Stuff You Wanna Know – September 21, 2016

Today is a pretty glorious day in south Florida. It’s about 85 degrees and wonderfully sunny, not too humid and jut a bit breezy. I got some work done this morning, got my own training out of the way and came home to happily much on some nutritious lunch while prepping to write this week’s Stuff You Wanna Know post. Then this happened:


Ugh. Seriously, just WHY?!?! WHY IS THERE ALWAYS ONE DISGUSTINGLY SQUISHY, MANKIE PIECE OF SPINACH RIGHT IN THE CENTER OF EVERY F*&KING BAG??? I swear, this is why I have trust issues. I’m all for healthy eating, but damn… I feel like I should have just stopped for pizza on the way home from the gym. Yuck.

Anyway, enough about my dashed dietary dreams of the day and on to the good stuff.

This week’s SYWK has a bit of mobility advice from legendary strength and conditioning coach (and amateur movie reviewer) Tony Gentilcore, a psychology piece about why we don’t do the things we know we should do from personal trainer and endurance athlete Shawn Gerber and some daily quick-fix tips on keeping your body in better athletic shape by Bret Contreras. Oh, and I promise there are also no more pictures of half-rotten food, so read on…


Tony’s article “The ‘Real’ vs.the ‘BS’ Hip Flexor Stretch is basically a “you’re probably doing this wrong” type of post. The article original appeared on Tony’s own blog earlier this year and he made this awesome demo video to go along with it. You should read the article too, but I know we all love visual learning so here’s the video that he did describing how to do it the right way:

Raise your hand if you’ve done this one wrong in the past. (Guess what? My hand is in the air too.)

Sports Psychology

I’m going to tell you a dirty little secret. Even though I work in strength and conditioning and also in fitness, I don’t always do the right thing when it comes to diet and training. I sometimes eat crappy food, drink a bit too much, don’t sleep enough and even train half-assed. Since I’m a pro in my field I can’t really use the “lack of knowledge” excuse as to

I’m not really a donut person, but give me gummy bears and my life feels complete.

why this happens. So what gives? How come we often choose to do something even when we know what the better choices are?  Chris Gerber examines this phenomenon in his article “Why We Know, But Don’t Do” published on

Fixing What Ails You (or doesn’t… yet)

We all like simple quick-fix stuff that makes us feel better, right? Of course we do. Although it can often feel daunting to try and implement a bunch of changes at once when it comes to training, practice, skating skills, etc., there are few things that you can actually

I couldn’t find a pic that I liked to go with this story so here’s a meercat, cuz meercats = awesome.

do throughout the day that will help keep your body in good working order so you’re more prepared to do the hard part of being an athlete. Strength and conditioning coach Bret Contreras discusses just a few techniques that will quite literally only take minutes out of your day in the article “Increase Athleticism in 6 Minutes” which first appeared on the T-Nation website late last year.





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Once you’re in, you’re in for life…

My reason for starting this blog is simple… I love to help athletes get better at what they do. I’ve been involved in both fitness and athletic performance coaching for more than a decade, working with and around athletes at every level, from social league amateurs to Olympic level champions. I’ve been involved with roller derby for nearly as long, first as a player and later as a head coach, a league announcer and as a strength and conditioning coach.

Over the past two years I’ve had some amazing opportunities to learn directly from some of the best sport performance coaches in the world, including those who work with the NFL, the NHL, the PGA, Major League Baseball, national level rugby, professional soccer and members of the US Olympic Track and Field team. Throughout all of those incredible experiences I find that my mind always comes back to the same thought… “how could I apply this information, this technique, this coaching cue, this drill, this program design, to roller derby?” I’m hooked for life, no two ways about it.

rollerderby-112223_19202And so this blog is dedicated to all of the women and men of the amazing sport we call roller derby. Whether you are fresh meat or a seasoned vet, play flat or bank track, skate women’s, men’s, junior’s or co-ed, or are in the US or abroad, this space is yours.

Each week we will endeavor to bring you the very latest and best science-based information about athletic performance as it relates to the sport we love. There will be training posts, discussions regarding biomechanics and kinesiology, articles on sports psychology and coaching technique, interviews with some of the best coaches and sports scientists from around the world and guest posts from a whole range of strength and conditioning specialists.

So that’s what this blog is about. It’s about making roller derby players better roller derby players. Sound like something you might be interested in? Make sure to sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss out on any of this great info.

Citius. Fortius. Altius.

Shelley J. Murray, CSCS

(aka Justass of the Piece)