The hall is hired, the track is down and there are anywhere from 10 – 30+ skaters looking expectantly at the coach. All the elements are there for a great practice session but are you taking full advantage of this? Here are the essential things I try to keep in mind that I think help me get the most out of practice.
You’re there to learn and improve your skills so listen to what your coach is telling you. If your coach is having to repeat themselves because you weren’t paying attention the first time then it just wastes time, and that time could be spent on the track improving derby skills. Try not to interrupt with questions that your coach may well have answered had they not been interrupted. Keep questions relevant to the drill or tactic you’re working on, it’s all too easy to go off on a wonderful derby tangent that just ends up confusing everyone and getting nowhere. We could all talk about roller derby forever but you’ve probably only got 2-3 hours in the hall so spend it skating!
Focus on what you’re doing and approach training with the same enthusiasm, energy and intensity you would in a game. Half-hearted efforts do nothing to improve your, or your teammates’, skills. Channel any frustration you might feel from not being able to master a move into determination to get it right. Don’t be shy about asking a teammate who’s nailed it for some tips – there’s no shame is asking for help, and you’ll no doubt have an opportunity to return the favour at some point.
This might sound obvious but I think it’s worth mentioning. Everyone has a list of non-derby related priorities but if you’re serious about getting on your league’s A team, then getting to practice needs to be pretty high on that list. Ask yourself if that niggling cold is debilitating enough to keep you away from practice. You can still gain a lot from turning up to training even if you’re not up to skating.
We all want to succeed as a team which obviously means working together as a team on track, but ultimately we are responsible for our own individual progress. Think about what you could be doing outside of practice to improve your game. Working on your fitness, watching loads of advanced derby, and swatting up on the rules are all valuable things that will help you get more out of practice. Remember what you’ve learnt in previous sessions so you can apply it to the next practice and build on your skills.
Hell n Back