Sunday, April 21, 2013

Take a deep breath and jump

A couple weeks ago WFTDA released an updated Minimum Skills Requirements (MSR) document, a document that WFTDA member leagues had been reviewing and beta testing for the past [undisclosed amount of time]. Since the Hellions had this information in advance and our coaching department was getting ready for league evaluations anyway, we've been able to do some "dry run" evaluations this week.

3" cone      |           6" cone
One of the revised skills is being able to hop over an object at least 6 inches in height without touching the object or losing balance, while skating at a moderate pace. The former standard was 3 inches.

Me catching some air over the 6in obstacle.
When you're brand new to derby the idea of jumping any height is intimidating. You want me to what? Are you kidding with me? Nope! I say: Just take a deep breath and go for it. Practicing jumps helps build muscle memory just in case you have to jump over a fallen skater on the track. This has happened to me before and thankfully my body just DID it without me having to think about it.

Anyway, I remember when I was a new skater and would just do sort of a standard little hop, just high enough to clear the 3 inch cone. Then one day when I was feeling particularly energetic, I built up some speed before launching myself into the air, kinda trying to see if I could get my feet to touch my backside. WOW! I don't remember if I stuck the landing, but after trying it again a few more times I realized it was just another fun, new, and useful trick I had added to my skill set.

The best part of this hopping drill this past week was that everyone participated, including the fresh meat. They had already practiced hops maybe once or twice in the past... maybe once jumping over an actual object. Even though there were some nervous faces, everyone gave it a shot. By the end of the drill, everyone was hopping higher than their first shot. It was awesome!

Blurry Hellions (haha) clearing the 6in obstacles.

Lil' Wheezy going for a big jump.  NBD.

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