Sunday, June 6, 2010

Scrimmage till you want to die!

Practice today (6/6/2010) was a shitload of fun. After another installment of the 25-in-5 assessment, we got to do more hit drills focusing on drawing cut penalties from our opponents, pace-line drills where we consistently annoyed Anarchy with our interpretation 'pace', and finally scrimmaged the shit out of each other.

Things started off with some warm-up laps before Anarchy blew the whistle for the 25-in-5. I was determined to improve on my weaksauce 19 laps from last week and managed to hammer out 23 before time ran out, improving by 4 laps. Some of our fastest skaters were in the 30 lap range. Everyone showed improvement, ranging from 2 to 5 more laps, and the concept seemed much less daunting in general. As this is to be a regular occurrence at practice, I am confident that the team will all meet the minimum within a couple months at most.

Everyone's hits showed improvement, varying from cleaner contact and improved stability to increased application of force while staying in control. I was able to bounce a couple blockers while on the defensive and put my mark over the line with respectable reliability. El Guapo, previously our newest skater before the arrival of Captain Obvious today, showed huge improvement and potential. Once he gets the endurance and stability going for him he is going to be a menace. Unfortunately, Bubba Fett took a hard fall to his back and was out for the rest of the practice.

Next came paceline drills. For whatever reason, we had issues with this today. Our pace varied depending on the point in the line quickly leading to bunching and stringing out. We did standard forward and backward weaves, self assists moving forward, and finally blocking assists where you treated the individuals in the paceline like weapons. All sorts of fun despite our hiccups.

Finally, scrimmage! Not just a simple 20 minutes of scrimmages though, 45 minutes worth. With only 8 skaters on the floor this meant that we were given nearly a full time out rest between each jam. Balanced teams were decided by Anarchy and then she and Warden eyeballed our performance while calling out majors/minors. Unlike last practice, we actually worked as semi-cohesive units during some of the jams. I managed to give Speed Bump a useful assist while he jammed to help him escape the wrath of Demon, and even caused an opponent to draw a cutting penalty as well. My team (blue pennys) also managed to speed up the pack when we lost our jammer to a major and also made attempts to pull a goat when the other team lost theirs. Penalties were much less frequent than I feared they would be, and afterwards Warden commented that we played cleaner than he thought we would. Speed Bump's big toe got kingpin-stomped during a jam and he was out for the rest of practice which let team blue with Bees (yellow lightning), Kill (also faster than me), and I for the final few jams. As we all fatigued and started losing focus, the penalties became a bit more common. In the final jam, Anarchy had us run it as though it were overtime and with my team having 2 ghosts in the box to the other's 1, that mean we were outnumbered and easy prey if we didn't work together. Kill and I lined up as blockers and Bees donned the star. By this point we were all pretty exhausted, but were determined to make the best of it. Kill and I worked to restrain the opposing jammer as best we could while helping Bees when possible. In the end, we came out 2 points ahead and managed to seal the deal... in one jam... in a scrimmage. Tiny victory!

Great practice, it was really nice to see everyone improving so much as a whole.

Goal for the week: hit up Oaks as soon as finals are over to pound on endurance during the week. I want those 25 laps next practice...

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