If you are able to utilize your toe stops in a controlled manner, it can take you far in derby. Remember, practice makes you better and practicing on your toe stops makes you more comfortable.
First off, take a look at your toe stops. Where are they positioned for you? You need it positioned where you feel comfortable and your foot isn’t dying inside your skate. Most people go with a one wheel under the back wheel and adjust their toe stops to that height. How big are your toe stops? If you have crappy little ones, I would suggest saving to invest in some slightly larger ones. This will make it much easier on you. Smaller toe stops make you work much harder in your toe stop runs and drills.
Below are a few easy things you can do to feel more comfortable on your toe stops. You can do all of these things at home in your skates. You can also do these during open skate.
Stand in good derby stance with all eight wheels on the ground. Shift your weight to go up on your toe stops by lifting up on your heels. Your stance should stay the same and the only thing moving is your feet.
Go up on your toe stops and squat. This will help you feel comfortable by being able to go lower on your toe stops.
Balancing on One Foot
Go up on your toe stops, find your center of balance and pick up one of your skates. This is like the one footed glide but on toe stops. Engage your core and balance. Challenge yourself each time to hold it longer.
Go up on your toe stops and step from side to side. Start with shorter steps and eventually move into larger steps. Challenge yourself. This will help with lateral movements down the road.
Walking and Jogging
Get up on your toe stops and walk/jog forward then go backwards. Find your center of balance and increase your speed as you go!
Some day you will fall at practice and a veteran skater will casually glide by, smile, and call out to you in their most cheery voice, “Falling is learning”.
They aren't saying it to be mean or to tease you.
Every great journey has a beginning, and for many Fountain City players that journey begins with the Zombie league. Some people call it a “Rec League” or compare it to “Junior Varsity”, but it is so much more than that.