Every league or team has their own routine, but here’s what you can expect from a PFM roller derby practice:
We try to show up 5 – 10 minutes before our scheduled practice time so that we can chit-chat, put our gear on, and be ready to skate as soon as our time starts.
To warm up, we skate about 40 laps, then stretch in the middle of the rink for ~5 minutes.
For the next hour or two, our coaches run us through a variety of drills. These drills are designed to teach and train skaters in a variety of roller derby skills, including speed, strength, endurance, agility, hitting, falling, blocking, and skating in a pack. We also sometimes play games (like dodgeball or freeze tag) or learn dance skating moves that help with these skills.
~10 minutes before the end of practice, we skate in the opposite direction (clockwise) to cool down, and then stretch out in the center of the rink.
A few additional tips:
Since the skill level of our group constantly varies (new members join throughout the year with a wide range of skill levels), we sometimes break out into two groups so that the newer skaters can learn skills that the more experienced girls already know, while the experienced skaters work on some advanced technique. Or we may run two different difficulty levels of the same drill (e.g. a slow and a fast pace line at the same time).
Don’t worry about not being able to keep up. We’ll encourage you to push yourself; but if the current drill is really too much for you, you can always drop off to the side. If you do, don’t sit down; keep skating around the edge of the rink (or somewhere where you won’t get run over). This will keep your heart rate up and continue to build your endurance.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, just ask! Most of us started out knowing very little about derby drills, stretching, equipment, injuries, etc. and will be happy to share whatever knowledge we’ve picked up.