Monday, February 22, 2010

Welcome Back Derby!

Celtic Thunder here, bringing you another addition of Men in Derby . Before we get started I’d like do a few shout-outs.

Well it’s officially the 2010 LIRR season and our doors have opened up for some exciting adventures!

First I’d like to welcome all of our freshbloods to a new season, congratulate our freshies whom have passed their skills test and wish those whom are taking it soon…Good Luck. Can’t wait to have you skating with us.

I’d also like to introduce our newest Ref, Jimmy Rage, whom will be helping our team continue the fantastic reffing throughout the season. I thought this introduction was most appropriate for the Men in Derby column. You can also see Jimmy Rage bout as he is one of the newest “Futures” with the NYSE. Congratulations and Welcome!

On another note:

So I have had the opportunity to observe the NYSE practices for a few weeks now. And I have been quite impressed with the amount of heart and soul, just like us women, these men put into their practices.

Given the opportunity to put on my skates and join them, I felt a challenge come my way. Like our team, the LIRR does, the NYSE practices common drills such as partnering, weaving, pack drills, jammer drills, etc. However, the difference I noticed is natural. Men are naturally faster and more aggressive. I am not being sexist here, as I am sure that there are some women out there that really can kick a man’s butt, however, for the purpose of this blog, men in derby are pretty darn fast.

Given the intensity levels of these men, it made each drill that much more challenging. As a Jammer myself, whom can handle quite a bit of speed, of course nothing compared to our own Amaretto Sourpuss or C-Roll, well not yet anyway, keeping up with these men has pushed me harder and harder.

But these men have started out in the same position as I at some point…a freshblood. Or as the NYSE calls them—Futures. And the way that the NYSE builds their Futures and their Vets is through constant endurance drills. Talk about weak at the knees, tiring drills that consist of constant sprinting, pushing, pulling, whipping for full 2 minutes with a 30 second break in between. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. What was really only about 20-30 minutes of intense endurance, felt like forever!

I guess my message here is two-fold. First, don’t let the men beat us! Let’s learn from them, and other leagues. Push yourself each and every day a little harder. Don’t give up. Building your endurance will help with other strategies and drills with a little more ease. And second, share your stories; share your experience with others. Open your horizons and explore what works for other teams and how you can incorporate it into your own league/practices or just lifestyle.

To get in on the NYSE action, come down and join us on April 17th at Skate Safe for the double header Bout: NYSE vs. Pioneer Valley (mens) and LIRR vs. PVRD (womens). Doors open at 7pm.

If you have additional suggestions for the Men in Derby column, please email me at

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