Author: Hell Cat
At BRDG, if there's one thing we like more than a three hour bootcamp, it's a four hour bootcamp.
So when we got the chance to book in an epic Sunday session with Violet Attack, captain of the mighty Birmingham Blitz Dames, we jumped at it faster than a jammer who's spotted a cheeky little chance on the apex.
The session started with footwork drills; skating laps on our front and then back axels only. Note to all future Bootcampers – when watching Violet Attack effortlessly cruise round on her front or rear wheels, prepare to have your soul crushed when you attempt the same moments later. So much harder than she made it seem, but a good and challenging start to the session!
Next up, fast, pivoting transitions, with all skaters aiming to keep feet on the floor as they turned. Bootcamp environments are always great for making yourself push it that little bit harder – it was great to see so many skaters giving this drill extra speed and urgency.
We moved on to stutter stops, which segued into two wall blocking drills. Building on this to a full four wall, we all had our minds blown by a genius lanes-calling revelation that I'm going to be deliberately vague about here (because we're totally busting it out on Saturday!) Suffice to say that we all burst into spontaneous applause at this little nugget of wisdom. Brilliant stuff.
We continued to refine and expand on the stutter stopping / crazy feet / strong walling routine, adding in faster jammers, more blockers and eventually some more lateral movements across track.
Three hours in, I was about ready to eat my own toe stops. Violet Attack is a machine, but after so much sustained focus and effort, we mere mortals were starting to flag. Mercifully, a quick break, and a few hastily scoffed bananas later, we were back to the track, raring to go again. Backwards blocking (with some super helpful tips on body position and weight distribution) and jammer drills followed. The bootcamp ended with toe stop work; cue the sports barn echoing with howls of pain and general grimacing!
All in all; no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Our four hours with Violet Attack were structured, focussed, fun and above all, really, really helpful. We've come away with new tips, techniques and strategies (as well as a bunch of stuff we know we need to work on!)
Massive thanks from all of BRDG, Violet Attack!
NB: Many brownie points to our beloved Mystic Sun as well, for showing up post-camp with a selection of the most amazing blood-sugar restoring baked goods!
All the historic goings on of Bath Roller Derby!