Roller Derby Fresh Meat: So you’re gonna be a hatchling!
You’ve decided to start Roller Derby. Good! You’ve made your first step to a brand new obsession, even if you don’t realise it yet. But what’s in store and what do you need to know?
Your first session will be amazing and time will fly. Before you get there, here’s some handy info.
What will we do?
Hatchie sessions are 2 hours long and generally go like this:
Off skate warm up – Nothing crazy, 5-10 minutes of gentle exercise to get you warmed up.
Kit up –Am sure you’ve already done this in your living room/kitchen/bathroom every day since you got it.
On skate warm up – Gently stretching your arms and legs on skates.
Drills – We’re preparing you for minimum skills, so your drills will focus on these. You may be doing the skill you’re learning over and over, or you may do games to hone particular skills.
Cool down – At the end of the session someone will lead some simple exercises to stretch out your tired muscles.
What to wear
Dress like you’re going to the gym. If you’ve never been to the gym, then try some sports leggings and a t-shirt. Bring some trainers for off-skate warm up. Unlike most visits to the gym, you’ll be putting on a few pounds worth of safety equipment and a helmet. You’re gonna get dead sweaty (even your knees will sweat!) so dress comfy.
Ladies – Get yourself a decent sports bra! You might think your boobs do not need it, but they do. They really deserve a good sports bra. Right now as you’re reading this, they’re thinking “YES!! WE NEED A SPORTS BRA!!”.
********Bring water! Loads of water.********
Pay attention and ask questions
Listen to what the coach says and ask questions if you’re not sure. You’ll usually have a lead coach who does all the talking and some spot coaches who’ll offer you advice as you go along. Try to keep going. It can be tough, but stick out all the drills if you can. Be polite to your coach! They give up their time to help, so try to keep talking to each other limited to before and after class. If you need help, don’t be scared to speak up! All of the coaches are there to help you.
You’ll do fine, no matter how slow or fast you pick things up. Not everyone is an instant Bonnie Thunders, skating isn’t easy. Skating and hitting and thinking and remembering all the things at the same time takes a while to master. You may not be amazing at everything straight away but all that matters is that you’re trying. Take your time and go at your own pace. Never apologise if you’re finding something a bit tough to master, just do what you can. Even if you feel like you’re the slowest, it’s your time too so do what you can. Relax, breathe and have fun.
You’re going to be skating with people who are yet to pass minimum skills but have been skating for a while. Do not compare yourself to any of them. Don’t even compare yourself to people who start at the same time as you. You’re doing amazing no matter what you’re doing. EVERYBODY has a place and skills that are needed. Think of your good thing
Good luck. You’re going to be awesome and you’re going to have so much fun! The birds scrim straight after your sessions (scrimmage is when we practice the actual playing the game part of roller derby) and you are welcome to stay and watch or help out. Not only are you welcome, you’re encouraged! Staying will help you learn the rules and the gameplay.
We’re so glad you’re with us! — Bobby Mean