I picked up this awesome drill from Ginger Snap (Gotham) at the Blood and Thunder Bootcamp in Bremerton. Great for training awareness and communication in the pack, simulating the chaos of game play and reminding skaters to watch their body positioning when looking around in the pack.
- Skaters split into two teams (white/black)
- All skaters on the track in a tight pack (up to 20 skaters)
- One skater from each team wears the jammer helmet pantie and starts behind the pack
- Coach skates with the pack on the outside or inside of the track
- Pack starts skating at a slow pace
- Skaters move around within the pack hitting all players at a medium strength
- Jammers skate up to the pack and skate slowly through the pack, allowing themselves to be hit/bounced around (don’t be a douchebag and hit them really hard)
Coach shouts out a skaters name and she has to shout back:
- who is the biggest threat to her jammer (ie the person most likely to hit her)
- who is the biggest threat to herself
- who is the biggest threat to the opposing jammer
You can choose varying levels of difficulty depending on the number of skaters, number of jammers (you can start with just one jammer) and number of “biggest threats” the skater has to name. You can do combos eg. biggest threat to jammer, you, and your jammer again (as it may have changed)
If a skater sees someone stand upright to look for their jammer, they should hit the upright skater. This will remind them to keep low and aware when looking around in the pack, cos there is nothing worse than getting hit when you are not looking or you are standing straight up.
With beginner skaters/if you are worried about people being jerks and hurting people, instead of hitting the skaters when they are not looking, slap them with your hand and shout “douchebag.” That way they know they would have been hit if you were in a game scenario.
NB: emphasize that the skaters need to verbalize the “threats” name and do it QUICKLY.
If you have questions about this drill, email me firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂