Monday, November 4, 2013

Do you noodle at practice? How to doodle noodle.

I am a fidgety person by nature, and the older I get, the more fidgety I think I get. I'm one of those people that learn best by doing, and I hate sitting still and just listening or watching things.  In other words, I'm a kind of nightmare for any teacher than has tried to teach me while I was sitting in a desk. That being said, you put skates on my feet and I want to move move move!  Once I have my skates on, I don't want to sit down, stand still or just kind of shuffle around the floor.  One of my former coaches called my need to be in motion restless foot syndrome, but he didn't realize that I was actually moving with a purpose.
This is a doodle doodle

Yeah, that sounds kind of goofy and arrogant, but it isn't....arrogant.  It's definitely goofy.  Because we have such limited practice time, I tend to take advantage of every minute I can on skates. If our coaches haven't told us what to work on at that moment, and there are a few spare minutes before the rest of the team gets their gear on and out on the floor, I will work at some skill in footwork.  I am never happy with my footwork, and I have a mental list of things I need to work on, and WANT to work on; during those few spare minutes, I try to work on some little skill to try to conquer it.  Lately, I've been working on my one footed transitions from front to back.  Is it something that will make me a better skater?  Maybe.  Do I need to take up league practice time to do it?  Absolutely not, but during those short and unoccupied minutes, I try to work on my personal skills.
 So, how do you noodle-doodle without disrupting practice or distracting others?  First of all, pick your noodling times.  The best times it seems to get some noodle time on the track is when people are gearing up. Get your gear on fast!  Gear up before everyone else does and take advantage of the free time on the track.  Another prime time to noodle is during an extended water break.  Some leagues have longer water breaks than others, so if your league is one of these, get your water fast, and spend the rest of it working on your footwork skills.  If your noodle list includes contact, see if you can find a partner in arms to work on things during down time.  Combine your noodle time to make a hell of a casserole!

Now, you don't want to be a douchebag and disrupt a practice because you're bored and your feet are bored.  Don't interrupt the coach by fidgeting, don't go off and do your own thing because you're bored, and don't drag other people into your noodling if you're all supposed to be listening or watching people do a drill.  Don't doodle or noodle between jams at scrimmage either; you should be talking to your team and figuring out your next plan of attack.  Be polite about your doodling; remember that people get easily distracted by moving objects, noises, or just about anything at derby practice.  Don't be a distraction.

Yes, you can always noodle at open skate, but like I said, I'm interested in using up every little bit of practice time I can. Don't forget to move with a purpose as often as possible when you have your skates on!

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