Fox Smoulder #1013

I play derby for the Tri-City Roller Girls (TCRG) in Kitchener, Ont. I am Co-Captain of the Total Knockouts, one of our three home teams and a member of our travel team Tri-City Thunder. Welcome to my derbyverse.
(Disclaimer: These are my opinions only and not those of my league/team/etc. get the idea.)
Feel free to ask me anything!
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Posts I Like
It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.
Paul “Bear” Bryant (via jolly-pop)
When you score a point, you dont do it for yourself, you do it for the team cause the name in the front of the shirt is more important than the one on the back.

The schedule is up! My home team’s first game is against the Debs from GTAR and I think we have a good chance of winning. I cannot wait until this tourny!

I want a gigantic derby tattoo on my thigh. And I want it started before the end of the year. I guess I should start planning.

I signed up for this crazy thing again! My goal this year should be to not smash my face off the second obstacle and get a bloody nose. No promises though. 

We have a great team of derby girls doing it again this year so training and completing it will be fun. Hopefully we can beat our time from last year!

I have always thought that toe stops were magical derby necessities. As soon as I new what a tomahawk stop was I new I had to learn it immediately. After I mastered those I worked on toe stop running, using toe stops to juke, toe stop running to push walls, you name it I tried it on toe stops. 

A couple weeks ago I started to think about how reliant I was on toe stops and weather on not that was a good thing. So it was soon my turn to run two practices for our league and I decided to run them both with no toe stops. 

Most of my league was either: upset, scared, or annoyed (‘taking out toe stops is hard!). I think 2 people, other than me, were actually excited.

I broke the first practice down into what I though were our largest toe stop dependencies: falling (or getting up after falling), stopping, and jam starts. I went through some very basic drills at first because I was convinced everyone was going to bail and smash their faces off the ground. But that didn’t happen!

The second practice built off the first and practice things that we found difficult while scrimmaging, mostly: getting back on the track after being hit out, pushing on walls as a jammer, and hitting out and pulling a jammer to the back of the pack. 

These were some things we realized:

  • It is easier to commit to a hockey stop when you don’t have the option to bail into a tomahawk
  • 'Duck running' is super effective at pushing walls
  • Using hockey stops in a pack isn’t in fact scary
  • Playing without toe stops is actually kinda awesome

Most of the derby players who’s style I admire come from a hockey or ringette background. Their edge work and powerful strides are really evident. I have always strived to emulate this style of play - turns out I needed to take my toe stops out to figure it out. 

I have since put my toe stops back in but I try my hardest not to use them. I’m focusing on getting power from my edges and I have seen a huge difference in my play.

So if you haven’t tried it yet I suggest you go a practice or two without toe stops and let me know what you think!