Last night our fearless leader England's Glory arranged for a guest coach to come out and teach us some new things.
Miss E. Vil is a well known derby coach with a wonderful reputation and a wealth of knowledge, and she came out and handed our collective butts to us.
We started with the obligatory warmups, then our guest coach arrived. She started from the very beginning since our fresh meat class was still with us when we started. She demonstrated stance, and explained it differently than anyone else has thus far. I was able to get a better stance with this new explanation. We worked on balance on the edges of our wheels, inside and outside. Which was difficult, but super fun. After that we did a little work on backwards skating, which I still suck at, but did learn more about. We worked on stops. She had us work on turnaround stops. I have never been able to do one of these. Until last night. I only succeeded once out of about thirty attempts, but I did it. We also did plow stops, which I have definitely improved, and Hockey stops, which I had never tried. To my joy and pleasure, E told me my form was perfect on the hockey stop, but I needed to push harder with my outside leg. YAY! I did something right!
At that point, most of the freshies had gone and we started working on pack strategy. This is where it got really fun. We learned about fast pack versus slow pack, and how to get the pack where you want it to best assist your own jammer or make it difficult for the opposing jammer. We did several mock "jams" to practice these concepts. I took a LOT of falls last night. I am hurting in so many places, and I feel fantastic.
I did take a couple of nasty falls. I wrenched my elbow and wrist pretty bad, and had to sit out for a few minutes. Once I recovered from that, I did one last jam, and ended up at the bottom of a three derby girl pileup, courtesy of Mannarama. She hit someone, who hit me, and then there was the floor, and Vera on top of me, and Manna on top of her. I am fine, but it did give me a few bruises that are going to be pretty beautiful.
All told, it was the perfect practice for the day I had at work. It had been one hellish day, and I was able to skate like the wind, work my muscles and engage my mind for a few hours.
I love derby.