Two days, 14 coaches, one freezing gym hall later, I almost have my Level 2 BRSF Generic Skate Coach qualification.  I say “almost”, because part of the process is a 39 hour online course about how to safeguard children and vulnerable adults which I have only just embarked upon.

I went in a bit uncertain of the potential value, but hopeful that I would pick up some info to fill the gaps in my coaching brain.  And I promised to share my learning.   The learning starts here!  


Things I learned at My BRSF Level 2 Skate Coach course by Maha El Nasser aka Hydra #56.

We are a really small roller derby coaching world.  We are also keen as fuck.

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Of the 14 coaches in the room, including the instructors, only 4 had nothing to do with roller derby.  71.4287% of us were roller derby people.  Our people.  This meant that the inline hockey dude and the roller disco dude had to conform to an invisible derby track pretty quickly.  The hockey guy kept get accused of cutting the corners he couldn’t see. 

Of those 10 derby people, we all knew each other.  We’d been at Derby Stance together or played together and against each other, coached each other's teams, been coached by each other's teams.  

But really, this says to me we’re all the same faces.  Trying to get to the same places.  We should know each other more and better and just have more conversations without waiting for the Halley’s comet of coaching courses to come to town.  And maybe find the other coaches in the world and talk to them too. 

Generic is as generic does. 

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This course was so generic (as it says on the tin) the skills we learned how to coach were built around any sort of shoe with wheels on it in any configuration.  

Because so many of us folks were from derby, we could translate to derby during the practical bits.  But half of what I would want to be able to coach a quad skater (like how to use all the elements of your skate) is not part of the course because it has to work across all disciplines. 

I learned things.  But I would have liked to learn a few more things.  Particularly things I’m going to find myself coaching. 

Nb: I also learned some actual coaching things, like teaching someone to roll (don’t laugh, I really struggled with this).