#1 Pack is running too fast. Well, when your jammer has lead, why are you letting your pack get faster? It's such a instinct to keep moving forward, and we all do it, but we need to learn to take control of the pack and slooooooooow it down. Remember, what we as blockers think is slow, is not the same as what your jammer wants as slow!
#2 Blocking your own jammer. Oops. Ha ha, I've done this; it tends to happen to me more when I'm at an invitational, or during practice when we've split up randomly for scrimmage in practice. Sometimes I forget who my jammer is. Yes jammers, sometimes we blockers get distracted by shiny shiny things on the track and don't pay attention. Sometimes I am concentrating on holding the line so hard that I don't realize my jammer is trying to shove me out of the way. The best thing you can do as a blocker is be aware of where your jammer is, but if you still end up blocking her, workout some kind of code between yourselves that she can shout in your ear to make you move your butt! Quadzilla suggests you yell "friendly!" but Beth Row and I tend to just start yelling "it's me it's me...meeeeeeeeeee!" in a rising, desperate tone. And to be fair, this same exact thing has happened to me when I have jammed, and I have ended up literally throwing my blocker off of the line. This too is an awesome option.
#3 Letting the other team recycle. I know for a fact that you feel like a rockstar as a jammer when you think you've cleared the pack, and then WHAMO! One or two or three opposing blockers run to the front of the pack and suck the jammer back in. To stop this from happening, we really need to strive to keep our jammer from having to work twice as hard; keep those blockers from recycling! You can almost see blockers sort of relax and let people slip out of booty blocks. You're never off duty as a blocker!
|Really? Where did you two come from? Photo by A Boy Named Tsunami|
#4 Inappropriate jammer assists. Timing is everything. There is a three person wall in front of your jammer, and you decide to whip her or push her to give her some speed. AGH! I cringe when I see someone give a jammer an inappropriate assist. I know we want to help, but getting your jammer sent to the box for a major back block is not helping! Learning to give an appropriate whip takes experience and practice, and your jammer will appreciate a well timed butt push. Conversely, jammers, you'd better be aware when your blocker is working her proverbial butt off to block in someone and give you a whip! Nothing makes blockers grumpier than when a jammer ignores help.
|Appropriate jammer help. Photo by A Boy Named Tsunami|
#5 Don't be a point. Blockers, how many times have you been in this situation? Your jammer has a quarter of a lap lead on the other jammer, and she MIGHT get a point or two before she has to call it, but there are two of her own blockers in the back of the pack, just skating. Have either of those blockers been you? It is really disheartening for a jammer who is hoping to get one or two points has to call it prematurely. Don't dawdle at the back at the pack!
To be fair jammers, blockers are trying to help you to the best of our abilities. Sometimes we do a great job, and sometimes we blow it, but remember ladies, these girls repeatedly throw their bodies in front of some mean beasts just for you! Don't forget to thank your pack each and every time you are out there. Have faith in your pack because they definitely have faith in you.
Yes blockers, you will get your chance to share your pet peeves too.
Thanks for contributing!
Rock E Horrorshow Unit 1038