Diaries of a Wannabe Derby Girl: Last Day of Boot Camp and Tryout Preparations

Last Sunday was the final day of boot camp. We had Saul T. Scrapper with us again, and he helped us out with some basic skills and endurance as well as some hitting.

Our practices on Sunday usually last about an hour and then boot camp-ers are done and Fresh Meat-ers head to Oaks for endurance, but for the very last boot camp practice Saul T. and Draggin were kind enough to stay longer and help us work on our skillz.

Saul T. had us doing hitting drills with one another to help us work on our form and proper hitting techniques. He and Draggin both emphasized the fun in hitting other skaters and strongly encouraged us to put some umph in our hip checks. They also used the phrase “hitting bitches” quite frequently, which brought many smiles and even a few “hell yea!h” responses from us boot camp-ers.

I only stayed 30 minutes after the end of practice because my back was bothering me, but before I left we formed a pace line and one by one we took turns skating ahead of the line and hitting Saul T. out of bounds. I managed to make contact just fine, but once I delivered my blow I fell to the ground. I clearly wasn’t in proper derby stance and therefore not stable enough to deliver a hit and stay upright (which is, ya know, much more efficient than falling), but I had fun hitting and I can definitely see the joy it can bring a skater. :)

In terms of my preparation for the Fresh Meat Tryouts tomorrow (yikes!), I’m trying not to overdo it. Instead, I’m really trying to concentrate on my form and basic skills. I’ve heard from numerous Fresh Meat-ers and past tryout attendees that the skills Draggin and Wench are testing for are very basic. But at the same time you should be showing control, execution, progression, and the ability to follow directions. It’s a lot to think about, but I’m trying not to get too crazy about it.

Yesterday I went to Golden Skate in Vancouver with my cousin and we skated for almost three solid hours. Miss Amanda Goodman from boot camp met me there to get her skate on and practice for tryouts as well. She helped me with my jump starts and she also went over the relay-type drill that she had to do when she tried out for Fresh Meat in April. It was nice to get her insight  and help, and even in the short amount of time I practiced jump starts I was able to feel more comfortable. It’s all about repetition, baby.

After Amanda left, I just skated. And skated. And worked on my crossovers. Oh, and there was a little bit of dodging obstacles involved because there was a group of little kids that showed up and were going every direction but the correct one in the rink. I hadn’t actually planned on skating for that long, but we did and I embraced it. The more time I spend on skates, the more comfortable I’ll be.

So tryouts are tomorrow. I’m not nervous yet, but I’m sure I will be. I plan to work on jump starts in my garage today, and I plan on going to Oaks before tryouts tomorrow to do any last minute refining of my skills.

Stay tuned for results from tryouts. Who knows, I may come back a Fresh Meat-er, but either way you’ll get the inside scoop, and you’ll get a recap of my struggles and triumphs in my journey to become a derby girl.


Wannabe Derby Girl

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About Alicia Hankins

Alicia is a huge fan of roller derby. Although she would like to be out on the track skating and hitting some bitches, she loves writing about the kick-ass skaters of RCR and spreading the derby gospel.