We all cheer for the underdog each year and then watch in awe as Gotham finds a way, again and again to hold onto that Hydra. But not in 2015, Rose City’s Wheels of Justice are the first WFTDA team to beat Gotham since Nov 6th 2010. (5-year unbeaten streak!)
Rose City; who after losing last year by 3 points on the last jam, came back to beat the unbeaten champions. By utilizing “2-walls”…..yup good old “2-walls”, a strategy that many of us (us old ones) recall using in back in the first few years of derby. Of course this was an updated version being executed as the highest level but the base line was two 2-walls. One to hold the jammer, one to play aggressive offensive against the opposing teams defense. Sounds straight forward, and many of you are probably already drawing up plans for your 2016 seasons to implement the “ROSE” walls, as they will certainly become known. Like everyone jumped on the “Victorian blocking tri-pod of death” strategy wagon, certainly the ROSE walls will be all the rage soon enough.
One thing about that strategy that isn’t as obvious (but is absolute in achieving success) is Trust, Commitm
ent and Belief (TCB). These are the fundamental building blocks of instilling strategy in a team sport. That means from the leadership right thru the coaching staff and even skaters on the roster that play infrequently or not at all, everyone has to be on the same page. Imagine
the first few practices of implementing 2-walls and having people roll their eyes, doubt that this will work, and generally wait to have it be proven to them. What makes this equally difficult is that the introduction of most new strategies often fail, in fact they should fail. Only a few years ago reverse blocking was a skill that only a few skaters could do successfully, now it’s part of most team’s toolkits and an integral part of almost all walls.
What is even more impressive with what Rose achieved is not only did they fully commit to the strategy but they also did it against incredible emotional odds. Rob Lobster (their long-time coach) was terminally ill and tragically passed away between Divs and Champs. How many times in that void did they question their plans? How could you not allow emotions to get the better of you and pull your focus away from your goal? During the back and forth game and particularly when Gotham pushed away at them in the last 10 minutes, it would be easy to go “oh no this is just like last year!”….but they didn’t. Rose persevered and achieved what they came to do.
2-wall strategy is what many of us watching saw, or heard about after the game but Trust, Commitment and Belief is what got them there.
To learn more about how TCB and how other team-based strategies can improve your skills and your team’s play – contact Camp Pivotstar for a weekend or one-on-one coaching with your team.
-Mack the Mouth