurrence in the derby world and was guns blazing wanting to post all about it whilst I was angry and upset… Not a good combination! And to be honest not the picture I want to paint of roller derby. 
I came to see that this event clearly was an exception and not the rule (thank fuck) 
After I’d calmed down life decided to throw me a slight curveball which buggered me up for a bit but I’ll come to that in a later post :) 

Derby love

So you may have noticed I’ve taken a step back from posting lately but fear not, I am back (YAAAAAAAAY) and have soooooo much to write about - scrims, skateparks, advice, gear, road trips and my first open bout! I’m going to post things in vague chronological order so as not to get too confusing haha So stay tuned :D

A brief explanation to my whereabouts - I decided it was best I took a ‘time out’ as I experienced a less than savoury occurrence in the derby world and was guns blazing wanting to post all about it whilst I was angry and upset… Not a good combination! And to be honest not the picture I want to paint of roller derby.
I came to see that this event clearly was an exception and not the rule (thank fuck)
After I’d calmed down life decided to throw me a slight curveball which buggered me up for a bit but I’ll come to that in a later post :)

Derby love

Skatenance - or Skate maintenance if you prefer

We all know to prolong the life of our bearings, wheels and skates in general that regular cleaning and maintenance is vital.

So I was in the middle of my regular clean up and check over when I see THIS!!!! A crack!!! A crack in one of my beautiful wheels :( needless to say I was a wee bit sad especially as I had a game the next day (a closed scrim with a sister league but a game never the less). No back up wheels to be found, what do I do?! I still skated haha and did for a couple weeks before we had a bout coming up, money being tight I decided super gluing the crack was wise haha well although it held it was definitely NOT a permanent fix! But with no spare cash to buy even a 4 pack of wheels what was I to do. A fellow skater told me its a bit dodgy that my wheel broke so soon as I’m not an overly heavy skater nor do I skate heavily (if you follow).

I wrote a quick friendly email to skatebritain.net (where I had originally purchased my skates inc. wheels less than a year ago) and added a pic, a rapid response asking my address, next day this lil beaut turns up :D problem solved!! Brilliant service yet again.

If ever in doubt about something that has gone wrong on your skate, do not hesitate to drop the seller a friendly note. At worst they’ll ignore you but they’re more likely to give you some friendly advice on what to do and best a new wheel hahaha

WHEN YOU HIT THE OTHER JAMMER OFF THE LINE
Okay this just happened hahaha

Okay this just happened hahaha

Why derby girls are likely to survive a zombie apocalypse

mygiffeduplife:


We get plenty of that..


When hitting jammers, the smarter blockers know better than to release after one hit to make sure she’s really down. Then we skate back, make her reenter behind us, and lather, rinse, repeat.


Duh. That’s just common sense.


We know the game happens behind us, so checking back there is second nature.


This is especially important for jammers, but also for goated blockers.


You can’t win a game if your jammer can’t get past the opposition. Know when to help her.

Because I love derby and Zombieland so damn much! Kudos to the creator

Just a quick (slightly late) post to say a massive thank you to all at NWRD! It was my birthday on the 11th of Feb and it happened to coincide with training night :D a derby birthday what more could you ask for!! Weeeeell as you can see above all of the beautiful gals n guys of NWRD signed me a birthday card and made me stand up by myself as they sang happy birthday!! I can’t remember a better birthday and I loved every bit of it. So a huuuuuge THANK YOU to my derby family, I couldn’t have spent it with better people :)
I want to say an extra special thank you to Rhimorseless, my fellow NWRD teammate and very good friend, for hand making me this b-e-a-utiful card and buying me a frying pan to teach me to make pancakes (pancake day was after my bday) I’m an excellent tosser now hahaha
DERBY LOVE

Derby injuries…….it was only a matter of time
Now lets not be nieve, we all play roller derby knowing full well an injury is highly likely or almost guaranteed at some point in your derby life.
Almost 8 months in with mere bruises and grazes then BAM rotator cuff injury. Worst part of it I know damn well it was preventable but mid scrim you can get a little gun ho and sure enough I did. I’m jamming, coming up to the pack at full speed only one blocker on the inside line on the apex, I think ‘I don’t need to slow down, I’ll hit her she’ll go flying and I’ll just keep on going on the inside’ oooooh how wrong was I, going against everything I know! She saw me, she braced, I hit her, I spun off her and landed shoulder first on the ground followed by my legs haha boy did it hurt, I’m ashamed but there were tears on the flat track!
Needless to say that was the end of the scrim for me (and it was my first time as captain *hangs head in shame*) but I’ve been x-rayed and nothing is broken HUZZAH! See the physio on Thursday to see how long I’ll be off skates for :(
This has been the moment I’ve dreaded most since starting derby….not being able to play. But if it’s done nothing else it’s sure as hell knocked some sense into me. Get low and more importantly than that…. Skill over power. Don’t go in hell for leather when a skilful tap or manoeuvre could do the job, you’ll only end up hurting yourself. Believe me!
Play safe kiddy winks ;)

Plow Stops
This stop seems to be the one that trips most people up haha literally! So I thought I’d write a few pointers on how to execute a beaaaautiful plow stop with no falling, flailing or speeding up.
'But whyyyyy do we have to learn plow stops when we can t-stop?' *facepalm* whenever I hear this I die a little inside hahaha but I do have to think back to when I was learning and I too detested them haha but wow I never knew how vital to roller derby they truly are! You use them in almost every aspect of the game, as a jammer to slow before entering the pack, as a blocker to slow a jammer down positionaly, forming a strong wall, counter hitting and sooo much more. So quit yo jibber jabber and lets get to it!

Stance. It is all about getting the correct posture for this move so lets break it down starting from the bottom up

  • Feet -  Weight on the inside wheels. Toes pointing in, heels pushed outwards making a ‘V’ shape
  • Calves - Use these muscles to drive power into your heels forcing them out.
  • Knees - Bent. NEVER lock them straight.
  • Thighs - Pulling tightly in, sitting back into a good squat, you should feel the burn ;p
  • Ass -  This is where your centre of gravity/weight should be, drop it down, the lower you can get it the faster you’ll stop.
  • Chest - Upright, facing the direction you’re heading.

Performing the stop

There are many different ways of teaching how to do a plow stop and everyone’s different in which method they connect to. This is the most basic explanation I know and my preference.

As you are skating forwards in a derby stance (knees bent, chest up) your feet will be parallel, when you want to stop drop your weight straight down into your butt, drop it low, and force the power from your thighs and calves into your heels driving them outwards.

It really is as simple as that…in theory ;p it’s a move you need to build your leg strength for admittedly, the stronger your legs and ass get the more power you can put into pushing your heels out and inevitably stop quicker :)

If you watch other skaters perfom this stop you will see that everyone varies in the spreadness of their legs hahaha technical term there. What I mean is some people push thie legs all the way out practically doing the splits, whereas others keep it in tighter. There is method behind this madness. If you’re coming in quick and need to stop sharpish the best option is to spread them legs and drop it low bringing yourself to a sharp stop. If you did that skating in a tight pack, chances are you will trip someone and get a low block major so best to keep your legs a bit tighter ;)

So that’s all I have to offer you on the subject of Plow stops really, think I’ve covered all the bases. Now all there is to do is practise practise practise! And when you’re not on your skates….squat! DO ALL THE SQUATS! Always work on getting your thighs and ass in the best shape they can be, the stronger they are the easier a lot of things derby related will be :)