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Defense, closing the gap

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Every skater has one thing they struggle with more than anything else on the track.

"Gap Up" Easier said than done of course. You leave a big gap because they don't want to get beat. Totally understood.

But in my mind, to be effective in roller derby, you've got to pressure the other
team at every possible opportunity. Being able to close the gap isn't just something
that happens in your own zone. It starts at the the opponent's line and works it's
way back to your own defensive zone.

That means that your Blockers have to hold the opposing team's line as long as possible, force turnovers in the neutral zone and make it very difficult for your opponents to gain and score in the attacking zone.

To become effective at these skills requires lots of repetition in practice...and there will be many mistakes made.

It is unreasonable to expect players to be able to execute these skills at high speeds and under pressure in a game if we haven't given them ample time to perfect them in practice. Confidence is king in roller derby, and we must get skaters comfortable with these challenging skills in practice if we want them to perform them effectively in games.

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