This Sunday Glen CoCo attended the Game On! bootcamp at the Thunderdome hosted by some of our Travel Team players. Read on to find out what happened.
I would like to begin this blog by apologising for my lack of posts at the moment, I’ve been inundated with replying to fan mail.
Anyway, this Sunday was the Game On! bootcamp – a bootcamp aimed at newly post-minimum skills skaters, which I am. Tickets sold out super fast and as I hadn’t bought one in tim,e I ended up buying mine from someone who could no longer attend. Lesson learned: If you want a ticket to a bootcamp, buy one fast.
The day started off super early (I got up at 9:30)(Editor’s note – that is not early), it was cold, I was tired and I had to carry all my stuff to the bus stop. I had a crumpet for breakfast.
When I got to the Thunderdome I was ready for action. We did an off-skates warm up, which was much needed because it was so cold. After we were slightly warmer than we were before (and could feel our fingers and toes again) we started our proper session. We were trained by 4 of our Rainy City Travel Team, Fay Roberts (Team England as well!), Faye-tal Blonde (mint jammer), Liz Is How We Do It (proper strong blocker) and Vivien Leigh-thal (the brains behind it all).
Fay led us first in a footwork based session. We practised moving side to side on the track using a special technique which is hard to explain with words. It was a quick way of moving around but by keeping your body facing forward. Which is something I’ve always found a bit difficult, because when I’m not on the floor I’m usually facing the wrong way.
Faye-tal took us in the second session which was jammer based. We learned how to control our speed using power slides (I got complimented on my power slides, but I could already do them). We practised our ploughs as well. On my very first night at training many moons ago, Kat Von Tease tried to teach me how to do a plough and I couldn’t do it for the life of me, but now I can. Never give up! (Life lessons from Coco).
Liz took the next half an hour and taught us about blocking, perfect for the job because every time I have had to come up against her at scrim, I’m scared. She taught us ways to start in the wall using one brace at the front, then using two and spinning around like a square circle. We had a jammer come against us and we tried to stop them using the skill. This took a lot of communication and number shouting. The words one, two, three and four lost all meaning to me.
Viv then took us in our last half hour before dinnertime and taught us about the tactics side of roller derby and trying to keep your mind on all the things going on on track at once. Something which, if you’ve read the other blog posts, I can’t do. My mind goes wrong as soon as the whistle goes. Viv showed us how to give offence to our jammer if we were in front, really helpful!
Then it was dinnertime! Always my favourite time of day. It was freezing cold when we stopped skating, when is wearing duvets going to come in fashion? A butty, some chocolate, apple slices and Powerade later it was time to start again.
After dinner, each person took us for another half an hour. Teaching us extensions from what we learnt in the first half. Fay taught us more about the footwork skill, having us do it backwards this time. We worked in pairs, one person skating backwards and another skating forwards. We practiced skating chest-on-chest with someone trying to steer them off the edge, I found it difficult to steer and just ended up being pushed around the middle of the track.
Next Faye-tal led us in another jamming session. We used the ladders on the floor and practised running on our toe stops and performing juking. We then moved onto what was one of my favourite parts, bean dips. I’ve heard of them before but never known what it was, so Fay, the master bean dipper, gave us a demo and had us skate up to blockers and do it round them. Definitely something I will feel proud of if I ever pull it off (like if I ever successfully did an apex jump).
Liz then taught us more wall starts, this time we focussed on sharking mainly. This was really hard and confusing, and might have blocked it out of my memory. But I just remember not being able to do it, a lot.
And last, but not least, Viv taught us some more technique. This time we focused on jam starts and helping our jammer get out of the pack really fast at the beginning. We did mini scrim starts and we (team pink) managed to get our jammer out loads. We were sick.
Next we had a little break and loads of members of the league turned up to help us out in our scrim. The whole thing was a bit of a blur because my brain was mashed from the bootcamp. But I got sent off 4 times, 3 back blocks and a blocking out of bounds. I feel like I did a bit of alright blocking. I was a part of Team Black and Team White won by 20 points.
I then stayed for league scrim because I’m a full-on beast. I was practically dying by the time I finally got to bed on Sunday night.
P.s. Hello to the other Coco that was there.
Keep your eyes peeled for the next post-mins bootcamp at The Thunderdome – follow our Facebook page to keep up to date!