[This post is from 2015]
I took my best friend to see her very first Roller Derby bout a few months ago; it was Tiger Bay vs Crime City. Not a bad bout to start with eh! Well, she fell in love (obviously) but didn’t think she’d ever be able to actually play herself.
Fast forward a couple of months and she’s joined her local team! YEY! She has been well and truly bitten by the derby bug and has bought thousands of wheels and various bits of kit already (obsessed isn’t even the word). She seems to be coming along pretty well but the only thing that’s holding her back are her T-stops – they are her nemesis.
Jawbreaker from North Star Roller Girls explains how to do one in this great video from Derby Diva
As you can see, T-stops require a lot of balance – balancing on one leg, applying pressure with the other behind you all whilst travelling at speed! They can be tricky even though they are one of the most basic stops in Derby, but are essential for passing your minimum skills. Once you are more advanced, you use them a lot without even realising – slowing down in a pack or a pace line when you don’t have space for a plow stop, for example.
I know for a fact that my friend can face-plant when stood on completely flat ground sober, so being on wheels on one leg with the other out behind…. well, recipe for disaster!
If you’re struggling with T-stops, start by strengthening your leg muscles. Check out this post for some really simple leg strengthening exercises that any n00b can do.
Then, lets move on to some balance drills!
Perform each move for 30seconds per leg. Then repeat the whole routine another 1-2 times.
- 1 leg front-side-back toe taps
- 1 leg front raise
- 1 leg side-to-side reach
- 1 leg deadlifts
- 1 leg eyes-closed balance (more difficult than it sounds)
Now, if you want to ramp this routine up a bit, try doing it on skates!! Or even add in a single hand weight to really throw your balance off. Add this on to your normal workout routine or even do it as a warm up before training.
Let me know how you get on!
Treble Maker 909 xx