Archive for December, 2015

Labs Q&A: Christy Demons

Christy Demons Interview3

Recently, I caught up with VRDL All Star Jammer Christy Demons. She talks about playoffs, the tough loss to Gotham, and how she keeps her penalties down.

 Read time: 4 minutes

Conan: Congratulations on finishing third place at WFTDA Champs this year. How are you feeling about the tournament?

Christy: So proud of my team! Each individual player personally stepped up, and the whole team played at a new level. Our training paid off. At a team goal setting meeting at the start of the year, we set one of our long-term goals as ‘win a medal at Champs’, so we were stoked to reach that goal.

The Gotham loss must have been difficult.

We knew that we would be likely to come up against Gotham so we had focussed a lot of our preparation on that game. It was hard losing that game after being in the lead for so long and feeling like the win was totally within our grasp. Personally, I felt really happy afterwards because it was such a challenging and exciting game. But there were a mix of emotions in the team. We went out for a team bonding dinner after, and I don’t think anyone got too much sleep that night.

How were you able to rally and defeat a very tough London team the following day?

It was a little hard for the team to refocus the next day, but I think it helped us to just go through our pre-game rituals, and trust what we had practiced. For me going through all those familiar steps gets me really focussed and ready for games.

Going back to Divisionals, you were awarded the Tournament MVP in Tucson. What was that experience like?

It was a huge honour to be acknowledged like that – exciting and overwhelming and I couldn’t really believe it. It means a lot to me and it is an experience I won’t forget.

You played a LOT of jams the Tucson Divisional because Victoria only traveled 12 players. How do you prepare for something like that?

Our training sessions are really intense. We do a lot of scrimmage A vs A, so at times we are jamming every second jam. Prior to this scrimmage we have a two hour Allstars training session. I am used to skating in hard situations while tired. In the leadup to playoffs, we had sessions 4-6 times a week. On Sundays we had a jammer training session in the mornings, then Allstars training in the afternoons, to simulate tournament play. Basically I skate as much as I can, as hard as I can, trying to push myself. I want to work on improving my endurance more in 2016.

You only had 1 penalty for the entire Tucson Divisional. What is your secret? How do you keep penalties down?

I was really pleased with that! It’s important to me to be a clean jammer. I try to keep calm, trust my defence and offense, and not do anything too risky. It’s easy to trust my blockers when they are so good!

We practice specific drills for avoiding penalties. We practice spins while actively getting our forearms out of the way. Sometimes our goal for the session is simply to not use forearms. We yell friendly reminders at each other. We try to have referees at as many of our sessions as possible, and encourage feedback from all skaters to tell us if we do something that looks like or feels like it could have been a penalty.

I have also always loved the rules. I read them a lot and think about them a lot and ask questions and love to talk about them. This helps keep the rules in the forefront of my mind.

What’s next for you? Do you take an off season?

Presto 59 93A Angle 210 x 160

Presto 59 93A

We officially have a six week break from skating, but there are still a few optional sessions each week which I will attend so I can keep working on some skills, and try out some new things I saw at Champs. It’s summer in Australia so I’m going skating outdoors or ramp skating after work and on weekends. It’s so fun to skate in the open air outdoors and jump off things. I would miss skating too much if I took a total break from it.

Last, a gear question. Talk about your wheels:

I used Radar Prestos (93s) in all of the games. They were perfect on both the playoffs and champs floors, and gave me the right amounts of grip and slide. It made it easy to go really fast and also to stop confidently when I needed to. I love these wheels a lot.

 

 

 

Video: One Foot Plow Stop

Laci Knight breaks down the one foot plow stop. This is a foundational tool which is essential to the modern game.

Presto 59 95A 700 x 620

Presto 59 95A

Presto 59 97A 700 x 620

Presto 59 97A

Laci skates a combination of the Presto 59 95A and Presto 59 97A.