Ever thought about training your league?

Posted on July 4, 2012 by


A while ago I wrote about ways to keep derby passion alive. One of my suggestions was to mentor other skaters. In the same vein, I’d have to add: being a trainer. You don’t have to be particularly good at derby (I’m certainly not) to contribute as a trainer. I cannot explain how energising it is to train a group of enthusiastic people. I’m currently teaching my second block of learn-to-skate classes for derby wannabes. New students advance at such a rapid rate that I can’t help but be buoyed by their progress. Some of the previous class are already reffing in my league and hopefully a bunch of them will join the next raw meat intake.

Today at work I came across something that provides a whole other perspective on why helping out as trainer is a good idea.

(Just on that, you can blame my new job for the lack of blogging lately. I love my new job. After six years moving between different government departments and feeling increasingly despondent about ever having a job I could get passionate about I jumped ship and moved into the private sector. I’m much happier but have much less free time to blog in.)

So, the mini revelation I came across was this little fella:

Basically, the learning pyramid shows which learning methods produce the highest level of knowledge retention. Being lectured to will produce 5% retention of knowledge. Practice by doing (normal derby training) will lead to 75% retention. Teaching others leads to a 90% retention. When you think about it, it’s actually a bit bloody obvious. What’s going to encourage you to know your shit more than having to get up and teach a group of peers?

I should point out, it’s important that the people you’re training are engaged. I tend to shy away from contributing to league training as the energy levels are unpredictable depending on which combination of personalities are in the room that day. I love training my home team though and taking some parts of rep team training.

I’m not speaking fuzzy, feel-good crap when I say that everyone can contribute to training. You don’t need to be a mad skater to understand strategy. If strategy is your strong point then you can prepare a half hour session where the best thing you offer is the ability to explain the strategy clearly and succinctly as well as break it down into easily digestible drills.

Even if you don’t have mad derby skating skills and strategy makes your head spin, you can still Google, right? Research new derby drills to practice the basics with. Every single skater in every single league can do with extra work on: agility, teamwork, hitting. If you can find fun new drills to hone these skills, then that’s a pretty important contribution you can make.

Posted in: LimboLand