Go Tag

Here’s a quick game you can use. It’s like off-skate training you can do on skates!

Divide your skaters into two lines. Everyone in the line will be doing squats. Meanwhile, you have a “chaser” and a “skater.” These two juniors begin skating around the two lines of squatters with the chaser trying to catch the skater.

As the chaser skates around the squatters, she can at any time tap one of the squatters and shout, “GO!” The tapped player now becomes the chaser and the original chaser takes the empty spot in line and proceeds to squat.

When the skater is finally tagged, the chaser now becomes the skater and you can pick a new chaser.

This game works best when you change the chasers frequently, which will likely happen because this gasses the kids out. Even when you think you’re getting a break by tapping a new chaser, you don’t really get a break because you then need to squat.

A terrific way to enforce agility, stopping, strength training, evasion and speed.

Teaching Hockey Stops

One of the first things taught is how to stop, for very good reasons. Especially in junior derby where some leagues keep skaters of all levels together, one could be on the track with a baby deer on wheels. If she flails or falls, for her safety and yours, you should know how to stop.

After a while, our skaters were hungry to learn stops beyond the plow, T, tomahawk, etc. So enter the hockey stop!

When we teach it, we break it down as seen on this video: https://youtu.be/km1dNyqA-AU

We have the skaters line up. They skate forward while the coach yells “Airplane!” The skaters repeat in their recess voice “AIRPLANE!” While they yell, they skate with their arms out to the side.

Then the coach yells “Twist!” and the girls repeat “TWIST!” while they twist their torsos, arms still extended. It has to be a quick snap. Their bodies are in great alignment for the next step.

This is when the coach yells “Stop!” and they swing their leg out and apply pressure on  on the outer foot’s heel. Don’t overthink it!

Often, the kids are so small, their wheels are pretty hard for their weight. Totally cool in this instance because it gets that slide needed for the hockey stop.

Yeah, yeah, their arms are out. Once they’re introduced to the hockey stop and feel they can successfully execute it, encourage them to not use their arms. “Airplane” can then become just “Skate” or whatever you fancy.