I passed my minimum skills two weeks ago by finally managing to do 25 laps in 5 minutes, with the help of one of our main league skaters the wonderful Little Miss Mischevil who paced me beautifully. I would’ve in fact got 27 in 5 if I hadn’t been too busy turning around to the player behind congratulating her on her 25 as well at the 26 mark.
And now, technically I’m not minimum skills passed anymore, I should be annoyed, right? I should be down-heartened that I had finally managed to hit that target just to have someone pull it a little further away from me?
Well actually no, I’m quite happy about it. After going through the new min. skills sheet I feel that the WFTDA has taken into account a few things highlighted in a recent derby life article about teaching knee falls. They’re not great on our knees, and since the knee is one of the most complex pieces of kit we’ve got we should probably look after it. Also, for better derby, wouldn’t it be good to see more hitting and less falling? Wouldn’t it be better to have skaters who didn’t instantly react to a bit of imbalance by falling down?
I’m terrible for falling down, I’ve got better over the months but I’m still far from being a super stable main league skater. In a practice scrimmage on Friday during a power jam I was repeatedly swept, the skill I need to work on is obviously my balance.
The new Min.Skills support balance, they’re more about learning to feel more natural on skates as well as how to deal with getting past fallen skaters through tight gaps and taking a beating. I’m looking forward to spending more time getting to know this.
Two Tuesdays ago I passed my minimum skills, two Tuesdays ago I was nervous of skating my first bout and being completely useless and getting in everyone’s way because I hadn’t sorted out my balance yet. Today I’m not technically minimum skills passed anymore and I’m quite looking forward to the opportunity to get better
I can only transition one way, I’ve only just began to manage backward cross overs and whenever we do the London wall drill I try my hardest not to be the one skating backwards. The prospect of becoming a better skater should be one of the main focuses of derby, each time a new Min Skills sheet comes out it’ll reflect the current state of roller derby today and the improvements in coaching and techniques being taught. Every new sheet should be celebrated as a sign that we’re all getting better, even the Fresh Meat who haven’t passed any form of min skills yet.
Brawl Bearings (No. 22)