By Tiggz and Buckingham Malice
Tiggz and myself, Buckingham Malice, are the co-heads of our Fresh Meat program. Recently, we've invited some Fresh Meat to come on a couple of dates with us. Our First Date is the first Monday of every month to be followed by a Second Date two weeks later. On our third date, we invite our Fresh Meat to come …date everyone! Tiggz and I, or another training team member work together on our "date" so that we can give a lot of individual attention to all our new skaters since we all remember how terrifying it was to come to those first practices. I know when I started skating I spent more time falling on my backside than I did standing up.
On our First Date we focus on learning how to fall safely. It's important train our skaters how to fall so that they do not injure themselves or other skaters around them, and that later as they learn to play at the competitive level they do not get penalties. Once we have the falling covered we move on to teaching correct stance, stride, and how to do a basic stop. Most of our new skaters have no prior skating experience, or haven't put on skates in years. We want to make sure that basics are covered to get everyone off to a great start. We stretch at the end of our date which is very important; these girls have just been using muscles they didn't even know existed for an hour and a half. We take his time to talk with them about how important other off skates exercise is to prevent injury and make some suggestions to get them started on some strengthening exercise before then next date.
Our second date we jump right in reviewing what we have learned previously. I can instantly tell who went away and worked on their own. We move forward with more falling and stopping, and we try to identify who is able to move ahead more quickly and who needs a little more time reviewing what we have learned. We get moving together in pairs and in a pack, which will help the girls as they join in at later practices with our other skaters.
SFV strives to be a really positive league and Tiggz and myself work to get that started with our First Date program. We have a Facebook group for our Freshies so we can give them a place to ask questions or give advice, and we take time out at our regular practices to help our newer skaters move forward. I've seen every member of our training team step off the track to help someone one on one to get a skill down. Everyone learns how to do things differently and we want to make sure we take the time to get everyone they need to learn how to pass their assessments and be competitive skaters at every level.
Our next night happens on July 9, 2012 and it's not too late to sign up! Just email firstname.lastname@example.org, because I think we'd really hit it off.
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