Friday, December 21, 2012

Pre-Gaming Off Skates

Tigre Force's guest blogging series: 5 drills from the Skater Progression Diagram.

As the topic says, this post is about learning roller derby off skates. All the new skaters are always very anxious about getting to play. But since not everyone of us are talented skaters when we start derby, we must keep safety in mind and make sure we know the basic skills well enough before starting to scrimmage.

Nevertheless, roller derby is a sport that requires multi-talented focus. That is one reason why skaters should start doing pack drills, blocking and all possible derby drills both off and on skates. You can actually play roller derby off-skates as well. Keep in mind that you must learn to do those moves on skates later on, so don't focus on knocking your teammates down like a boss, if you are not able to do such a killer job on skates yet. Rather have your focus on the right technique so that you can build your muscle memory.

Footwork drills are also good to start off-skates before putting the gear on. We just had a practice with Helsinki Roller Derby (Tiina Kimari as our trainer) that we started off-skates, doing jumps on the stairs (after a proper warm up!) and ice-hockey footwork drills before putting the skates on and doing the same drills on skates.

I started this guest blogging series by posting the Skater Progression Diagram (link above) which will help you explain to your skaters why derby takes so much practice before you get to play. I decided to choose five drills to give a few examples of what the different sections could include. So far we've made it to the step three.

1) Basic Skills and endurance - the example drill for this section is the Quick Feet Drill
To this subject I'd like to add another link from the All Derby Drills -blog, and that is of course Showercap Derby aka "Sock Derby". You can do this outside, inside, in any weather!

2) Blocking: positional and contact - check out RMRG's Blocking Drill

3) Pre-Gaming off skates - this is the section that the Human Shield Obstacle Course is for (and I know 2x4 Roller Derby from Argentina has tried this drill out with an on skates variation but I encourage you all to keep it off skates! Murder City Roller Girls from Adelaide, South Australia has also tried the drill out)

Off skates derby with Helsinki Roller Derby

These two off-skates drills are a perfect choice to ease down the anxious skaters who wish to already get to the next level of practicing their derby skills. If you can play derby well wearing sneakers, it will make it easier to get comfortable doing all that on skates.

I will post the last two drill examples of the Skater Progression Diagram soon, so stay tuned and keep following All Derby Drills!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Eat what, when, and why?!?!? My game plan for WFTDA Western Regionals

Most of us have a game day routine that we follow leading up to a bout. I get lots of skaters asking me what to eat on game day so I thought I would share how I got through an epic weekend of skating at Besterns.

2012 West Region Playoffs Logo

Regionals this weekend could have been a challenge if it hadn't been for some good preparations and packing most of what I needed to eat with me.  ACDG had some tough teams to go up against and I wanted to be fueled and ready! I stocked up on 
Formula 1 sport, Hydrate, Prolong, Prepare,  "Magic liftoff cookies" as Duchess has now coined Liftoff (my healthy energy drink), and some bars and little snacks. This way I knew all I had to find was a healthy meal or two and I was good to go! We skated 2 games Friday (WASATCH and Rose City) with no crashing feeling in between them.  On Saturday we skated against Rocky Mountain and thankfully I had taken Restore Friday night because otherwise I might not have been able to walk the next day. Sunday was our final game against Sac City. Every game was challenging and I am so proud of my team and so thankful for having a kick ass nutrition program to get me through my very first Regional Tournament.

Here are the basics of what I did each day:

It took me a bit of trial-and-error with my diet to come up with a plan that works for me, there are a few key points that all athletes should keep in mind when trying to match their meals and snacks to their activity. Carbohydrates are primarily what the body relies on for energy. The body needs a fairly steady source from the diet, since there’s only so much carbohydrate the body can store – in the form of glycogen – in the muscles and the liver. This doesn't mean carb loading the night before on 7 lbs of pasta is going to make you skate any faster. Keep it healthy the days leading up to a bout but powering down massive carbs the night before is not necessary. It’s important to ‘top off the tank’ with some carbohydrate before an athletic event.  In choosing what to eat, all athletes need to consider how much time they have to digest before they start an athletic performance or event.

Key Points to remember:
  • Foods high in fiber and fat delay digestion time so save them for after your bout.
  • Light or liquid meals digest more quickly than solid ones.
  • During continuous activity that lasts longer than an hour, athletes need to keep the carbohydrate coming in.  Specially designed sports drinks are ideal for this purpose, since they provide fluid and salts as well as the right amount of carbohydrate to keep muscles well fueled; some also provide small amounts of protein that help with muscle recovery.
  • Post-exercise, athletes must consume plenty of carbohydrate to replenish the stores in their liver and muscles.  Ideally, athletes should try to eat within 30 minutes or so after their event or workout is over.  Fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans and dairy products are all terrific recovery foods. This is the time to load back up on the higher fiber carbs since digestion time is no longer a concern.
  • Whey and casein – proteins derived from dairy products – are also needed after exercise to help promote muscle recovery.  A protein smoothie made with milk and fruit, a sandwich on wholegrain bread with a glass of milk, or some yogurt with a piece of fruit are all excellent post-exercise meal ideas

More than 3 hours before the game.
Planning ahead is key!  Eat a regular, balanced meal no less than 3 hours before the bout.  Just keep it healthy and avoid the heavy stuff.

Between 1 and 3 hours to start time.
If you have only an hour or two before your event, then enjoy a lighter, solid meal, maybe some cottage cheese and toast, or a bowl of low fiber cereal. I usually have a chicken and veggie wrap or snack on a protein bar. If we are getting close to game time I down a Formula 1 sport shake.

Less than 1 hour until you compete?
For athletes who have only an hour or less to digest before an event, choose something that will be easy on your stomach such as a smoothie or a yogurt. I drink Formula 1 sport before my bouts. 30 minutes prior to my game I drink 1/2 a Liftoff with 2 scoops of Prepare.

During the event?
Keep topping up – water and use a specific sports hydration drink are both important. During the first half of the bout I drink water with 1-2 scoops of Prolong to ensure my blood sugar doesn't crash before the second half. Then I drink water or Hydrate for the rest of the bout.

Just completed the bout?
Dig into some healthy snacks like fruit, raw vegetable sticks, and hummus, or a Rebuild Strength.

When you are doing strenuous exercise, paying attention to what you eat – and when – can have a big impact on your athletic performance, so don’t let eating become an afterthought.

This is Krissy Krash, signing off! You can always hit me up with questions, for advice, to give feedback, or for a free nutrition and performance profile at  Plus, if you want to try out anything I mentioned above or you are are ready to get your ass in gear, you can get 10% off plus free 1:1 coaching from yours truly by hitting up by using the coupon code AllDerbyDrills.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Whether you’re fresh meat or an all star, you food choices can have a huge impact on your performance.
When you’re really active, you can burn through a lot of calories – so much so, that it often seems there’s no way to satisfy your appetite.  So many skaters these days cross train, play other sports, and live an incredible active lifestyle. Pre workout and post workout can often be the danger time: when your appetite is out-of-control, it’s tempting to let yourself eat whatever you want – thinking that you will ‘burn it off’ later.  Remember though – even when your calorie needs are high, you don’t have license to eat foods with little nutritional value.

To eat like an athlete you need to think about food as fuel.

Ask yourself about the benefits of a particular food: is it protein or carb based, does it contain the nutrients you need?  You can’t let yourself be tempted by only thinking about the taste, or by constantly giving into cravings for sweet or fatty food.
Getting fueled up for activity means having the right pre workout meals, staying hydrated, and properly refueling after an event or workout.  If you’re a picky eater, vegetarian, or vegan, meeting these goals can be challenging, so think about your athletic aims and keep in mind that that a healthy diet is vital for a good performance.
An athlete’s body is like an engine – one that needs the right fuel to run properly.  Healthy carbohydrates – from fruits, vegetables and grains (like whole grain breads, rice and corn) – are the body’s preferred source of fuel, not beer and french fries... I know its hard to believe.  These good carbs help to not only sustain exercise, but they are needed afterwards to help replenish body stores.
The body also needs healthy lean proteins – from foods like lean meats, poultry, fish, milk, yogurt, eggs and soybeans – to help build and repair muscles after exercising, and small amounts of healthy fats (from foods like avocados or nuts) to help meet calorie needs.
Try these basic tips for healthy eating to keep you properly ‘fueled up’ for exercise:

Before a workout

You need to ‘top off the tank’ with some carbohydrates to provide energy.  The best choices are foods that are easy to digest like a fruit smoothie, a carton of yogurt or a small bowl of cereal and milk.  Keep meals low in fat so they’ll be easy to digest.

During exercise

Staying hydrated is key.  Water is fine if you’re exercising for less than an hour, but a hydration drink is great for extended exercise or when the weather is particularly hot or humid. High or low carb hydration drinks will depend on the duration of your workout.

After exercise

It’s important to refuel muscles with some healthy carbohydrates and protein.  A healthy meal replacement shake is an all-time favorite recovery food since it provides fluid, potassium, carbohydrates and protein – all of which the body craves after activity.  Other great post-exercise foods are sandwiches, fruits, yogurt.
Your body needs fiber, but it’s best to eat high-fiber foods after exercise, rather than before, to avoid stomach distress.  Save the wholegrain breads and pastas for after your game, race or workout.
If you have high calorie needs, make healthy higher calorie choices that are also nutrient-rich like nuts, 100% fruit juices, dried fruits, peanut butter and trail mix.

Click here to contact Krissy Krash with questions, comments, or for more info

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Building your strategies

Alternative names: --
Objective: To create customized strategies and counter-strategies for your own team; to practice thinking strategically about roller derby
Typical length of drill: 2 hours
Materials needed: Your team, a secretary to take detailed notes and send them all out to team members in a timely fashion
Skill level required: A basic understanding of the game and rules
Description: There comes a time in every team's life (perhaps as often as every season) when the whole team needs to sit down and think about /  discuss / develop / improve / edit / write down their strategies.  We do this so that we are all on the same page, so that everyone in the team knows what to do in every situation (or so we hope).  Learning new moves is great, practicing different moves is great, but without a plan of execution, these are basically just that: moves.  Not strategies.  A strategy (as explained by Wikipedia) "is a plan of action designed to achieve a specific goal.  Strategy is all about gaining (or being prepared to gain) a position of advantage over adversaries or best exploiting emerging possibilities.  As there is always an element of uncertainty about future, strategy is more about a set of options ("strategic choices") than a fixed plan."

So how do we begin to put our moves to good use, to create plans of action and sets of options?  How do we ensure that all of our teammates know that in situation A the team will execute strategy B, and in situation X the team will execute strategy Y?  We have to start from the hypothetical situation, think of the goal we must achieve in that situation, and devise a strategy for achieving that goal.  For example:

Situation: We're up 50+ points, there is 15 minutes or less remaining in the game
Goal: Don't give the opposing team an opportunity to score by playing for time
Strategy: [insert strategy here] 

To help my team work out strategies, I created a questionnaire of sorts.  We thoroughly analyzed all the different potential scenarios on the questionnaire, thought in depth about what we needed to do to maximize our chances of gaining an advantage in those scenarios, and then created a plan of action using the moves we had learned and practiced at our training sessions.  From this we got our strategy hand-book.  The hand-book was a living document that got updated as strategies developed and rules changed, but it was a really important tool for the team because it helped us with our teamwork and unity -- we all knew what we were expected to do in what scenario.

So without further ado, to help you out with your own strategy hand-book, here is the questionnaire that we used:

What do we do when:
  • We are losing in the first half? Losing in the second half? Losing at the end of the game?
  • We are winning in the first half? Winning in the second half? Winning at the end of the game?
  • We are outnumbered at the beginning of a jam?  In the middle of a jam?  At the end of a jam?
  • We outnumber the opposing team at the beginning of a jam?  In the middle of a jam?  At the end of a jam?
  • We have lead jammer?
  • We don't have lead jammer?
  • Our jammer is in the box?
  • Their jammer is in the box?

When do we:
  • Play offense?
  • Play defense?
  • Force the jammer whistle? Do a knee start?
  • Play for time? Start the game slow?

As you answer these questions in your group, also keep in mind counter-strategies: What do we do when THEY do a knee start?  When THEY play for time?  Cover all your bases.

Additional notes: When we did these strategy sessions we basically all sat down in a teammate's living room and went through each question in meticulous detail.  We did not watch anything as we were drawing from what we already knew from bouting and scrimmaging a lot.  The sessions would take a long time but we felt confident with our plans after we finished.  Because roller derby is still developing, and at a fast rate, any and all written plays and strategies must be living documents; what has worked this season may not work the same next season.  Even though we like what we have now does not mean that we're going to use it in the game after next.  The sport can change quickly so all of your strategies and plays must be adaptable. Not to mention, other teams' strategies change quickly so you must change yours so as to know how to react in a new situation. Know that some times you gotta "kill the baby" -- the strategy you so loved last season and spent hours perfecting might be totally obsolete (or even illegal) this season.  Throughout the season my team would work on the strategies we had written down, improve upon them, edit them, but since we already had that initial written document from our first session the improvements were simpler as we could just work on them during our on-skates practice time.  I also have to say that I think working on the strategies as a group can be more useful than having a strategy hand-book just given to you by your captains/coaches to study.  Being part of the process of breaking down the situation and building up the plan can really help a person execute the strategy well and at the right time.

The questionnaire in this posting is also a living document -- if you feel that something should be changed / removed / added, just drop a line in the comments below!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Simon Says

Alternative names: Simón Dice / Kungen Befaller / Kapteeni Käskee / Kommando Pimperle
Objective: To practice basic skills; to practice paying attention and listening to your teammates; agility; communication; warm-up
Typical length of drill: 5-10 minutes
Materials needed: None
Skill level required: None
Description: This is simply the classic Simon Says game with the added bonus of being on skates and thus being able to practice some basic skills while having fun.  Decide first if you alone will give commands or if you'll be giving the skaters turns to do it too.  Also decide on the punishment for doing something at the wrong time -- I like to give 5 or 10 push-ups.  Once the skaters have spread out around your practice space (everyone will need some room around them to shuffle and move around), face them and start giving commands.  For example:

  • Get low
  • Lay down
  • Jump
  • Shuffle left/right
  • March in place
  • Run on your toestops
  • Drop to a knee

The possibilities are endless!  Make sure you enforce the punishment for any time a skater does something when you have NOT started the command with "Simon says...".  For an added challenge, have the skaters do multiple commands at once and dole out punishment if they stop doing one of the tasks to start the next one (e.g. "March in place" and "Get low" -- skaters should continue marching while getting low unless Simon has said to stop marching).

For more advanced skaters you can remove the "Simon says..." aspect and simply have a commander-in-chief who tells the others what to do in rapid succession ("Jump, down, shuffle left, shuffle right, down, up, run, stop, back, shuffle right...").  That can transform this into a conditioning or endurance drill as well.

Additional notes: This is a fun way both to start and to end practice, and it's a good way for a skater to practice doing what they are being told (that sounds wrong but bear with me here).  Derby is a team sport and it should show when you are playing.  Even if you disagree with the strategy your teammate is commanding the pack to execute, it is better to fail as a team than to go it alone.  We need each other on the track -- the jammers need the blockers to make holes, the blockers need the jammers to score points, the blockers need the blockers to protect points.  When you are on the track it is almost *always* better to do the wrong thing as a team than the right thing by yourself, because it's like we used to say in NHRD: "When you're alone, you're a loser." As a team we can accomplish anything.  And hell, if we fail, at least I didn't fail by myself.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Obstacle Course

Alternative names: Popsicle Horse
Objective: Customizable, but a basic obstacle course is great for developing agility
Typical length of drill: 15 minutes
Materials needed: Whatever you can think of!  Lots of cones to jump over, people to juke around around, pads to step over, lines at which to perform a fall, etc.
Skill level required: None -- you can customize every obstacle course to the skill level of your skaters
Description: Decide in advance if you want your obstacle course to be a continuous loop or a one-at-a-time set up where the other skaters do squats (or something similar) while waiting in line for their turn.  Set up obstacles around the track that create situations for skaters to practice something that you have been working on recently or something that they need to work on in particular (e.g. weaving, jumping, hopping, crossovers, backwards skating, falls, slides, stops, communication, sideways skating, stepping, etc.).  Once you are finished and have demonstrated for the skaters what they should be doing through the course, let them have at it!  Run the course for as long as needed, or until everyone has gotten to try it a couple of times.  The illustrations below show examples of obstacle courses.

Illustration of a one-at-a-time obstacle course.

Illustration of a continuous obstacle course with TWO paths to choose from.

Additional notes: This is a simple classic that can be customized to whatever your needs are.  The obstacle course can incorporate both simple and complex exercises, from toe stop walking and double knee slides to hits and turns.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ref Pace Line

The following drill was submitted by Riff Reff of the Stuttgart Valley Rollergirlz.

Alternative names: --
Objective: Getting used to make and pick up calls while skating
Typical length of drill: 15 minutes
Materials needed: --
Skill level required: --
Description: Form a pace line on the outside of the track. Skate at a moderate pace a good arm's length behind each other. The last person in line makes up a call (colour-number-verbal cue). The person in front repeats the call, then the next and so on until everyone has repeated the call. Once the first skater in the line made the call s/he takes off around the track and re-joins the pace line from behind. Then s/he makes a new call and so on.

You can increase the pace with every round. You should also change to non-derby direction halfway through the drill. Remind the participants to look back over their shoulder in the turns, towards the center of the track. The more experienced the participants are, the higher the call frequency and pace.

Variation: Form another pace line in the infield and zig zag the call across the track. Swap groups from inside to outside every couple minutes.

Additional notes: This is a good drill to take new and intermediate skaters' focus off their skating and getting them used to communicate calls and to look and listen for things around them. Also, this drill can be done while skaters are on the track.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Alternative names: Roller Dodge, Between Two Fires / Kahden tulen välissä
Objective: To get comfortable moving around on your skates; to improve your agility; to improve your reaction time; to practice playing both offense and defense at the same time (if playing with more than one ball)
Typical length of drill: 30 mins
Materials needed: Many cones or brightly colored painter's tape to mark out the different areas; one or more large, soft foam balls; 10 or more skaters divided into two separate teams
Skill level required: A command of basic skills is important so that no one gets injured
Description: Decide in advance if you will use one, two, or more balls in this game (directions below are for a game using TWO balls).

Make a large rectangle on the floor using your cones or painter's tape, and split the rectangle in half creating two facing courts.  The end zone behind each side of the court is "the field".    One player from each team is stationed in the field behind the opposing team's court (see illustration).  This way both teams are flanked by opponents on each side.  For the purpose of this explanation we will call this person "the cow".  Each cow gets a ball at the beginning of the game, and when the whistle blows, the cows are the first to start throwing the balls.  
Remember to always aim BELOW the neck when you throw the ball.

The object of the game is to hit people from the opposing team with the ball in order to send them to the field.  Once all members of one team are in the field, the opposing team wins the game.

The skaters who are on the court are allowed to catch and throw the balls as well.  If a ball is caught before it hits the ground, the thrower of the ball gets sent to the field.  In advanced game play, each time a ball is caught, a member of the catcher's team is simultanously allowed to return from the field to the court (you should decide in advance if you would like to play the game with this bonus, note that it makes the game longer).  Any time a ball hits a player before hitting the ground, that person is sent to the field.  This includes failed catches.  Players on the same team are allowed to pass the ball to one another, either by throwing or rolling (and you cannot send your own teammates to the field by doing this).  Players on the court are not allowed to retrieve balls from the field and players in the field are not allowed to retrieve balls from the court.  No one is permitted to retrieve balls from the opposing team's court or field.  Players in the field are allowed to pass the ball to the players on the court, and vice versa.

In the illustration below you will see that the field extends beyond the end zone to wrap around the courts completely.  Decide in advance if you wish to allow your cows to use the whole area around the court or only the end zone behind each court.

An illustration of a team of 6 yellow skaters playing
against a team of 6 green skaters, using an extended field.

Additional notes: Roller Dodge is an actual, legitimate sport, developed by Tom Green, a retired referee for the Dallas Derby Devils.  The version portrayed here in this drill is a bit different though, this one is based on a children's game.  I learned this one from my teammates in Finland and we had an incredible time playing it.  The game was not only fun but it was a great team builder, and I think this is an excellent way to do some bonding with the referees as they too like to have fun and they too need to work on their skating skills, agility, and reaction time!

Please note: This is a drill you can also do OFF skates!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

RMRG’s Blocking Drill

Tigre Force's guest blogging series: 5 drills from the Skater Progression Diagram.

Blocking: Positional and contact: RMRG's Blocking Drill

Alternative names: I bet this drill has a real name too, I learned it from the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls and so I named it after them
Objective: To keep the jammer behind a blocker wall of two
Typical length of drill: 20-30 mins
Materials needed: 8 cones
Skill level required: WFTDA minimum skills
Description: (see attachment)

The skaters are divided into four groups. Everybody gets to practice each position: inside blocker, outside blocker, jammer. The skaters form four lines inside the track on each turn. There are blockers in a line by the pivot line and jammers in a line by the jammer line. Both pivot and jammer lines are marked on each side of the track (four groups of skaters allow the skaters more time to practice this, since the rotation time is faster with more groups).

The blockers form a wall of two (on the pivot line on each side of the track), and their purpose is to keep the jammer behind them as long as they can. They should not pass the line marked by cones right behind the jammer line. If there is some heavy blocking, pushing or hitting involved, make sure the action ends at the cones, to make sure no one bumps into the jammers getting ready for their round.

Rotate the groups every 5 mins so that every skater gets to practice both blocking and jamming. The blockers should make sure they switch from inside to outside (and vice versa) on each round.

Additional notes: The drill probably has an official name. I didn’t catch it while skating with Rocky Mountain Rollergirls in August, 2011.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

If you can dodge a wrench...

Alternative names: --
Objective: Agility, balance, reaction time
Typical length of drill: 5-15 minutes (depends on the number of participants)
Materials needed: Four cones and 1 soft ball (or ball-like substitute, i.e. bunched up shirts or socks -- having to dodge your teammates' sweaty gear makes this drill even more effective)
Skill level required: None
Description: Mark out a medium-sized square on the floor with the cones. Each skater is going to stand in the middle of this square for 60 seconds (or until they get hit out) while the other skaters try to throw the ball at them. The skater's job is to dodge, duck, and avoid the ball, making this an excellent practice in balance, agility, and reaction time. If you want to make it competitive, time all of the skaters while they are in the middle to see who can avoid being hit by the ball the longest. Alternatively, create multiple groups of three and have two skaters on the outside of the square tossing the ball to each other while trying to hit the person in the middle. This way everyone can get more time inside the square, plus the skaters on the outside get practice as well. To challenge your skaters, shrink the size of the square.
Additional notes: This is a fun and easy drill that can really help people with their reaction skills and balance. I love sneaky drills like this where you are learning things without even realizing it. You are focusing so much on the ball and where it is being tossed that you forget your are on skates. This drill is appropriate for newer skaters, and it's also great if you're struggling with a small practice space!

If you like this drill, you might also enjoy dodgeball on skates!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Redbull and Cheetos and French Fries OH MY! Eating on the road when you travel for derby

Away games! YAY! Its always so exciting to travel for derby. You get to see new places, meet new people, and knock over total strangers. But what always remains constant is the ever pressing question of "Oh crap, what are we gonna eat?"

Traveling as an athlete can be tricky. Its not like that college road trip where Cheetos, Big Macs, and unlimited Mountain Dew become totally acceptable for the long weekend. Nope. You've got a game (or games) to skate and traveling alone will take enough out of you so its important to fuel yourself properly to be ready to dish out a health serving of ass kicking once you get there. 

So how the F*#k do you travel and manage to stay game ready?

One word for you: PREPLAN

Its key to preplan and pack what you're going to need for the weekend instead of hoping you can just wing it through the weekend.

My Packing list for Dust Devil last weekend included:

Formula 1  and Protein Drink Mix (2 scoops of each of these two together can be a 200 calories 24 grams of protein healthy meal anywhere you get stuck. just add water)

Protein Bars - so much better than snickers or other gas station crap. Having it packed ahead of time makes those gas stops easier to avoid making bad decisions.

Almonds and Cranberries- a great snack just don't eat the whole bag! Raw or roasted, skip the salted or sugar coated...or chocolate covered.

Celery and Peanut Butter is a great on the go healthy snack as well but again, if you find yourself licking the bottom of the jar you may have gone too far.

Apples and Cucumbers and Banannas and other easily portable fruits and veggies

Hydrate - low calories electrolytes to drink throughout the day because car rides and planes dehydrate you but you don't need the sugars from a sugary hydration drink if you're sitting around. Ever notice you get a headache when you travel? Sip a hydrate and you'll likely feel loads better.

Restore - take 2 at night to reduce exercise induced inflammation and keep you from getting super sore the next day. This is a lifesaver for tournament weekends. While your opponents wake up day two of a tourney and feel like 80 year old grannies, you will wake up ready to hip check the world!

Best Defense - Airplanes especially carry butt loads of germs. I start taking best defense before I even get on the flight and take it throughout an entire tournament weekend. You will be exchanging sweat with lots of ladies over the weekend (both at the bar and on the track) so its important to keep your immune system strong. The echinacea and vitamin C in here will keep your immune system game ready all weekend.

Prepare, Prolong, Liftoff, Rebuild Endurance my pre/during/post game ritual of awesomeness... you can read about these in my other blogs. Today we're talking about travel eating.

 I also suggest that you ask your hotels to give you a fridge and then find the nearest grocery store and stock up on veggies, fruits and hopefully fresh deli meat.  Usually the hotel breakfast is carb city with minimal protein options and its always good to try and keep your travel food routine as close to your home eating routine as possible so I will always make a shake in the room for breakfast then swing by the Hotel complimentary breakfast to grab some fruit, yogurt and granola to take to the track a mid morning snack if they have it. But, the great thing about preplanning and packing what i mentioned above is I can have a shake for breakfast, a shake pregame, a few snacks and only really have to find one solid meal out in the traveling madness each day.

This is Krissy Krash, signing off! You can always hit me up with questions, for advice, to give feed back, or for a free nutrition and performance profile at Plus if you want to try out anything I mentioned above or you are are ready to get your ass in gear, you can get 10% off plus free 1:1 coaching from yours truely by hitting up by using the coupon code  AllDerbyDrills 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Food is Fuel - The Skinny on Carbs, Calories and Proteins

Food is fuel. 
Your body is a lean, mean, roller derby machine....or a broken down junker...depending on the kind of fuel you put in it and how long you leave it sitting stagnant in the garage (or in front of the TV). Its important that as athletes we get a combination of whole foods and supplementation in order to get everything the body needs. So how do we weed through the crap and look at nutritional facts to know whats right for what? Especially with so many high tech nutrition products on the market, its hard to know what you are supposed to take for what and why.

A lot of times when I sit down with skaters to do a free nutrition profile one of the first things I see is that their diet is very high in carbs and very low in protein (yes, you can have one too. click here and send me your info). On average a woman needs between 90-150 grams of protein depending on her height and weight (1 gram for every pound of lean body mass, not over all weight). Most women I talk to get about 30 per day. If are an active person, you need protein to maintain and build lean body mass, ward off hunger, maintain great energy, and keep your blood sugar even. One of the first things I work on with someone is becoming are of how much protein is in the food they are eating which means reading nutrition labels!
Lets compare 3 labels and talk about what a roller derby athletes should look for on a lable based on Meal, Snack, or Workout fuel.

3 main pieces to look at when you are first learning to read lables. 1) Protein 2) Carbohydrates - mainly sugar and fiber 3) Calories

Protein MEALS Shoot for about 15-30 grams of protein depending on your protein requirement  (yes, I can map out your protein requirement, click here and send me your info with PROTEIN in the notes section). Pre-workout meal I always opt for a Formula 1 sport  because I hate burping up dinner during practice. Or if making a meal 1/3 lean protein 2/3 complex carbs.

SNACKS - Shoot for 10-15 grams of protein...20 if youre a beast like me :-). The protein bars a re good snack because its not too high in sugar but greek yogurt and fruit/veggies is a good one too. 
WORKOUT FUEL -  5 grams of protein is enough during workouts to prevent muscle breakdown. You don't want your body eating your muscle for fuel but you don't want to be gobbling down a chicken breast in between jams either.

Carbohydrates First off let me say CARBS ARE NOT BAD! You need them for fuel! If you are doing any type of long over 2 hour plus endurance exercise, you want to be sure to get upwards of 60-70 grams of carbs HOWEVER, this is NON STOP 2 hours of exercise! Like cycling, distance running, etc. 

When checking out labels know where you carbs are coming from. Are they sugars, fiber, other carbs? 

MEALS - When looking at carb contents of dinners you want 2/3 of the calories to come from carbs (ideally complex carbs high in fiber). Before I became a health coach and learned about nutrition I used to eat a box of Cheese Its for lunch...don't laugh, I did! But I was always hungry soon after and never felt energized. This is because there was 18 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat PER SERVING! Mind you I was eating about 10 servings of Cheese Its which is 180 g carbs and 80 grams of fat in one meal! That means 45% of my calories were from carbs and 45 from fat and only 10% from protein which left me feeling sluggish. The formula 1 shake alternatively has 13grams carbs, 9 grams protein and 1 gram fat.

Herbalife Protein Bar Deluxe

SNACKS - Watch the carb content of your snacks. Too many carbs and you are doomed for a blood sugar crash! I tend to keep the sugars low (below 12 grams) and fiber high (you need 28 grams a day!!) in my snacks. A protein bar and some veggies is a perfect snack. Or use greek yogurt as dip for your fiber packed veggies ( I add protein soup mix to mine for low carb high protein salty amazingness) Power Bars and Lara Bars are very high sugar/high carb snacks intended for those who are doing endurance workouts.

WORKOUT FUEL -   Sugars are important during your workouts. Yes I said it, you need some sugar while you work out. This is your bodies easy access fuel source. Shoot for no atrifical sweeteners/colors and also a combination of fast and slow carbs (frutose and maltodextrin) like prolong. 30-60 grams is perfect workout fuel plus electrolytes. If you are only doing a 1-2 hour workout just use 1 scoop prolong.  Most sports drinks use glucose and processed sugar which are faster absorbing sugars and wont give you a long lasting sustained energy. 

Calories MEALS 200-500 calories depending on your caloric requirement (yes, I can map out your RMR, click here and send me your info with CALORIES in the notes section). If you goal is to maintain you need to consume as much as you burn, to lose you can consume less (but only 500 calories less), to gain just eat more than you burn.

SNACKS- 150-300 calories depending on your total caloric requirement. Remember this is not a meal, its just a snack to keep your blood sugar up, tummy happy, and metabolism burning, you're not supposed to feel like you just at thanksgiving dinner.

WORKOUT FUEL A few hundred calories per hour is sufficient for derby. If you are trying to lose weight/lean out, be careful how much you over compensate. Not all calorie burned are created equal. While your body bug may say 1500 calorie burned, most of that came from glycogen (sugar) stores in your muscles as well as food you had in your system and is NOT equivalent to that burger, fries, and a beer you totally justified consuming at the bar after practice.

Bottom line is its all about balance and finding out whats right for you and your body. As you begin to eat healthier you will be more in tuned with what your body needs. You don't have to be a nutrition label reader extraordinaire right away but just start to be aware of what your are putting in your body and make small adjustments. And, as always, feel free to contact me with questions, comments, and love!

Ready to get your ass in gear? Get 10% off by using the coupon code  AllDerbyDrills

A little motivational amazingness for you! Enjoy!

See more extended nutritional details

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Myth of the Burn!

"Wow! That was an EPIC practice! Judging by my sweat soaked shirt, we must have burned like a million calories!! Lets look on and see how many calories we burned! Ok I will enter in 2 hours of aerobic exercise. Wow look at that, it says we burned 2500 calories! We are so awesome! We TOTALLY deserve some pizza and beer now because clearly we burned at least that much during our practice!"

We all do this, either weekly or at least every once in a while. We assume that 1) the internet knows everything 2) a sweaty shirt = massive calorie burn. As a result, we decide to reward our awesome athletic workout with a bunch of trash that does nothing good for an athlete's body. Two things to watch out for as you work on building your endurance, getting lean, and increasing strength:

1. You do not burn as many calories as you think you do.
2. Crap food as a reward for a job well done.

Ok, lets talk calories out vs calories in. We do not BURN a cheese burger on the track. Our body burns carbs, fats, and proteins at different rates and I promise you, you did NOT burn enough fat during your workout to make that cheese burger and fries at the bar justifiable. Be conscious of using online calorie burning trackers. While we at Derbalife do recommend you track your calorie/food intake as part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and nutrition program (get me as your FREE online coach and log your food by using this link to track food and progress, mobile site is available to!), we want to caution you that online calorie burning programs are NOT accurate. Calories burned varies based on height, weight, exertion, rest times, # of jams skated, BMI, body fat percentage, and amount of lean body mass you carry.

According to Runners Magazine this month, running a 12 minute mile pace for an HOUR burns 470 calories if you are 130 lbs, 582 calories if you are 160 lbs, and 690 calories if you are 190 lbs.  So you can imagine that if you are stop-go-stop-go-stop-go on the track or doing drills with rest in between that you are not going to burn quite as much as you anticipated. Plus if you are actually trying to lose fat/get lean, you would want to consider that these calories are like an extra credit burn! Why eat back the calories you just worked so hard to burn off?

Did you REALLY earn THAT?!?!? We all do it. Practice is over, you head home or to the bar and you convince yourself that you totally earned that burrito, pitcher of beer, pint of ice cream, ____insert crap food here___.

But here is the deal. You are an athlete. Your body is getting beat to crap and dumping junk in after practice doesn't help your recovery time, nor does it make those lift and separates look any better in that next bout photo. So that being said, food is awesome and yummy and yes we do deserve a treat for a job well done but keep it in check. Life and health are about balance. Find things you love but that wont do too much damage if you have them from time to time. Skinny Cow is my go to treat if I want to indulge. Most times though, after practice I will mix up a Formula 1 shake with added protein, or I will have a Rebuild Strength shake because it satisfies my sweet tooth and helps my body to recover faster or if I want salty I will roll up spinach inside of Turkey Deli slices for a perfect recovery treat. YUM!

If I do end up out with my team, I order a salad with chicken if they have it or if all else fails a few protein packed chicken wings and celery are waaaay better than high fat high carb pizza or nachos.

What is all boils down to is that you are an athlete. You practice hard, you focus, and you want to stay strong and injury free. A key piece of that is keeping your self nourished. Making sure you hit your Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy on a cellular level, getting the right balance of carbs/protein/fat, watching those calories. If you take care of your body and treat it well, you will have an amazing successful, ass kicking life in roller derby for many years to come! 

Want me as your FREE online coach with a great food log/progress tracker program? to track food and progress - mobile site is available to!

Its like facebook meets food log! Great for anyone who wants to track their food, lose/gain/maintain weight, or to stay accountable.

Register for free, connect with me for a free nutrition profile, and join the All Derby Drills group on ichange to connect with other skaters around the world!

This is Krissy Krash, signing off! You can always hit me up with questions, for advice, to give feed back, or for a free nutrition and performance profile at

Ready to get your ass in gear? Get 10% off by using the coupon code  AllDerbyDrills 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pants Off Dance Off On Skates Work-Out

The following drill is a guest post by Smarty Pants of the Texas Rollergirls; she is the creator of this drill.

Alternative names: Pants Off Dance Off
Objective: Getting a great workout while having fun; improving your blocking skills
Typical length of drill: 30-60 minutes
Materials needed: 
  • You will need a way to play music at a pretty good volume- think dance party.
  • You will need a pretty good, upbeat dance mix. I prefer sometime from the 80s think Pretty and Pink or 90s hip-hop.
  • You will need your skates and your pads if you want to skate. If you do not have access to a rink, you can do this off skates, which can be just as rewarding, simply different.
  • Basically you will dance- practicing booty blocking and you will do other exercises for a set amount of time.
  • I recommend at least 30 minutes if you are short on time and up to an hour if you’re also going to do something else that is active later that day.
  • Be creative! Try to come up with some cool work-outs. Just imagine what would happen if you combined going out with your friends dancing with body circuits.
Skill level required: None
Description: I like to lead on-skates workouts that encourage skaters to sweat and exercise while having a good time and challenging their skater skills.

60 minute Pants Off Dance Off

Start with dancing for a 10-minute warm-up- pretend you are attempting to impersonate the ladies in music videos- you know the ones in short shorts and bras… I recommend the music mix start mild and build up over a 10-minute period.

Follow this warm-up with a 5-minute dynamic stretch and quick water.

Next go into hip blocking and sprinting for 10 minutes- have skaters hit hard and furious, attempting to get as many hip checks in as possible during a 60 second period, then have them sprint as many laps as possible during a 60 second period.

Throw in another 5-minute dynamic stretch and quick water.

For the next 15 minutes you will spend 60 seconds blocking on your knees (see description below), 60 seconds dancing, and 60 seconds sprinting.

  • Hip blocking while kneeling is something I like to do with fresh meat who have yet to feel stable on their skates but who need to practice blocking- they can simulate many of the same movements while kneeling not having to worry about loosing their balance, but getting to hit hard.  For ladies with injured knees (hopefully not everyone…) have them stand and do regular hip blocking.

Throw in another 5-minute dynamic stretch and grab more water.

Finish your workout with 10-minute body circuits, 45 seconds on, 15 seconds off of the following:
  • Kayak crunches
  • Jack-knives
  • Squats
  • Right side plank
  • Front to side crunches
  • Left side plank
  • Sculling sit-ups
  • Push-ups
  • Scissor kicks
  • Plank

Quick 30 Pants Off Dance Off

Salt-n-Pepa in 1987
  • 10 minute- warm-up dancing to your favorite hip-hop mix. Pretend that you are practicing to try out for a Salt n Pepper music video; you know what I’m talking about…
  • 5 minutes- dynamic stretching with 2 sets of crunches for 60 seconds
  • 10 minutes- 60 seconds dancing 60 seconds squatting x 5
  • 5 minutes- dynamic stretching with 2 sets of crunches for 60 seconds

Additional notes: To see more of Smarty Pants' guest posts, click here.