If you can’t decide whether or not to take the plunge and buy a ticket for one of our Pre-Minimum Skills Bootcamps, take a look at one of our New Skater’s review of our latest bootcamp.
Janine started on our New Skater programme seven weeks ago and shares her first derby bootcamp experience below.
“Floor, meet Janine. Janine, meet floor. You two are going to be seeing a lot of each other so make sure you get acquainted”. This should have been my very first introduction to roller derby because I think I have fallen more times in the past seven weeks than I have in my whole lifetime. Would I have it any other way? Would I ‘eck. It’s all part of the fun and I’m enjoying every trip, slip and fall.
So, as I mentioned, I’ve been training with Rainy City Roller Girls at the Thunderdome for almost two months now, and after moving up into the Intermediate group on Monday nights, I decided that I was ready to attend my first Pre-Minimum Skills bootcamp. I kind of knew what to expect, but knowing and doing are two totally different things…
We started off doing some warm ups at 11am. The group was split into two whilst one group stayed on the track to do laps and the other stayed in the middle to do stretches and excercises. After each section, we would swap so everybody got a chance to do both. This was to test our endurance, and boy did it. I was knackered, but really geared up for moving onto learning and practicing skills.
First up was stops. Single knee, double knee, knee taps, four point falls, T-stops and plow stops. As usual, I was struggling with my plow stops but got some helpful advice from the coaches which I hope will help me eventually nail them. Darn you Plow stops! *Shakes fist*. We didn’t get the chance to do the derby stop, but I’m looking forward to learning it.
Then it was onto transitions, cross overs and laterals. All being explained and demonstrated by the coaches beforehand. We did a few pace lines, weaving in between the skaters using our lateral skills, then again as pairs. This is something I need to work on as I found it quite difficult.
We were lucky enough to have Rainies ref with us to give us a quick breakdown of different hand signals, and the basic rules of roller derby itself, which I found very useful.
After lunch, it was time to move onto blocking which meant it was time to get out the mouth guards! I had mine in my bag but hadn’t had time to mould it yet, so I did it whilst I was there. (Let’s just say I had a mini crisis when I realised it was stuck to my teeth and wouldn’t budge. Luckily I managed to get it out and re moulded so I could join the others after missing 30 mins.) I really enjoyed learning blocking and counter blocking skills, however this is where I fell over the most.
After this, we did some warm down stretches and that was the end of my first 5 hour bootcamp!
I may have missed some bits out, but overall I felt that I learned some new skills and improved on the ones I already had. If anything, it made me realise both how far I had come since the beginning (not even being able to stand up without falling), and how far I have to go before I can pass my Minimum Skills assessment.
I would definitely recommend it for all beginners as it’s such a confidence booster!