Derrell is the founder of In-Tech Skills and Conditioning, committed to the advancement of performance training and injury prevention.
- When did your athletic career begin?My athletic career started at age 8 playing football for the Scarborough Thunder. At age 10 I began playing hockey with the Unionville Jets. I naturally excelled at track and football, and set records at a young age, however my passion, which I originally shared with my father, was always hockey.
- What type of adversity have you had to overcome as an athlete?Starting hockey at age 10 is later then most, and I was left to play catch up. Although I was extremely fast, I lacked knowledge of the sport. I tended to make high level teams, but would get very little playing time because the experience wasn’t there. My work ethic took me a long way. Eventually it clicked, and I started to understand the game. I was casted on the CBC television show “Making the Cut”, received a scholarship to Oswego State, and went on to win a National championship title. Following Oswego, I played minor pro hockey.
- How has working out impacted your life?My father would often recite to me a quote when you are sleeping, someone else is always working. Whatever talent I lacked, I was aware that my work ethic would constantly pay off. I eventually began surpassing guys that had been scouted higher, so I continued on that path. I also had the opportunity to learn from some of the greats in the process. I had the opportunity to train in L.A with TR Goodman, and worked with physiotherapists and chiropractors in NY. I can’t forget my track coaches: Ben Jonson, Val Gross, and Desi Williams. My experiences with all of these people led me to continue my growth after my playing career was over. I began a mentorship program for athletes originally within the realm of hockey. This included training, nutrition, on-ice skill development, and goal setting. I was able to utilize my playing experience, training experience, and school experience to create an all-encompassing mentorship program, which has aided many athletes in reaching the NHL. The program continued to develop to include a variety of sports, coaches, and mentors, however the goal is always the same: to empower individuals to be the absolute best they can be.
- How often do you work out and for how long?Personally, I train 4 -5 times per week based on my schedule, energy levels, and time of season.
- What is your #1 workout tip?Build from within: everyone walks and crawls differently, and the body naturally compensates for any imbalances. Imbalances can create injury. Learning to activate specific muscles and utilize core strength properly should be the primary goal. Once this is achieved, all other fitness, strength, and athletic goals can be both achieved and maintained more efficiently. Not to mention, longevity in life, and in sport, is the key to success.
Lorne’s Take – I first met Derrell about five years ago at Advantage4Athletes. I could quickly tell that he was a high-level athlete and a great person to learn from. It looks like the apple didn’t fall far from the tree — Derrell’s Dad had great advice “When you are sleeping, someone else is always working”.