Don’t Care Bear and I invented a new game/drill tonight that incorporates awareness, hitting, teamwork, strategy and observation. It’s been dubbed Battleship after that pencil and paper game or the board game by Milton Bradley.
Form two teams. You can make this random or coaches can choose various combinations of people
Each team picks a “Battleship”. The Battleship is the skater who, when knocked down or out of bounds or after committing a penalty, loses the game for the team. After choosing their “Battleship” they share that with the observing coach or some other observing non-participant. Coaches can determine how long the skaters have to discuss strategy.
Lineup in Blocker starting area. The two teams pick their own formation within the blocker starting area on the derby track.
Whistle blows and teams start engaging. Working in groups to block/push teammates work to knock opponents down and out. As each opponent goes down, skaters and teams need to remember who is not a Battleship. Skaters should be observing and assessing the behavior of the opposing team – Who are they protecting? Who may be skating ahead of or behind the pack? Skaters also have to very honestly assess their own teammates together – what are the individual and group assets and liabilities? What can we do to protect liabilities and leverage their assets.
Is your team mostly fast? Then try to get the speed of the pack going.
Is your team mostly sturdy blockers? Then try to work your blocking magic.
Your Battleship doesn’t have to be your steadiest or sturdiest skater. He or she may be needed to go take out opponents.
Our skaters learned very quickly to block in pairs and to watch for getting picked off in the corners. We’ll play it some more and I’ll share more insight.