Thursday, May 26, 2011

Awesome scrimmage!

Scrimmage nights make me pretty nervous. Last night was no exception: at the start, I was wondering if I could do it.

We only had 12 girls at practice, four B team and the rest SMASH. Cruel Anne announced that the goal of the scrimmage was to get the B team girls up to speed, because the next bout (July 9, OMG!) is a B-team bout.

The scrimmage? Was awesome. I am not saying I didn't make mistakes. There were definitely jams (especially early on) where I was fairly useless.

But let's not focus on that. There were actually more jams where I was an effective blocker. Several times I hit jammers out (and I'm talking Nick and Cruel Anne, who are both pretty damn good jammers). My best moment, though, was when I was blocking, and I saw my jammer coming, and I saw two opposing blockers on the inside line. I hit those two blockers to the inside, clearing the way for my jammer (Kant, I think) to run past on the outside. I really felt like I was playing derby then. It was wonderful. It's not rocket science -- more like Derby 101. But it's finally clicking.

I got a lot of nice comments from the SMASH girls last night, which was really awesome. I also got some good critical feedback: Jala says I'm having trouble making the transition from offense to defense (in derby, blockers play both offense and defense simultaneously). That is something I need to work on, and will ask trainers for advice on how to do it.

Last night, for the first time, I felt like I may actually be ready to bout when July 9 rolls around. Woot!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Practice last night

Last night was one of the tougher endurance practices in a while.

One cool thing was that we skated 10 minutes of laps, and Bones was skating a 12-seconds-per-lap pace (and timing it) -- so if you kept up with Bones you knew you did at least 50 laps. (The standard for min skills is 25 laps in 5 minutes; so, 50 laps in 10 minutes.)

I started out behind Bones, and passed her (which I don't count as anything). Then I lapped her, which should have put me one lap ahead of her, total; and from there, I stayed at least 1/4 lap ahead for the rest of the time.

So, I think I did 51 laps in 10 minutes, which I feel pretty good about. I know for absolutely sure I did at least 50, but I'm pretty sure lapping the pace person means I did 51.

During the league meeting, Brick announced that there are going to be tryouts for the A team and the B team, "soon." I don't know exactly what that means, but I'm a little nervous about it. I don't know ... I mean, I know I'm not bout-ready now. I guess as long as I'm considered good enough to keep training and scrimmaging at the B-team level, that is enough to let me keep working toward being bout-ready. (I would hate to be dropped back down to intermediate; I don't think that's going to happen, but I'm just not really sure what any of this means at this point.)

I'll probably feel better when I know what these tryouts will entail. And really, it doesn't matter that much right now: I think the training committee and I would agree that I'm not ready to skate in a bout right now. (My first opportunity to do so isn't until July anyway -- I'm signed up for a couple of newbie challenge bouts at Rollercon. I'll be ready by then.)

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's getting better all the time ...

Saturday's practice was much better. I started with the combined intermediate/B-team practice at 11 (got there early though), then the combined B-team/A-team practice at noon. In that one, I did better than I have so far, though still not as well as I need to. I couldn't keep up with the pace line in the regular direction, but when we switched to clockwise, I was able to keep up! So that was awesome. Couldn't quite pull off weaving forward, though I was able to keep up with the weaving pace line. I was able to do the backwards weave, though, and that's something I'm not usually so good at.

Usually they dismiss the B team skaters at 1, and the last hour is A team only. On Saturday, 1 p.m. came and went, and they hadn't sent us home, so I asked a trainer if she thought I could just stay and keep skating, and she said yes, so that's what I did. And I did OK: not perfect, but OK! I'm still having a little trouble with the way we're doing our defensive walls these days (I don't know how much of this is strategy that needs to be kept private, so I'm not going to give details here). It's not really difficult, but there is some timing to it that I am learning slowly. I don't know why I am so slow to learn physical stuff, when mental stuff comes easily to me. But I guess I would rather it be that way, than the other way around.

Anyway, I stayed for the first 40 minutes of the A-team practice, and then they dismissed the B-girls. So, I had nearly 3 hours of derby practice on Saturday -- and my energy level was pretty good for all of it. Yay!!