a structure for training: Coaches, skaters, and
parents know what to expect. Drills can
make training more fun, a game, a focus that can
help hide the sometimes tedious and exhausting
nature of training. But drills aren't an
end in themselves; coaches should explain a
drill's purpose, the particular skill which
skaters should focus on learning, and how that
skill will help skaters meet their goals.
Always remember that the winners of drills
aren't the fastest or best, they are the skaters
who improve the most.
Some of the
following explanations are in interest to
beginning coaches, some to more experienced.
Don't miss the last drill listed, which includes
a link to a video to view.
appreciate any explanations of drills you are
willing to share with the world. Email
ideally with a video demonstration. Also
any suggestions for improvements to the
following, or any questions, or if you are
looking for a drill for a specific purpose.
Skaters line up, so each skater
is ahead of the next fastest skater ("fast to
fastest"). The first skater leads the pace
line pack, with all others following, for the
time specified in advance by the Drill Leader
(typically 3 laps). The first laps should
be at a fast but comfortable speed, the last lap
almost as fast as possible. When the first
skater has completed the assigned laps, they
move towards the outside of the track and let
all other skaters pass them to their left.
As the last skater passes, they skate as close
to the back of the pack as they can, for as long
as they can, moving out so the pack can pass on
their left if they are lapped. Each
skater, in turn, does the assigned number of
laps, then drops to the back. The result is that
each skater increases speed gradually.
Fastest skaters skate the most laps.
this drill the first time may argue who is
faster. But a skater who claims to be
faster than he/she actually is will not be able
to keep up with the faster skater they have
chosen to be behind. If a skater can't
keep up, the drill leader asks them to move to
the back (although experienced skaters may do
this on their own). The next time the
drill is done, skaters usually pick their place
correctly, although the Drill Leader needs to be
sensitive to the occasional lazy, faster skater
who wants to line up with skaters much slower
Mark a circle about 10 m or 30-50
feet in diameter. The most simple form of
the drill is to skate around the circle
normally. Emphasize technique, especially
body position and edge control, not speed.
version is to keep the left foot on the floor,
riding in a smooth circle on the outside edge,
and to push with the right foot. The Drill
Leader can specify that the right foot also stay
on the floor, or that the return be in the air,
and can specify a position for hands (front or
back), all these depending on the skill level
and training needs of the skaters.
version is to keep the right foot on the floor,
riding a smooth circle, and to push with
the left foot, crossing it behind the right.
can be skated on concentric circles. Start
skating the largest circle for a specified
number of laps, such as 5. Then skate to
the next smaller circle for the specified number
of laps, and so on until the smallest circle has
a pace line, fastest to fast. The skater
in front maintains a speed appropriate for the
slowest skaters to pass at. The skater in
back passes one person each straight, until
he/she becomes the skater in front. When the
next slower skater reaches the front, the
slowest skater goes to the right so the pack can
pass, and skates at the back as long as they
can. As faster skaters progressively reach
the front, the pack speed gradually increases.
of passing drill is appropriate for a pace line
with all skaters being of similar ability. As
the pack skates at a moderate speed, the
Leader calls a skater's name. That skater
then passes to the front of the pack, passing
one skater at a time, or the number of skaters
which the Leader has specified.
may allow each skater to use whatever type of
pass they prefer, or may specify that a certain
type of pass be used.
Skaters are divided into groups of similar start
speed. The standard race start is done
repeatedly, using standard commands. The drill
leader should enforce penalties for movements
before the starting signal, just as in a race.
Sometimes starts are continued as a one or two
lap race; sometimes skaters only go the the
finish line or a specified part of one lap.
up two concentric skating tracks, one the
normal, and one a short distance inside or
outside it. Skaters line up, on the outer track,
fastest to fast, with the Drill Leader (not
necessarily one of the faster skaters) skating
in front at a moderate speed. At the Leader's
command, the next skater in line (i.e., the
fastest skater of the group) moves to the inner
track and sprints to lap the pack. When
he/she comes close to the back of the pack, the
Leader commands the next fastest skater to move
to the inner track and lap the pack. The
fastest skater, who has just completed lapping
the pack, drafts the next fastest skater.
This process continues, with skaters moving to
the inner pack one by one until everyone except
the Leader is on the inner track.
for younger and newer skaters, they are told to
skate in a circle or line. At the Leader's
command, everyone "hits the deck". On the
next command, they start skating again, as
quickly as possible. One purpose of this
drill is so skaters learn that falling isn't the
end of the world. Another is to train quick
recovery from falls.
up several teams at the start line, with each
team side-by-side, and each team member (except
the front) ready to push the person in front. On
the Leader's command, the last person in line
for each team pushes the entire team; skaters in
front just coast, with teams circling the normal
track. When the team has completed one
lap, the skater who has been pushing leaves the
team and moves to the inside of the track; the
skater who was next to last pushes the remaining
team for a lap, and so on, until the skater who
had been in front skates the last lap alone.
To the extent
that skater abilities allow, the drill can be
repeated with skaters in different positions
until each skater has done the drill in each
position (first, second, last, etc.)
This is a
speed drill from the starting line. This drill
works on reaction time and quickness on the
4 - 6 skaters line up in the "ready" position,
facing the finish line. The
Drill Leader then goes
behind the skaters, tapping each on the
back. One skater is tapped twice;
"GO" person. The
then gives the commands
- "Skaters to your mark - Set", then the
everyone waits for the GO person to
start. They chase to GO person to the first cone.
This is a FUN drill, and can be altered
to suit your needs. Give it a try!
to see how it looks.
DOUBLEBACK (AND OTHERS)
here for description (in
post by "Emily", towards the middle of
here to see how it looks.
here to see a diagram of the track skated
during this drill.