The training session by the speed skating coach was so amazing, it’s hard to put into words. But he worked us really, really hard. He put us through a half hour of isometrics followed my an hour or skating doing various techniques in low squat position. He called it the meat grinder LOL Extremely difficult, but he gave us great drills to help improve our technique for getting around the track using the least amount of energy.
He also helped me and a couple of other girls out with our knock-kneed skating. I’m very aware of it now and it’s going to be really hard to break me of it because it’s all muscle-memory for me. My ref who did my benchmark test said I look like I deer when I skate. LOL Right now my improper technique doesn’t affect my speed, from what he could see, but I would be curious to find out what happens if I correct this to see how much faster I can get.
The following session we did hitting again. FINALLY everything clicked and I’m way more confident with my hitting skills. It wasn’t so much the hitting itself that had me falter, it was the keeping my balance while hitting that was messing me up; causing me to flail my elbows, which made an illegal hit. Plus I think the fact that with all the agility training we did this weekend, I’m way more confident on my skates and I’m much more aware of my weight distribution while moving and leaning on my skates. I’m realizing more and more how important basic skills are to become a better derby player. You can be a really hard hitter, but if you’re not aware of your body and balance, hitting hard won’t matter.
I took a couple falls but my hand was able to take it, thanks to some new wristguards. But my palm today is turning some lovely shades of colour so I really have to be careful for about a week I suspect to not injure it again. I got off lucky this weekend. I heard of several girls that had hospital visits. Broken wrists, saw a few ankle injuries as well and knocked out teeth.
I was anxious to get home in time for derby practice with my gals, so I bowed out of afternoon sessions and hit the road back to Lethbridge.
The weekend was amazing, frustrating, painful, fun, crazy. It was great to skate on a regulation track; it was great to be on skates for 6 hours a day; it was great to see the number of amazing girls willing to help fresh meat far outnumbered the gals who wouldn’t give rookies the time of day. On Saturday I met a great gal who gave me tons of encouragement, advice and answered my gear questions. She was in the exact spot I was one year ago. She assured me next year will be so different for me and I will get even more out of it. Thanks Shelly! You’re the best! Plus all the other gals I met, particularly in the rookie group, I hope to see you on the track soon!!!!
My next step is writing all this info down from my head in a way I can pass onto the other dames. Last night I couldn’t sleep because every time I closed my eyes, I was running drills and scrimmage scenarios in my head, breaking down crossovers, thinking about technique. It’s ridiculous, but I was twitching my leg muscles while doing this. I guess that’s visualizing and it’s a good thing… but not at 3 a.m. LOL I gotta get this out of my head so I can quiet my mind once and for all hahahaha
And for your viewing pleasure… I had the pleasure of being taught by this gentleman this weekend… QuadZilla!!! Crazy man on skates and I learned the most from him!!!!