Sunday, April 04, 2010

Derby Progress – 04.10

This past week has been very cool in terms of my derby education. Tuesday at practice I got to play something akin to roller derby for the first time. I was completely ineffective, but it was still a lot of fun. I normally hate doing things I'm not good at, but it was cool skating around in a mini-pack and experiencing first-hand how it might work in an actual bout. It was 3-on-3 instead of a full scrimmage, but it gave me a taste of what the real deal is like.

Wednesday’s practice was good – this time I got to skate in a pack of first two and then four people, and together we tried to stop a jammer from coming through. I got to lay a hard hit on West Side Slam - my first hard hit in roller derby. He gave me positive feedback about it, possibly exaggerating because I’m new, but still very encouraging. He said I hit harder than he’d been hit in a recent bout, although I’m sure now that he’s wary I won’t have the opportunity again for a while.

At Thursday’s derby practice we worked on offensive scrimmage skills, and I cemented my discovery that I actually love playing derby. Until now, I didn’t know – all I’ve been doing is working on basic skills, and I could have hated playing the actual game, especially since I generally despise team sports. However, derby feels more like soccer to me, which I really don’t mind – if I screw up, I have other players right there with me that have my back. It feels more like a group effort than all pressure on me.

Although my legs were burning and wobbly after three days of practice, I was able to keep up the entire scrimmage-like drill. I even jammed once and got through the pack (although I couldn’t catch back up to the pack afterwards). Rockit Ma’am was happy because she got to hit me finally, though apparently she went easy on me because she didn’t want to knock me into a wall my first time out (thanks, honey!). B) Luckily, right now what I lack in skill make up for in mass – I can take a hit pretty well and keep going.

At first I just held the line, but eventually I got moved to the middle of the pack and surprisingly was able to hit the jammer out a few times. While they were able to get past me initially, my teammates often set up a wall in the front of the pack and I was able to catch up and push the jammer out, in a maneuver called Set ‘em up/Knock ‘em down. We worked on one-on-one offensive strategies, and I had a lot of fun, grokking the point of everything even if I’m not fast enough to always put the strategies into effect yet.

Based on the fun I was having, I told my mentor Dexter I have a goal to play in upcoming bouts, especially the upcoming Rookie Rumble. Dexter said he might even put me on the roster for this weekend. That seems a little soon to me, but if he thinks I’m ready, I’ll give it a try. As long as I keep practicing, I should be ready to get my ass kicked at the Spring Roll Tournament in Fort Wayne in May. That should be very cool, even if I personally will be hopelessly outclassed by our competition.

Should be fun! I’ll try to remember to post how it goes!

-- Eye-Roll 20s

Eye-Roll 20s – Derby Hoodlum - Race City Rebels

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