Skate Teaching

Yesterday I was able to go to the skate park with another member of my roller derby league, Curse T and her family. This was lots of fun for many reasons;

  1. It was sunny!! Living in the UK, this doesn’t happen very often, so it was great to be able to make the most of it.
  2. They have a three year old boy who skateboards, blows bubbles for me to chase and races me across the ramps (him running, me skating). He was also a good excuse for taking breaks when we were getting a little tired and hot.
  3. Curse T’s other half, Simon, is an awesome skateboarder with a camera who documented the experience for us and took the picture at the top of this page.
  4. Curse T was the skater who held my hand when I dropped in for the first time. Now, it was my turn to teach her some new tricks and this is what I want to write about today.

There is a difference between doing something and teaching something. When you first learn new tricks, you will have questions about certain things and work others out naturally without thinking about it. Other people are not the same. When teaching them the same trick, they will have different questions and naturally work things out differently.

For people who can just do the trick and find it hard to explain how, teaching it to others can seem nearly impossible, but often once you show the other what you do and they attempt the same trick, you can see what they’re doing wrong and help correct it. THIS IS REALLY HELPFUL.

Others find teaching easier and can break each move down into smaller steps, noting which foot should be forward, where your weight should be and any other technical pointers or tricks to help the other skater progress.

I was incredibly lucky to have Dirty Ballerina teach me and she most definitely finds teaching easier and has given me lots of tips and tricks to learn, not only during the session I had with her, but also to practice in between sessions with her.

Curse T is an amazing sidesurfer and so showed me how to sidesurf on the tranny. Although she feels less confident about teaching and sometimes doubted herself, she did break it down into steps and gave me tips on my stance and balance. Dirty B is an experienced teacher who has taught a lot of our roller derby team to ramp skate whereas Curse T has yet to gain this experience, but the more she teaches, the better she’ll get at teaching and helping skaters develop. I know she helped me yesterday.

Curse T was watching me practicing some toestop tricks on the tranny and wanted to know how to do the same. Luckily for me, Dirty B had taught me this less than a month ago and so all I had to do was repeat what she’d taught me.

At least that was what I’d thought, but Curse T and I are very different skaters and whilst I love to jump onto my toestops as I jam in roller derby games, Curse T blocks and will place her toestops on the floor when needed, rather than jumping onto them. Sure, she can jump on them, but doesn’t have to very often and so feels less confident about it. Now I was asking her to do it on a ramp.

Luckily I teach kids to skate at the Reboot Roller Discos, so am used to breaking things down into steps. First I got her to get used to placing her front toestop on the tranny before rolling back down again. Next she was stamping her toestop down and lifting her back foot slightly and before I knew it, she was doing a Flamingo (one foot down and the other tucked up like a flamingo).

So, in conclusion, everyone is different and that means they learn and skate differently too, which does make teaching harder, but also means that people are interesting rather than all the same, which would be incredibly boring.

Until next time,


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