Saturday, 2 November 2013

Weeks 20 - 22: Catch-Up & Bout Of The Living Dead

So this 6 week rotation has been a bit fragmented really. The rink we used for practice has been using our evening sessions for some refurbishments and they opened late this week as it was half term, so we've only had two weeks of practice and now tomorrow is Sign Offs again!

I'm just going to sum up the last couple of weeks as there haven't really been any makor breakthroughs and I'm having a hard time remembering what happened! Plus, I have a more important derby thing to tell you about - my first time NSOing at a tournament! 
So, exciting things that have happened:
- We were told not to focus so much on edges with plough stops (I was aware that all our weight has to be on the outside edges of our skates but, apparently, some skaters find this isn't the case and to focus on pushing your heels out rather than focusing on the edges) which has actually helped as I have managed to do a couple of plough stops since then!
- I managed to get 15 1/2 in my 20 laps in 5 minutes, which beats my 13 from sign offs!
- I found out I was signed off on one block - falls/taps! Woohoo!
- I've changed the cushions on my skates! I've gone from super hard ones to pretty soft ones and, although it is still quite scary, I've found I can corner a lot better and I feel a lot more fluid on them!

But, the exciting news of the week! I've NSOd three times in this period, one was at a closed bout where I learnt a new role (a separate post about that soon) and the other two times at the Heartlands East Final!
This was a big deal, not only for my team but it was a little personal victory as I have never NSOd at anything this important! There were 3 games, each determining finishing positions for each team and my teams bout was determining who would be placed second and would go on to play for a position in the Heartlands overall final! (Thankfully I wasn't NSOing in that game as I managed to scream myself hoarse. Here's a picture of me getting rather excitable - taken by Daz Wilson)

This time I was doing both the roles I know - Line-up Tracking and Penalty Box Timing. Now, in my last NSO post, I talked about being overwhelmed with the urge to join in with the crowd when I was meant to stay completely impartial and straight faced. Well, in the first bout, when I was line-up tracking, I had the opposite issue. The line-up itself got quite complicated as the first team has very similar numbers and their boutfits weren't the easiest to read, and this got me quite flustered occasionally. Let alone throwing in the odd Star Pass and an explusion! But once I'd got past this, I found myself drifting off. I had no connections to either team so found myself drifting off in places; admiring the skaters skates which then led to me remembering I was going to buy myself some new plates...I wonder where they got their plates from...they're probably Avengers...oh look, she's skating in a pretty basic set up...that's comforting...what does that sticker on her helmet say....Oh! What?! My jammer's made another pass? Right! Okay!
My excuse was that I'd driven for 2 1/2 hours to get there and I was probably coming down from the sugar high I had from all the sweets I'd eaten on the drive down! By the 2nd half, though, I'd eaten some cake, drank some coke and was back on my game! Thankfully, I only made a couple of mistakes on my paperwork in the first half, but I definitely learnt that there was a fine line between becoming completely absorbed in the game and letting your mind wander.

(taken by Daz Wilson)

For the second game I was penalty timing, which I absolutely loved! I'd eaten more cake, drunk more coke and was ready and on the ball! Penalty timing can get pretty complicated, especially with jammers (only the Penalty Box Manager deals with these) or when more than 2 blockers are sent to the box. Fortunately, it didn't get too complicated during this game so it was a really pleasant experience. The ladies I was working with were lovely, the timing ran smoothly, and not once did my mind wander or did I get too involved! Woohoo!

(taken by Daz Wilson. Yeah look at me being all commanding!)

The third game was when my team was playing, so I lost the grey shirt of impartialness, donned my teams colours, screamed myself hoarse, clapped my hands til they hurt and had an amazingly good time! We didn't win the game but we seemed to have won over the crowd and the ladies left with their heads held high. (I knew I was insanely proud of them and proud to be apart of their league!)

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