Coaching the Mental Game

skatersOn my citywide website, I share resources for anyone who has a league or who is starting one.  I have a coaching guide with the below information as well as a TON of other helpful tools. http://www.seattlerollerderby.com/#!resources-for-leagues/c2ob

At Rollercon this year I’ll be leading a couple of on skates training, and one of them is called Coaching the Mental Game. Here is some of the information that I’ll be covering and it is part of my core philosophy. That being said, here are some Coaching tips!!  


The most important part of teaching beginners is to teach them to start thinking about weight transfer and their center of gravity. Beginning to shift their weight over one or the other leg will get them ready for t-stops and intermediate skating.

Coaches will probably know early on which skaters will not push themselves to make it through in the big picture, but I like to let that thought go with the hope that they will sur-prise everyone.

There is nothing preventing a skater from public competition or gaining strength other than the skater themselves. Every skater should be given the tools to let go of self doubt and gain self confidence; again, it is their choice to take the tools that are offered or not.

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

BEGINNING SKATER MENTAL CHECKLIST 

 Attempt to focus on self and others

 · Begin to think about Identifying Goals

 · Be responsible for own behavior; ASK for help

 · Honesty

 · Self Trust / Self Forgiveness

 · Ability to accept coaching advice

 · Keep an open mind

 · Stay focused on the benefits: stay positive

 · Be aware of adversity in the sport

 · Be aware of your team

 · Promise to try to do your best each time.

BEGINNING / BASICS 

SKILLS—NO SKATING EXPERIENCE NECESSARY 

OVERALL SESSION OBJECTIVES:

 · Introduce the concept that a team is as only as good as it’s weakest skater

 · Balance, squats, rotation with upper body looking in 360

 · Moving heels side to side off floor in derby stance

 · Teach lifting feet to Open / Close the door in 2 steps doing a 180 turn

 · Derby stance while rolling

 · Teamwork / communication are key

 · Warming up and stretching

 · A basic understanding of plow stops and t-stops

 · Knee falls

 · Pace line

 · Truck and trailer

 · Skater Stance

 · Stride with side pushes

 · Low and Wide

 · Shifting weight over lead leg / glides

 · Walls with minimum 2’ skater distance at shoulders

 · Standing / stepping on toe stops @ wall / heel side to side jumping at wall

 · People learn to ask for help/ no one leaves wondering if they “measure up”

 · Skaters “touching” each other

INTERMEDIATE MENTAL CHECKLIST ADDITIONS 

 · CONSISTENCY OF FOCUS

 · RESPONSIBILITY TO DO WHAT THE SITUATION REQUIRES

 · ABILITY TO COPE AFFFECTIVELY WITH ADVERSITY

 · GAIN AWARENESS OF OPPONANTS PRESENCE OR POSTURING

 · ABILITY TO DO YOUR BEST EACH TIME

Before introducing many “drills” you 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

 · Transition

 · Think fast

 · Overcome self doubt

 · Weave horizontally in unison with another skater.

Have 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 ANY-THING.

INTERMEDIATE 

Skaters should be able to skate in a proper stance, perform crossovers, Plow Stop and T Stop while looking behind them. 

OVERALL SESSION OBJECTIVES: 

 Introduce the concept that a team is as only as good as it’s weakest skater

 Introduce some team strategy

 Warming up and stretching

 180 turn in 2 steps while rolling from forward to backwards skating (transition)

 A basic understanding of plow stops and t-stops, knee falls

 Double knee falls and return to skating within 2 seconds

 Pace line at increased speed and closer distance

 Worm through pace individually, then with 2, 3 and 4 skaters forward

 Reverse worm through pace line

 Truck and trailer with multiple people

 Skater Stance lower and wider

 Easy stride with side pushes

 Shifting weight over lead leg / glides easily on straightaway with each foot

 Walls with minimum 1’ skater distance at shoulders

 Side to side stepping away from wall

 Squat and coast through entire straightaway and turn

Remember, Kindness 

is NOT weakness; Discipline is not mean.

Overall Intermediate skill objectives: 

 Pace lines with speed and able to touch skater in front

 All stops, t, plow, and hockey

 Start drills

 Jammer drills

 Reverse direction skating

 Backwards skating

 Pack skating at increased speeds

 On and off skates endurance drills

 Worming at high speeds, reverse worming

 Sprinting

 Hip checks and shoulder checks

 Positional blocking scrimmages

 RESETTING with team immediately after each drill.

Able to coast, smooth striding in skater stance, easily perform crossovers, Plow Stop and T Stops

ADVANCED SKATERS 

OVERALL OBJECTIVES: 

· IMPLEMENT the actions that a team is as only as good as it’s weakest skater 

· Increase team strategies, waterfalls and pack skating 

· Introduce Hockey stops 

· Four point fall, 180 degree turn fall, baseball slide 

· Pace line with increased speed touching skater in front 

· Smooth stride, can run around corners 

· Low and Wide, easy line to line weaving 

· Walls of 4 shoulder to shoulder and touching neighbor’s skates 

· Transitions to backwards skating 

· Squat and coast through entire straightaway and turn 

· Scrimmages with full hitting 

· Giving and receiving whips, inside / outside / hip 

· Giving and receiving pushes 

ALLSTAR SKATER MENTAL CHECKLIST ADDITIONS 

  •  CONFRONTATIONAL ATTITUDE AND POSTURING- WARRIOR MIND-EYE CONTACT 
  •  BELIEF IN OBLIGATION TO AVOID INTENTIONALLY INJURING AN OP-PONENT 
  •  AGGRESSIVENESS UNDER CONTROL 
  •  ·ABILITY TO CONTAIN EMOTION UNDER STRESS 
  •  ABILITY TO CHANNEL NEGATIVITY TO PHYSICAL OUTPUT 
  •  RELENTLESSNESS 
  •  INTENSITY 
  •  EXTREME COMPETITIVENESS 
  • DESIRE TO CROSS TRAIN / GAIN TOP NOTCH PHYSICAL FITNESS 
  •  OBLIGATION TO TEAM 
  •  BELIEF THAT A TEAM IS ONLY AS GOOD AS IT’S WEAKEST SKATER 
  •  DESIRE TO FAIRLY AND LEGALLY OBLITERATE OPPONENT 
  •  ABILITY TO SKATE WITHOUT THOUGHT; ACTION AS FIRST RESPONSE 
  •  · PACK AWARENESS EVERY MOMENT ON THE TRACK 

 

*references (H.A. Dorfman 2005 coaching the mental game pg 167)

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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.
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One Response to Coaching the Mental Game

  1. Pingback: Best Articles for/about Roller Derby {June 19th, 2016} - Iron Octopus Fitness

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