28 May 2011

Lateral Movement

Lateral movement is king in roller derby. This skill is what helps jammers reach sudden gaps in the pack, and how amazing blockers put on a hit outta nowhere that will control the direction and speed of their target like nothing else. But before we work on hitting, let's get you turning on a dime.

In derby stance, tilt your pelvis forwards, and keep your weight in your heels. Make sure your chest is facing forward and upright. Stagger your knees by moving one leg more forward than the other - you will feel the tension in your front leg. Practice this while standing, and pay attention to how your body feels in this position.

Now get onto the track. At a slow pace, manoeuvre around the track going from the inside line to the outside line and back, trying to get as many turns in each lap as you can. While you are turning, use your knees to steer you - whichever way your knees are pointing, your body will follow.

Remember how we staggered our knees while standing? When you are moving to the inside of the track, stagger your left foot forward. When you start moving to the outside of the track, bring your right foot forward.

How's that going? When you are feeling the motion, and have it in your mind how your body feels while doing this, start to speed up. Keep focused on turning sharply. Keep aware of your stance, and keep reminding yourself to stay nice and low.

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