8 July 2011

Lethal Can Openers

A well executed can opener can put the other team on their booty before they know what hit them. Bust this out when a jammer is lingering behind you, or when you are alone up the front of the pack.

  • Get low! I mean, real low. You will be aiming to move up and hit them low on the sternum, below the bust; so now is the time to take advantage of that amazing quad strength you've been building.
  • You want to position yourself in front of your target, slightly to one side of them. When you look between your legs, they should have a skate positioned between your feet. 
  • In this position, you have a lot of strength in your legs and abdomen ready to unleash a can of whoopass. To execute the hit, twist up from your crouched position, uncurling like a corkscrew. Rather than poking them with your bony shoulder bits, you want to slam them with the back of the shoulder - the bra strap area. Follow through, really driving hard into their abdomen and lower chest.
  • If your target is skating low, it can be useful to side swipe them to access their lower sternum which would be protected if you went from directly in front
Why the lower sternum? I hear you ask. 2 reasons:
  1. Where is your centre of gravity? Low. The lower you hit, the more likely you are to leave them eating dust
  2. When you do a can opener aimed at the boob region, it is not uncommon for a shoulder to make friends with a face. Not only is this illegal, it's painful; and frankly a great way to start a drama between 2 skaters, particularly in the heat of a bout
To practice this in a training session, have skaters pair up stationary around the track. First you just want to get people used to the crouching then twisting up movement, and seeing where the impact is depending on how low/to the side they are.

Once everyone has had a bash at that, get things moving slowly on the track. Use whistle blows to cue the hits if you need to work on the teams listening skills; or allow them to strike when they are ready if you need to work on track awareness or controlled hitting.

Finally, you want to increase the difficulty by having the jammer/opposition blocker in the pair try and evade the hit - by putting on the brakes, laterally moving, leaning back away from the hit or getting lower.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this great read. I really need to learn this stuff.