Remember, this is my opinion. This is how I help myself become a better derby player.
First things first, don’t forget your helmet. Sunday morning practice, I forgot my helmet. Thank goodness I have some awesome coaches and I was able to use one of their helmets. My first time using a hockey helmet and I’m not going to lie, I might need to get one in the future. I really like the fact that it is multiple impact and covers more of your head. I love my helmet, it’s a multiple impact also.
Besides drinking lots of water, eating well and cross training, there are quite a few other things that you can do to help you improve in derby.
Show up to the skills and drills practices, not just scrimmages. The skills practices are there to help you improve and learn the mechanics behind skating. They are broken down and presented in steps. Be actively engaged and focused. If you are screwing around, you are not learning. Don’t rush through the skills. You are at practice for two hours, take advantage of that.
Don’t make excuses. If you mess up, learn from it and be better. Be conscious of what you are doing.
Visualize how you want to play, then work hard to make your visualization come true.
Take risks, put yourself in uncomfortable situations. Play with more experienced and better players. You will try harder to be better. You will push yourself to make awesome blocks. You will dig deep to catch up with the other jammer. Find someone to chase during sprints and be determined to pass them.
I am sure there are a lot more ways to improve at derby, but that’s my short list. How do you improve as a derby player? I would love to hear some more ideas.