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Roller Derby Athlete Paperback – 25 Oct 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (25 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408832399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408832394
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 20.6 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 309,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ellen Parnavelas is the author of the popular roller derby blog She plays for London Rollergirls and her blog attracts over 5,000 viewers a month. Ellen has worked in illustrated publishing for several years and has written Flat Track Fashion: The Roller Derby Look Book and The Roller Derby Athlete, both published by Bloomsbury.

Product Description

About the Author

Ellen Parnavelas writes the popular roller derby blog She has written Flat Track Fashion: The Roller Derby Look Book for the Visual Arts list (March 2012). She plays for London Rollergirls Recreational League. Ellen also writes for the UK roller derby magazine Inside Line.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BoringJade on 18 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback
The book would make a great gift for someone just starting fresh meat, or thinking about trying out. This is a 5-star book for beginners, so maybe I'm being a little harsh with my rating.

The books title and marketing have advertised it as a book for those who already play roller derby, and I feel let down by the fact that, just like every other time I read a book, or leaflet, or watch a movie, a trailer, or a 2 minute video about roller derby, I am explained 'HOW TO PLAY ROLLER DERBY: what is a jammer? What is a blocker? There is no ball!!' and I feel this is unnecessary in a book aimed at skaters. But as I said, great for those new to the sport.

There is some really great basic on and off skates training advice, with clear photos. And I love the interviews throughout, from absolute legends and heroes of the derby world.

This is a really nice book, a better title would have been 'Roller Derby: a beginners guide' or similar. I would love to see a follow up book going into more detail on training and nutrition, and the athletic side of the sport. But I guess most leagues don't want to give up their training secrets...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By buckminsterfullerene on 9 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this as a gift for my girlfriend who's an avid roller derby player, what I wasn't expecting is for her to recognize most of the people in the book as people she has watched or played against! So that alone made her happy. I've had a quick read through but can't comment on the quality of the content as I'm not a player myself, however she reckons it's a decent book so I trust her judgement.
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By Oxford coma on 30 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm currently looking to take my training to the next level, and this was really helpful and informative! Especially the section on exercises and nutrition. I will be employing this into my every day life.
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By MR AP WILDE on 6 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The perfect secret Santa gift, which was loved when opened. 😃
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Maybe it's aimed at beginners? 28 Dec. 2012
By Charlotte Barnett - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book might be helpful for beginners, but it manages to skim the surface without delving into details, so if you've played derby, or really any sport at all ever, this is not a very helpful book. For example, it will say that power is good to have, so you should do exercises to improve power. Well of course! The question is, Which power exercises? How often? How much?
It's also a shame that it spends so much time on basics at the beginning. I'm just thinking that if someone is buying a book called "roller derby athlete" then chances are they know what a jammer is. It might have been better if the whole first three chapters could have been nixed and instead go into more detail on things like specific drills, specific recipes, specific timelines for training, that kind of thing. Or else call the book something like "derby for beginning athletes" or "derby for dummies."
I did really like the interviews, though. And the information that it had was at least correct as far as I know. Except for the rules, of course. Sorry about that.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Good for workouts, probably aimed more at beginners 26 Mar. 2013
By E. Cox - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like the other reviewer said, this is probably more aimed at beginners. I'm just starting my second bouting season but I still bought it for workout ideas. Although it doesn't really tell you when or how often to work out or lay out a specific plan, there are sections on plyo, stretching, ab exercises and other helpful stuff. I like how they show how to do different jumps/turns, that part is cool too. Also it breaks down all the muscles in the legs and gives you a quick and dirty nutrition talk.
Basically if an alien landed on earth and asked what roller derby is, you'd give them this book. It goes into some detail and it's a good place to start with vocabulary and the interviews are good. I would definitely recommend this to fresh meat or someone working on putting together their own workouts at home.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Guide for those wanting to become top athletes in the sport but beneficial advise for all 6 Aug. 2014
By B. Crosby - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A couple reviewers thought this book was for beginners, but I would say yes and no. If you're beginning roller derby, and you want to be an elite athlete in the sport and join an elite league, then this is a good starting point. If you're already say intermediate or elite, while this book is helpful, it does cover the basics and it doesn't go into too much detail on training exercises, but none-the-less, it's pretty comprehensive and covers a lot of territory. If you just want to recreationally roller derby, I think this book may be intimidating with all the talk about training six-days-a-week and all the high-intensity cross-training like P90X. You don't need all that, but yes, you do need some flexibility, strength-training, and core training at least to minimize injury.

If you get into roller derby, I would first suggest reading Down and Derby. Once you decide it's for you, then I would read this book. This book is the ultimate training guide. While it does cover more tactics and positioning than Down and Derby, it’s not a tactical book as much as a training book, and frankly, whatever sport you’re in, you would benefit from this book.

Apparently, roller derby must be one of the most holistic, well-rounded sporting events, because it incorporates everything including endurance, speed, strength, power, balance, agility, core strength, flexibility, physical toughness to give and take hits, and what they call proprioception what I used to know as kinesthesia, the awareness of one's limbs and bodily position. The author repeats again and again, that if you just skate, you’re not going to improve nearly as much as if you cross-train, and when you do nothing but skate in a counter-clockwise direction, you become unbalanced, and when you’re unbalanced, you’re more likely to get injured. This book is pretty comprehensive and reminds me of the stuff I studied when I trained in track bicycling trying to get every possible advantage I could. Unfortunately, back then, I was looking for shortcuts more than simply pushing myself. So I already knew about fast and slow-twitch muscles and anaerobic versus aerobic exercise. However, there were a lot of things I didn’t know that this book covers. It truly is pretty comprehensive and intelligent covering the chemical reactions that occur when you break down proteins and carbs.

The book also interviews top derby athletes in the field. It’s interesting to note that many are former athletes in other fields. Perhaps it’s obvious to say that the top athletes in roller derby are already quite athletic to begin with. I don’t think a single person interviewed said they used to sit on a couch all day smoking pot and never did any high school sports and then found roller derby and became an elite athlete. At the elite level, they pretty much train as much and as hard as any top athlete. I'm not sure I'll have the time or honestly interest in training so much and so hard but who knows. I do know I'll be training hard and don't want just recreational roller derby. One criticism is that the narrator says pasta has a low-glycemic index, but I'm pretty sure it's in the middle and depends on the flour used, whole grain obviously being better than refined wheat flour. Another criticism I have is that the author tends to suggest too much carb-intake for a beginner or intermediate athlete. Certainly, when you get to the elite level and you have low body fat, you should take in a lot of carbs to sustain your energy output, but I’m sure a lot of beginners and intermediate athletes have sufficient fat they can burn off and don’t need as much carbs. The author doesn’t cover cutting weight, but as I learned in cycling, any extra fat you carry as an athlete is dead weight; it slows you down. If you really want to be an elite athlete, you need to cut weight, especially fat in the legs which slow you down more than fat in the torso or arms.

If you’re just starting out with roller derby, you should read this book but don't get turned off by all the super-athletes bragging about how much they work out. Unless you want to be an elite skater, you don't have to work out that much or hard. You get out what you put in, so if you just want to have fun, there are recreational leagues that are not really competitive. Then you have the more competitive leagues where players may or may not want to advance to the elite leagues. This book is intimidating, but it really is geared more for those who want to go all the way but beneficial for all. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from cross-training and doing all the diverse array of exercises the author suggests, just less of it. Most importantly, cross-training, stretching, and weight training also help reduce injury, so even if you’re doing it recreationally, you can enjoy it more if you put in some effort to cross-train and be more well-rounded. Fact is, I hate getting injured. I broke my collar-bone twice in cycling. One thing perhaps the author missed is psychology. Psychological stress can hurt you more than physical exhaustion or stress. When your mind is somewhere else, you can twist and turn your body unnaturally or just get blind-sided, and when you're mentally stressed it really does create physical imbalance and lowers your ability to recover and build muscle.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Smart Read For Skilled Chicks! 12 Feb. 2014
By Average Jane - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This has helped me on a healthy and hopefully lower injury start with roller derby.
While explaining the basics with visuals, experienced quotes from top world rollers,
and honest knowledge I'm both positive and looking forward to enjoying my new favorite hobby.
I would recommend this to anyone curious about what it rakes to be a peak performer in a pair
Of quad skates. If your like me and prefer something with more meat then garnish this book is for you,
It even has full workout and color skill photos, information on nutrition for vegans and meat eaters, I honestly can't say enough...I'm gonna be flipping through this virtual read for years!
I'm looking forward to reading any other books from this author and her cohorts!
Great read! 23 Feb. 2015
By Jessica - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a really good investment! It explains everything from the basics of roller derby to strategy and pack drills. It even interviews women and men who play roller derby. This is great if you're just getting started or if you have been playing for a while.
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