How you roll

This is the coaching skill I most wanted to learn and I DID. My coaching comfort zone is new derbyists through beginning game play.  But I mostly work with people who can roll.  It might not be fast or efficient, but they know how to go. 

I really wanted to be able to support those absolute, gripping the wall, refusing to fully stand up beginners.  And while it might seem simple to those of you who have done it, when first confronted with someone clutching at me in terror because her skate moved, I froze.

For other beginner-impaired coaches, here’s what you do.

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Step 1 – Penguin feet.  (like so….)

Seems so blumming obvious but while I’d spent loads of time explaining to new skaters how to get up safely, put on their equipment safely, come back down to the floor safely, I never actually thought about telling them how to stand safely. 

Granted, most of them seemed to pick it up (or only fall over once…) but actually, it’s probably a pretty sensible thing to teach. 


Heels touching, feet in a V.  They won’t roll backwards accidentally and pretty hard for them to roll forwards accidentally.  *magic*


Not quite as little as they ought to be, I reckon, but probably realistic!

Step 2 – Cockroach steps. 

Don’t even worry about rolling right away.  Get them comfortable moving.  Tiny tiny little ant steps, then cockroach steps, then… next biggest bug steps, you choose.  And after each step, they’re back in penguin feet feeling all chill and not falling over.  *excellent scenes*





Step 3 – Roll (What?!) Yeah Roll

V starts and T starts.  Get them used to pushing into the back foot and then rolling a little bit.  It can be the tiniest roll.  They can immediately resume penguin position.  They can do this while holding onto a wall.  You can let them hold onto you if you want, but if they go down, I can pretty much guarantee that you’re going down with them.

An alternative is holding out a stick/ cane etc for them to use as a safety blanket (basically a touch point to help build their proprioception).  If they go down, they just take the stick, not you.

Eventually they can alternate feet with their v starts and voila! Rolling!

So there you go!