Monday, January 14, 2013

Sunday Workshop in Angers

This weekend, I took the train to Angers (Fra, 49) to run a full-day workshop for the young local league. 
I arrived on Saturday evening, and was welcome by the two girls I was staying at and the coach. After a healthy dinner, we went for a teaching equipment "shopping" session at their practice place, before heading to the Irish pub nearby, where we met a few of the rollergirls who would attend the morrow's workshop.

The workshop gym was booked from 9 to 6, which left plenty of time to get organized, talk, eat, have breaks... We finally started at 10 after everybody had found where the gym was, which was pretty tricky on a foggy Sunday morning.

We opened the ball with an improvised off-skates session to show them other cardiotraining drills than the perennial 25 laps of the Minimum Skills. After a quick jogging, a quick joint check-up and a quick pre-effort stretching, we went for a French CanCan workout (obviously!) before putting on skates... and taking off toe stops (obviously again!)

(my opinion) Toe stops are accessories, useful accessories indeed, but you should be able to cope without them whatever the situation, so that you can have the hindsight to make the difference between 1) moments you cannot do without them 2) moments you can afford the luxury to use them 3) moments you would be more efficient on four wheels.

Browsing the BASICS of Skating!

In the morning, we focused on skating stance and propulsion:
  • Skating stance, exact balance point, importance of flexing your knees, of using your whole body incl. your arms...
  • Propulsion with eight wheels on ground, "active" fish slaloming vs. "passive" lunge slaloming, propulsion on straight lines, propulsion in bends, pushes and cross-overs, amplitude vs. frequency...
In the afternoon, we explored stops and jumps:
  • Taking speed and slowing down without toe stops, front-back mowhawk and toe stop braking (with the toe stops back in place this time)...
  • Jumping with joint feets vs. jumping over, 180 jumping and prevalence of up-body for spins in skating.
  • Bonus initiation to hip and shoulder hits off skates, because there was still some energy left to suck out of our bodies!

Coaching Angers Derby Club

We took leave after we had shared epiphany cakes as a well-deserved post-effort snack!
I had the time to do a short debrief on the weekend, with the specific points to work on for them to prepare for the Minimum Skills test, before jumping on my train back to Paris.

The train was delayed at mid-fare. Due to a previous train failure on the same line. The metro was delayed too. Traffic jam, they said (!!) I was pretty hungry and exhausted when I finally reached home sweet home. But it was worth it!


  1. Thanks so much for coming. I was feeling a bit stuck lately but I am back on track now! I love that we can learn a lot and improve quickly in such a short time, and that we'll always have something to learn. Thanks again, Isa