The past few weeks have been a hub of frenetic activity here at FitLAB as I finalize the details for the #upyourgame Roller Derby Fitness Challenge , write some new off-season training programs for a some local skaters and watch all of the fantastic footage from the WFTDA Playoffs (in addition to the 9000 other things that go on in my business outside of derby.)
If you haven’t had the time to check out the action live, the WFTDA.tv archives are up from this past weekend in Columbia and include all except the 3rd place game and the final. If you aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity to watch as much of this year’s playoff and championship footage as possible, you should be.
The WFTDA archives are great not only because they watch you get the lowdown on potential opponents and can help you understand the strategies and skillsets required to play at the very top level of derby, but also because they are a fun way to travel through the modern derby timeline of how changes in rule sets have morphed the game. To see what I’m talking about go back to the 2011-2012 season and watch some of Denver’s “slow derby” games. If you’re a new skater you’ll be scratching your head.
In the realm of college athletics another school year has just gotten underway and so there have been a lot of great articles by coaches aimed not just at their players but at other coaches as well. One of my faves of the week is this fantastic piece by John Cissik, MS, CSCS on the importance of keeping perspective on the things that are truly important when it seems that there are a lot of improvements that need to be made simultaneously.
It’s got some really good strategies for implementing strength and conditioning program design in such a way that you are maximizing both performance AND efficiency. My only hang up about the article is sentence at the very end, and only because I think some people may misinterpret what he means when he mentions the inability to achieve “sports specificity in the weight room.” What I assume he means is that there is no specific transference between an exercise performed in a controlled, static environment like the gym versus the environment in which an athlete must perform (in other words, having a stronger squat won’t automatically make you better at hitting a tennis ball). However, that does not mean that an athlete’s program should not be designed specifically for his sport.
There was also this gem from Crossfit and Endurance sport coach, Pete Hitzeman published on the site breakingmuscle.com about the most important element of any athlete’s training. I’ll give you a hint… it isn’t fitness and it isn’t skills practice either. Seriously, I don’t know if this guy is married but I could kiss him for this article, cuz I’m sharing it with my fitness clients as well as my athletes. Yeah, it’s that good.
The last bit of Stuff I wanted to share with you this week is a little bit of hip mobility work. Hip mobility is crucially important for athletes because if your hips are tight you risk developing pain and/or injury in your lower back, knees and even ankles. Derby peeps who have trained with me in person can tell you all about the “hip flow” warm up exercises I make them do and what a pain it is when you can’t remember the sequencing order and end up falling over because your feet get tangled.
Physical therapist Andrew Millet put together this stellar piece on Dr. John Rusin’s blog a few weeks back, complete with video demonstrations of the exercises.
If you like learning cool new stuff like this for derby training, then you definitely don’t want to miss our free #upyourgame fitness challenge. There’s only a few days left to get in on it though, so make sure to get the details and sign up today!