So yesterday’s practice was interesting. Earlier in the day I had gone home because I was sick and ended up sleeping the entire day away. I wanted to go because I thought that once I got there I would want to say, “Screw this cold!” and skate anyway. Instead I decided to watch the brand new fresh meat do the land drills (because it is hilarious to see people in pain) and then I helped them put on the gear from our donated gear bag. I eventually got sick of not being on skates so I put mine on (I had loaned out all of my gear, so I was gearless) and went to go help a girl on the wall (she eventually came off of the wall by the end of practice!).
The vets saw me on skates so called me over to watch what they were doing so I skated in the center of the track with our ref and tried to see what it was like to be a ref. Clearly you have to be super observant, and my brain is just not trained as a ref. I was just seeing where there were holes in the walls and what the girls needed to do. I have skater brain rather than ref brain, I think. When they were taking a break Looney, who was coaching fresh meat, asked me if I would come over and work on the basic stuff with the super new fresh meat while she went over more advanced stuff with our soon-to-be- testing fresh meat.
I have learned that I am not a good teacher by any stretch of the imagination. We skated in a circle for a while working on scooter pushes and attempting crossovers, and then moved to a bit of sticky skating. The biggest problem I had was that my fresh meat just kept going off to the edge of the wall because they hurt. What? You can’t just quit in the middle of the drill! But yeah, they just took a minute at the wall and got back to it, so I figured I would let them since it was their first practice and they were all hurting even though they’d only been on skates for an hour. Plus, they’ll never have another coach as forgiving as I am. Everyone else can be the slave driver.
I got bored with just going in circles, so Looney suggested I set up some cones so they could try one foot glides. Out of our five brand new freshies, three of them could already do it (and do it well!) on both feet. For those three, I had them move on to t-stops while one worked on one foot glides and the other worked on just skating and staying up. The girl that was on the wall in the beginning eventually fell (forward) and then couldn’t get up by herself. She’s going to have to learn pretty quick once it comes time for their falls and everything like that. Last week at practice we did laps where we started on our stomachs and backs and then had to spring up and sprint. She’s got a long way to go if I had to use both of my hands and a lot of force to get her up off the floor. I really hope that she sticks with it because out of our 5 freshies she was the only one ready with all of her gear.
At the end we had a mandatory league meeting (which was the only reason I went to practice in the first place), so practice was cut a bit short. I imagine the freshies are going to appreciate the shortened practices today and Thursday (the rink isn’t available for our full practice time so we can only be in there for an hour), but next week? They’re in for some pain and I don’t have to be the one to give it to them! I’m actually pretty excited about a few of them because two of the better skaters are guys that want to be refs, and we could seriously use some more refs! Right now we have two, so if we had two more that would be awesome!