Roller Derby Coaching #6

Before introducing many “drills” I think a coach should make certain that skaters:

WANT to improve
Can identify exactly why they are skating
Can weave, shift their weight, maintain eye contact with other skaters
Have confidence in their ability to focus on the MENTAL aspect of learning
Skate powerfully, fast, and relaxed
Mirror each other in walls of 4
Think fast
Overcome self doubt
Weave horizontally in unison with another skater

Make sure that beginners learn to weave, transition, look behind them and skate low while learning to have awareness of where their team mates are at.

Make them strongly push and pull each other on and off lines, in waterfall drills and in walls.

Make sure skaters are always prepared to assist with holding arms out and behind them as a rule when they are not actually reaching out and looking behind them for an assist.

Remind them to always reset immediately to a strong stance after doing ANYTHING.

FEEDBACK TO SKATERS: Point out what is right as much as or MORE OFTEN THAN what is WRONG


Assume the Athlete Doesn’t know: Repetition is a primary tool for teaching.
Don’t talk about more than you need to
Be objective, with purpose—Talk about the situation, not the person.
Be certain that Assistant coaches teach the same principles!!
Connect with all team members, not just the best of them.
Encourage Feedback
Create an Atmosphere that teaches and adheres to a high standard of behavior and execution. Help hold the athlete accountable.
Be an objective observer and problem solver: Instead of “You are back blocking again!!” Maybe try something more like- “Are you looking at the holes that you can weave into while you’re in that plow?”


Is there someone you don’t like and don’t know why? Or know why but you won’t talk to them about it? If so, QUIT coaching immediately until you figure it out, you should not be in a leadership position.
Use mistakes as a vehicle for teaching, rather than lamenting or blaming.
Reinforce effective learning, desirable approaches and
appropriate behaviors.

Be aware of your communication . i.e. tone, timing, language, non-verbal communication. You can be direct without being rude.
Maintain a consistent teaching point of view. A coach who loses hope loses motivation.
Introduce the factors that are involved in the mental aspect of performance, the obstacles and the way to get around them.



A student’s learning is HUGELY influenced by your expectations and your influence can go beyond the arena of skating and competition. Don’t forget that your opinion matters more than you may know.


About thehotflashseattle

I'm a person who found derby at JUST the right time in my life to give me hope, make me stronger and experience something that had been waiting for me all these years! My mightiest goal is to mainstream the sport of roller derby. My selfish goal is to help other people find ways to skate,connect and inspire each other to get back on track when they begin to slip off and help them up when they fall. Doing this helps me believe that there are others ready to do the same for me. In 2012 I had four surgeries, two of which were mastectomies and now at 57 I'm cancer free and back on track. Three years ago on this profile I claimed not to be a "great" coach but wanted to share what I knew. I am revising that statement at this time because I have figured out that I'm a survivor, a warrior and a damn good coach! I am the founder of OneWorld Roller Derby in the Greater Seattle area. We are sharing our resources to help other leagues form and we're creating a circuit that is coming together utilizing USA Roller Sports as a common link. We are bring roller derby to schools, colleges, parks departments and community centers across the US. Helping each other through the pack is what makes life work for me. In the world we get knocked down, get back up, reset and help each other through the pack. We look ahead for the holes to jump through. We gain momentum to find the endurance we need to be able to make it around the track one more time even when we don't think we can. Derby = life = Derby; It's all the same game to me.
This entry was posted in Fitness, Hope, Inspiration, Roller Derby, skating enthusiast, Sports, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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