is a tremendous variety of RollerRoccer techniques in use. They fall
into three categories: kicking, advancing, and defending.
Kicking the ball can be done many different ways. The best type of
kick to use depends on the situation and the skates you're wearing.
You should work on developing equal kicking skill in both feet.
The most versatile kick is the side kick, done with the middle of
your frame on the inside of your foot. This kick is generally the
most accurate and it allows the greatest degree of control over the
speed of the ball, making it good for passing as well as shooting.
Best of all, it's also the easiest kick to master, regardless of the
type of skates you wear.
The toe kick is another popular one. This kick makes contact with
the ball at the very tip of your skate, whether it's the toe of your
boot or the toe wheel of a five-wheel frame. This kick is easy to
execute but very difficult to control. Most often used for shooting,
the kick generates a lot of power with little effort but often proves
inaccurate. Until you master it, this kick is best used for shots
taken at close range. It is not good for passing.
The instep kick should be in everyone's arsenal. It's done with the
top outside of your foot. It has the advantages of both the toe and
the side kick. It generates a lot of power and it's very accurate.
Unfortunately, it's difficult to learn. The movement is difficult
on skates, especially those with long frames. And for those with rigid
boots, it can be difficult to "feel" the ball in order to control
the kick. In spite of these problems, this kick will give you goal
after goal, and assist after assist if you stick with it. It yields
greater control over the ball because of the wider surface area of
your skate that makes contact. It generates power since the kicking
motion used is nearly straight forward. Best of all, it enables you
to put spin on the ball. And when you're indoors at a rink with a
good floor, giving the ball a spin turns a straight kick into a curve-ball.
Advancing the ball involves moving the ball with you as you skate.
You should keep it just enough ahead of you to allow control, but
not so far ahead that a defender can steal it. Very light toe kicks
and side kicks work well for advancing straight ahead. But when you
are faced with a defender you will probably be forced to either make
a quick change of direction, a cut, with the ball or to pass it.
The most important consideration in a successful cut is the defender's
vector. Yeah, that's a physics term, sorry. It's the perfect term
though, because it means both direction and speed or, more important,
momentum. Making a successful cut is all about momentum, both yours
and the defender's. The idea is to change your vector in a way that's
easy for you but difficult for the defender.
For instance, let's say you are advancing the ball toward a defender
who is just standing his ground. The idea is to get him rolling, because
the more momentum he has, the more difficult it will be for him to
change his vector. However, if you lead him left or right too early,
he will move into your path before you get there. And if you do this
too late, he will be in your face whether you cut back or not. You
must learn when to make the defender initiate a vector and then when
to cut back against it. The rule of thumb is to go for a cut that
involves less work for you and more for the defender. Momentum is
very easy to generate on skates, but not so easy to change or reverse.
Therein lies the magic.
Defending against such moves isn't easy. You can never be sure if
there will be a cut back so you have to hold your ground until it
actually happens. There are some techniques that allow you to cover
a lot of turf even in the direction opposite your momentum. Most of
these involve spinning quickly with your foot extended. The variations
are many and they're all difficult to describe. Let's just say that
it's best if you never get yourself into the situation described above
to begin with.
So how do you avoid it? Why, by being mindful of vectors of course.
If you and the person advancing the ball share the same vector, it's
less likely that there is any cut possible that will make you work
harder. So how do you share the same vector? By skating backwards,
just like in hockey. Doing this, you are much less likely to get beaten.
Roll back at a speed that allows the offensive player to close on
you slowly but try to force the play as soon as possible - you don't
want to roll all the way back to the goal. Make your defensive move
as soon as you're in striking distance. In most cases, all you need
to do to stop the advance is knock away possession of the ball.