Roller Derby 101: The Fresh Meat Training Manual
by Punchy O'Guts
This book has been updated. Check it out here! It's still available on Amazon, though.
About the Book
Roller Derby 101 is a twenty-two class curriculum to teach basic skating skills, pack skating, assisting, and blocking - all the skills needed before passing a skater to scrimmaging. The manual provides step-by-step, detailed class itineraries that include a warm-up, drills to accompany the theme of the class, and homework. The manual also includes assessment templates, a drill index, and suggestions for Fresh Meat try-outs, orientation, and exit interview. Roller Derby 101 is everything a coach needs to transform Fresh Meat skaters into derby machines!
Why the book was written
The training manual was created for two reasons: 1. There is a clear need for a comprehensive training plan for fresh meat. At this early stage in the sport's growth there aren't readily available roller derby coaches to bring up a new league. We're all learning as we go, and I'm hoping this manual will help new (and experienced) coaches in training their new skaters and/or developing their own fresh meat training curriculum. 2. We need a new system for training fresh meat skaters. I fantasized about going back in time to receive the best derby training (and how much a better player I'd be) and what that training would look like.
The current process for training fresh meat (at least what I've seen and read) seems to be run like a standardized test. Skaters are taught the skills needed to pass the test, not necessarily to be prepared to play the game of roller derby. When they begin scrimmaging they often struggle to make connections between the skills they learned and game play. With a more progressive, proactive, and thoughtful take on training, I think that can change.
Some of those changes include focusing on teaching balance, rather than falling, spending more time on speed control and lateral movement, being militant about form, and focusing on learning a variety of ways to block, how to do that with teammates, and how and when to do it in a pack. I think all of that needs to happen prior to scrimmage training so fresh meat skaters can be more effective and less confused when it comes to scrimmaging.
At least, that's my theory. I'm hoping that coaches can add their experience and game knowledge to the information in the manual to adapt it how they see fit. Maybe more manuals will come out and coaches will be able to choose from several different training perspectives. We can learn from each other and spread the derby knowledge!
What People are Saying about Roller Derby 101
"I just bought Punchy O'Guts FM training book. Freaking amazing. There's so much information in it. It breaks everything down. I highly recommend this book if you do or don't have a FM training program in place. It actually gives meat to your training!"
Sweet Ruin, Battle Born Derby Demons