Halloween-themed derby session plan

Posted on November 13, 2013 by


I was assigned a training session based on communication and endurance. It fell on October 31 so I gave it a Halloween twist. Below is a 120 minute training session for you to adapt and use.

In practice, it didn’t all go to plan. For a start, at the beginning of training, it was just me and Up N Atom and I was much too embarrassed to actually perform the Thriller dance that I had spent the last month learning.

Also, by the 70 minute mark, we were down to just four people so we modified the plan and spent some time working on recovering from someone losing their position in the wall. The fun part was that the person falling/crossing out of the track/etc had to give a spooky reason why. There were some crackers, like witch attack, falling into a pit of hell and vampire bite. But my favourite was when Dino got wrapped up in some imaginary cobwebs which he battled in reverse direction for a whole lap before he re-joined our wall.

0-10 minutes: off skates warm up to Thriller by Michael Jackson. Before you put the song on, walk people through the choreography. Use only the simple moves. I used this youtube from the Wii game to prepare.

10-15: skates on

15-20: on skates warm up

20-25: Ghost Buster game

Play the Ghost Buster song. Players skate in pairs (groups of three for the more advanced skaters) Each time the phrase “Ghost Busters” is said, players must tomahawk together (thanks to Weeping Angel for this idea from a previous training session)

25-35: Blind zombies

Lay some “gates” around the stadium using cones. Pair skaters up. One in each pair is a blind zombie – s/he must close their eyes and stretch their arms out in front like a zombie. The game goes for 3 minutes – the zombie must pass through as many gates as possible guided only by their partner’s instructions. Each gate equals one point. Then swap roles. This is a variation of a game someone at MCRG organised once.

Zombie Billie and Zombie Ra

Zombie Billie and Zombie Ra

35-45: Skeleton Pack

Divide the group into two packs. Each pack must do laps together. On each lap they may collect and keep hold of one bone from this skeleton. Once they’ve collected all the bones they can exit the track and construct their skeleton. The first pack to do so correctly wins.

My group finished first but Billie (the nurse) in the other group pointed out our kneecaps were in the wrong place!

My group finished first but Billie (the nurse) in the other group pointed out our kneecaps were in the wrong place!

45-55: Zombie endurance

Skaters pair up for a twist on the usual pyramid drill. Skater one does one lap, backwards with arms outstretched. Bonus points for zombie groans. Then skater two does a lap in the same backwards zombie style. This continues until each skater is up to five laps.

55-70: The spider

This is a communication drill. Put all skaters on the track in one big pack but divided into two teams. The goal is to earn the plastic spider. Teams must use constant communication to track the spider. No hitting. For the first five minutes the spider can be claimed if the player holding the spider is pushed out of the track. In the next five minutes the spider can be claimed if the person holding the spider is contained by three opposing blockers (choose your own time limit up to three seconds depending on how challenging you want it to be). For the final five minutes the person holding the spider must be recycled 10 feet before they will hand over the spider. The spider can be passed between teammates. It must be held so that the legs are showing but the person holding it can put their arm behind them or next to their side to make it harder to tell who has it. Once a team has earned the spider, they get to hold it and the other team start communicating where it is.

Ra Skull

Ra Skull and the spider

70-80: Jammer awareness

This is basically this drill, just halloweenified. For this Halloween session, start with phase two. Blockers must communicate where both jammers are but do nothing about it

80-90: In this part, jammers have to do something Halloween related (zombie arms/zombie groan/witch cackle/stir a cauldron/howl like a werewolf/etc) and blockers communicate what their jammer does

90-105: as above but this time blockers communicate what both jammers are doing and where. Bonus points if they communicate about opposition blockers too.

105-110: cool down skating

110-115: stretches

115-120: skates off; go home

What you’ll need:

  • Time beforehand to learn some Thriller choreography
  • A device to play Thriller and Ghostbusters on – make sure it’s loud enough – mine was not!
  • Pre-printed and cut up bones 
  • A Halloween-themed toy (for the spider game)