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Radar Blog: 5 Things that are Killing Your Footwork

5 Things that are killing your footwork

1- Executing Movements with your Upper body*

It is called footwork, but many people try to execute movements entirely with their upper body. To get quick, precise, and controlled movements, you can initiate movements with shoulders and arms, but must finish those movements with your lower body, hips, legs, and feet.


2- Not picking up your feet

To improve the sharpness of your footwork, you have to get your feet off the ground. Many players try to glide into stops, transitions, or other sharp movements and it decreases precision, slowing the footwork. Pick up your feet!


3- Focusing too much on Toe Stops

Using Toe Stops is a quick way to gain balance and control. Many beginning players find their first blocking success thanks to their trusty, stable toe stops. But if you are looking to improve your quickness, especially in small spaces, you have to get off of your toe stops and down onto your wheels, where your edges can make magic.


4- Working too much on Speed

Beginning Derby skaters obsess over their speed. Of course you have to knock off that 27 in 5 before you can get into the fun stuff, but don’t neglect working on your balance at slow speed. Learning to transition comfortably will serve you for as long as you play derby.


5- Not taking off skates warm up seriously

Skaters who bluff their way through the off skates warm ups or skip it entirely will fall behind in improving their footwork. A good, dynamic off skates warm up increases blood flow to the muscles, promoting the energy releasing reactions needed for great footwork.


*Edited wording to reflect some very thoughtful feedback provided by the skating community.


Joshua “Conan” Pfenning

Radar Wheels Brand Manager

Head Coach – Angel City Derby Girls

Assistant Coach – Team USA Women’s Roller Derby



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