This season for Durham Roller Derby I’ve primarily been fielded as a Jammer, for two reasons: I’m ok at it, and I can’t do both of the things.
Mentally I struggle with the switch from Jamming to Blocking mid-game (that’s my focus for after Champs season – more on that in a future blog post), but that’s me being me #awkwardforlife
Aaaaanyway, after our captain exchange before the season began we got our new (and continuing) coaching team in place. I’ve really enjoyed having a new mix of ideas and drills to help push me.
I like having a fresh pair of eyes on something, it’s just refreshing to see how someone else sees what you do both bad and good as an individual and how that impacts upon the team – That’s why I love a good guest coach session!
Since January we’ve been adapting, evolving and escalating our drills to tighten everything up tactically and increase our impact on our opposition. And it’s paying off, we’ve had great feedback from the leagues in our tier that we’ve lost and won against and have definitely seen improvement in points differential, lead Jammer success and predicted final scores since game one.
So here are a couple of the drills I love to do at the moment.
Initial Impact: This drill started as a set-up of flat pairs (all 10 foot apart), one Jammer is set off and has to impact the wall 2-3 times (cleanly). The aim is to remind Jammers that you can use your strength and impact speed to break up a well sealed wall.
This has now evolved to trio walls, with a reform around to improve our blockers swarming technique.
It’s great for endurance too, and we tend to run it as either a full lap or 2 minutes.
The Shoulder Drop/Bean Dip: I’m a Jammer who loves to swim in the deep end, so I’m a sod for stupidly taking the outside! But over this season we’ve been working on this drop technique to reduce the impact of a blocker chasing you down has on your trajectory.
We’ve all seen it, and in some leagues it’s called the bean dip (but I’m not cool enough for that 😆)