Phit for a Queen: A Female Athlete Podcast
Female Brain Injury In Sport: What We Know and Still Need to Know.

Female Brain Injury In Sport: What We Know and Still Need to Know.

October 18, 2019

 Dr. Donna Duffy dives into the impact of concussions on females, how women and girls present and recover differently, and how much we still don’t know about this injury in sport.


* You get a concussion when you have a blow to the head and body that causes your brain to move back and forth in your skull. Your brain can have different reactions when this happens, there is disruption there and this can be a concussive experience. Body blows can also cause a concussion.

* The HPA axis is something that can make a concussive experience different for women and girls. Progesterone and estrogen are released when from the HPA axis when the brain sustains trauma, and this is a hugely under-researched topic.

* The disruption from the concussion can cause these hormones not to produce and secrete like they are supposed to.

* Dr. Duffy is interested in sub-concussive trauma; trauma to the brain that does not result in immediate symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, nausea, loss of consciousness. Sub concussive trauma is not something that disrupts play or your regular activities.

* Most athletes know how to work around the assessment of a concussion to go out and return to play.

*Some researchers believe that women present stronger or more exaggerated symptoms, and they take longer to recover. Dr. Duffy argues that there is some bias in some of the research and literature and how it has been written in terms of female concussions.

You Know She is Legit:


Dr. Donna Duffy has a joint appointment at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG)-Donna is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology (KIN) and a Director in the Center for Women’s Health and Wellness (CWHW) in the School of Health and Human Sciences. Donna completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Kinesiology at UNCG in 2007. Prior to coming to UNCG, Donna completed her B.S. and her M.Ed. at Boston University in Boston, MA. Donna has graduate faculty status at UNCG where she teaches in the Athletic Training Program and the Ed.D program. Donna also coordinates the undergraduate Sport Coaching Minor in KIN. Donna has an active research agenda called the Female Behavior and Recovery after Injury and Neurotrauma (BRAIN) Project, focused on neuroendocrine function and dysfunction in female athletes after a concussion, as well as the cognitive and neuromotor consequences of a concussion. Donna is also involved with research projects in the Virtual Environment for Assessment and Rehabilitation Laboratory (VEAR) under the direction of Dr. Chris Rhea at UNCG, where she is focused on neuromotor function and changes of female athletes before and after a concussion. In addition, Donna collaborates closely with Dr. Jenny Etiner, Dr. Laurie Wideman, Dr. Scott Ross and Dr. Will Adams at UNCG. Donna also has research collaborations with many faculty and clinicians outside of UNCG including the Female Athlete Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, the CTE Center in the School of Medicine at Boston University, Gaelic Games for Girls at University College Cork, in Cork Ireland and with various community organizations including, Greensboro Roller Derby, PINK Concussions, the Girls Athletic Leadership Schools in Denver and Girl Fit in Newton, MA. Donna is the Research Consultant for PINK Concussions and serves on their Board of Advisors. Donna also holds a Research Scientist position under Dr. Kate Ackerman at Boston Children’s Hospital and Donna was a Visiting Research Scientist in the Department of Neurology and the CTE Center in the School of Medicine at Boston University. Donna is on the Board of Directors at the Women’s Resource Center in Greensboro, NC and serves as the Managing Editor of the Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal. Donna's research on female athletes and head injuries has been published in several peer-reviewed journals and Donna was recently quoted in the NY Times on her work related to female athletes and concussions and has been a guest on several podcasts.


How to Connect and work with Dr. Donna Duffy:

UNC Greensboro Center of Women’s Health and Wellness



Adam McAboy shares “Why He developed a community for athletes to not feel alone- The Athlete’s Village.”  on Phit for a Queen.

Adam McAboy shares “Why He developed a community for athletes to not feel alone- The Athlete’s Village.” on Phit for a Queen.

October 11, 2019

Adam McAboy shares “Why He developed a community for athletes to not feel alone- The Athlete’s Village.” on Phit for a Queen.


  • Found people were like sponges for expert information.
  • Found now as coaches he and Mark Henderson (swimmer in the Atlanta Olympics) were in the same boat.
  • Wanted a platform for current and former athletes to give back to sport.
  • As an athlete, we avoid showing weakness.
  • The Village brings about many different perspectives.
  • Can follow many different areas of interest or topics
  • Athletes can post questions even anonymously
  • Experts in the community love to support



So you know he is legit:

Adam has privately coached and mentored many young athletes and has worked as a coach for the Novato, CA mountain biking teams.  He enjoys working to understand the individual athlete's strengths and vulnerabilities and developing an individualized plan, according to the needs of the young person.  He finds great joy in watching young people develop not only into more fulfilled and healthier athletes but also (even more importantly) into stronger, more complete and balanced individuals.  It is to this end that Adam has joined forces with fellow Cal Alumnus and Olympic swimmer, Mark Henderson, to create The Athletes Village, a business that focuses on making an athlete's experience in sports more rewarding and fun by offering valuable, relevant sports information.   Adam's drive and enthusiasm for the task at hand, coupled with his strong ability to bring people together to communicate and create effectively, will help the Athletes Village achieve its goal of inspiring and educating young people to obtain their potential in sports and in life. 

Currently, 70% of kids who start organized sports in the United States will quit by the age of 13.  Even more disturbingly, a child under the age of 17 is brought to the E.R. in the United States every 25 seconds with a sports-related injury, a stat that many experts believe can be significantly cut by injury prevention education.  The Athletes Village is working to change this sad reality and to ensure that all levels of young athletes, their parents, and coaches, have a fun, healthy, character-building sports experience.  Ultimately, The Athletes Village aims to create "athletes for life".



Our mission is twofold. First, we want to help athletes, parents, and coaches achieve their dreams, avoid injuries and have more fun regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, financial status or location.


Second, we are building a platform where current and former athletes can go to give back to the sport they love, support the next generation and eventually make some extra income when we build our marketplace.


Why I decided to build the Athletes Village.

I have always believed that it is important to continue to push one’s self and to pursue new ventures. This can include anything from cooking or playing an instrument, to learning about history or other languages to learning new sports and skills. Even though it has been years since I competed at a high level, I have always felt connected to track and field and have enjoyed working with kids of many levels. As my friends’ kids entered high school sports, I found myself being called upon more and more for advice for their kids who were taking up running. Even though my experience was years old, the “expertise” that I possessed was something valuable for my friends and their kids.

My co-founder, Mark, was having the same experience. And to add to that, he was having a difficult time finding valuable information on how to coach his own kids in sports that he never engaged in. In 2015, Mark and I had a conversation about this and decided that we should try to build a platform that would solve these issues.



Brain Tools from a Sports Psychologist

Brain Tools from a Sports Psychologist

October 4, 2019

Dr. Erin Haugen is a Sports Psychologist working with athletes and high performers. She shares some of her tips and tools for tackling some negative self-talk that can impact our performance.


  • Haugen shares how she has been involved in educating on mental health and breaking mental health stigmas within the athletic training field. Collaborating with other fields within the sports world helps the athlete as well as our own well being.
  • Something that Dr. Haugen focuses on in therapy with athletes and high performers is focusing on the negative mindset that they might have and focusing more on the middle ground and having a non-judgemental stance.
  • We need to be aware when we are "scolding on ourselves” Let’s put away our shoulds about something we did, and let’s look at the why.


You Know She’s Legit:


Erin Haugen, Ph.D., LP, CMPC, is a licensed clinical psychologist and sport psychologist in Grand Forks, ND. She is passionate about sport performance, athlete mental health, interprofessional practice, and professional well-being.

Dr. Haugen has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at River Valley Services/Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown, CT and post-doctoral residency at the University of California, Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, CA. She works with athletes from over 20 different sports from recreational to elite (Olympic and professional) levels and specializes in working with collegiate student-athletes.

Dr. Haugen is employed at Assessment and Therapy Associates of Grand Forks (ATAGF), PLLC. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Dakota and faculty member at Altru Family Medicine Residency. She teaches sports medicine fellows from family medicine and physical therapy as well as athletic training students. She provides consultation and mentorship for professionals interested in enhancing their work with athletes or pursuing the CMPC credential. She is also a past president of the North Dakota State Board of Psychologist Examiners (NDSBPE).

In her spare time, Dr. Haugen competes in triathlons and enjoys camping and hiking with her husband and three border collie mix rescue dogs: Molly, Fromm, and Eddie.


To find out more about Dr. Haugen’s work and practice information go to:

Nancy Clark shares on PHIT for a Queen what to expect in the 6th edition of her Sports Nutrition guidebook as to what things change and was things stay the same.

Nancy Clark shares on PHIT for a Queen what to expect in the 6th edition of her Sports Nutrition guidebook as to what things change and was things stay the same.

September 27, 2019

Nancy Clark shares on PHIT for a Queen what to expect in the 6th edition of her Sports Nutrition guidebook as to what things change and was things stay the same.


  • It is a whole another food culture we live in
  • Help athletes under the controversy
  • The ultimate goal is to make sure an athlete’s muscles are well-fueled
  • We forget about whole food comes in a whole matrix & synergistic compounds
  • Keep the recipes simple- 6 ingredients or less, nothing strange & easy to prepare.
  • Be responsible with your nutrition just as you would with your training.
  • Put the structure back into your meals
  • Food is Fuel, hunger is a request for fuel
  • Recipes focus on how to use popular food trends such as chia seeds.



Mental Health Advocate, Olympic Gold Medalist Samantha Livingstone

Mental Health Advocate, Olympic Gold Medalist Samantha Livingstone

September 20, 2019


At 18 years of age, Samantha won a gold medal but that was only the start of her journey as an athlete and mental health advocate. She shares with us how she went about shattering her perfectionist armor and how she is supporting athletes to do the same. nt leaders.


* Samantha was 18 years old when she won her Olympic Gold Medal.  She shares with us about this experience and the mentors she had along the way.  Her first passion was soccer but she got that medal in swimming!

* At 13 years of age, Samantha’s mom picked up on some behaviors that she noticed that Samantha was not happy in the sport environment that led her to leave a toxic sport club and move on to better! 

* Hitting the pinnacle of her career at 18, Samantha showed up at college to swim with a case of imposter syndrome struggling with overwhelming emotions and disordered eating.

* Through a critical event in her daughter’s life, she shares how she had to let her perfectionist armor shatter to figure out how to move forward, tolerate uncertainty, and cope with anxiety.

*   Samantha is back in the athletic arena with the goal to build an empowered village where all athletes feel safe, supported and seen! 

You Know She is Legit:

Samantha Arsenault Livingstone is an Olympic Gold Medalist, high-performance consultant, mental performance coach, speaker, educator and entrepreneur. She is the founder of Livingstone High Performance, LLC., and two, multi-module online courses, the Rise Free Academy and Ride the Wave: A Bootcamp to Strengthen Our Emotional Agility — inspiring, empowering and equipping athletes, coaches and female leaders with the skills they need to become more mindful, courageous, resilient leaders.

In addition to private and group coaching, Samantha consults with teams and organizations on athlete wellness initiatives, leadership, strategic planning, rising skills and developing high-performance cultures. She is a certified instructor of Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement (MSPE) and as of September 1, 2019, will be a certified instructor of Mental Health First Aid.

Take the five day I AM challenge and join Samantha’s private community space to link arms, connect + participate in her free challenges.

Samantha and her husband, Rob, live in the Berkshires with their four girls.


How to Connect and work with Samantha:

“They are more than JUST athletes.” Dr. Claire-Marie Roberts shares on PHIT for a Queen

“They are more than JUST athletes.” Dr. Claire-Marie Roberts shares on PHIT for a Queen

September 13, 2019

Dr. Claire-Marie Roberts shares on PHIT for a Queen why it is important for her athletes to know “They are more than JUST athletes.


  • Her experience as a swimmer helped her experience sports psychology first hand.


  • Sports psychology even though she knew was her passion ended up being a second career however her experience as a civil engineer helped her navigate a male-dominated field.


  • She has created an interdisciplinary approach focusing her efforts on the staff that works with the athletes treating them holistically and compassionately.


  • Many female athletes felt they had to postpone motherhood until they were done with their athletic career.


  • Women now are showing that you can come back to sport after having a child.


  • Society expectations, physical difficulties and no guarantees all make the return to sport difficult for female athletes.


  • For professional athletes’ pregnancy is treated in the same manner as a doping violation.


  • There needs to be more education regarding how to get athletes back to sport after giving birth. 


The Exercising Female

Twitter- @robertscm

Women in Sport & Exercise-@WISE_AN



So you know she is legit:


Claire-Marie is a Visiting Research Fellow in Sport & Exercise Psychology. She combines her academic work with her role at 

The Premier League, managing Coach, and Football Manager development. Other examples of her roles in high-performance sport involve working with national governing bodies of sport, professional sports teams, individual athletes, their parents, coaches and sports scientists. She has helped prepare a number of athletes and teams for international competitions including the Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games. Her role as a British Olympic Association Psychologist at the London 2012 Olympics was to date, her career highlight.

Her experiences of working with athletes reflect her research interests that include sport neuropsychology (specifically concussion and traumatic brain injury), career transitions in elite sport, visual behavior in sport performance and women in sport. She specializes in working with elite adolescent athletes and their parents and is one of the U.K.'s first sport psychology specialists trained to deliver Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy.
Claire-Marie is a non-executive board director of UK Anti-Doping, founder of the Women in Sport Academic Network (WISEAN), a member of the Women in Sport Research Action Group, a TASS Registered Psychologist and STEM Ambassador. ​



Should I Go on the Pill? Physiology in the Female Athlete with Dr. Elliot-Sale

Should I Go on the Pill? Physiology in the Female Athlete with Dr. Elliot-Sale

September 6, 2019

Hormonal contraception and how it is used for the female athlete can be confusing with controversial opinions. Dr. Elliot-Sale joins us to clear things up on this topic!


  • Sale discusses the use of hormonal contraception in the female athlete, where is the place for it and when it should be used.
  • Sale did research in the UK looking at why female athletes were using hormonal birth control and results showed that many were using it to manipulate their cycle. 10:20
  • If you continue to use BCP year on year without break, that it may disrupt hormonal homeostasis.
  • If you have someone with low energy availability, the body is clever and it will stop the period which is a great early marker for something being off. If you are on hormonal contraception we lose that early warning sign.
  • There are many variations in hormones in birth control options and there could be different side effects with the female athlete depending on what type she is on. Education for the athletes is much needed!


You Know She’s Legit:


Dr. Elliott-Sale completed her undergraduate degree and Ph.D. [Exercise Physiology] at Liverpool John Moores University. Her Ph.D. examined the effects of female reproductive hormones on muscle strength and since then her work has mainly focused on female athletes. She worked as a Lecturer at Brunel University and the University of Brighton before undertaking a four-year Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at Kings College London. Dr Elliott-Sale joined Nottingham Trent University (NTU) in September 2009. In addition to her research on female athletes [the Female Athlete Triad and Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport], her work in recent years has involved designing exercise interventions for weight management in overweight and obese pregnant and postpartum women. She is an Associate Professor [Reader] of Female Physiology and the Head of the Musculoskeletal Physiology Research Group at NTU

To find out more about Dr. Elliot-Sales work and research go to:

Dr. Elliot-Sale is a huge fan of 261 Fearless and so are we! If you haven’t heard of this organization, check it out!

Dr. Caroline Silby  shares  how  “strategies to align sports performance with capability” on PHIT for a Queen podcast

Dr. Caroline Silby shares how “strategies to align sports performance with capability” on PHIT for a Queen podcast

July 1, 2019

Dr. Caroline Silby shares how “strategies to align sports performance with capability” on PHIT for a Queen podcast:


  1. The Sports Scene should be used to model and develop confident, healthy adults.
  2. Align sports performance with capability.
  3. We have to identify the qualities that make you successful but also identify the qualities that need to have balance.
  4. Works with the American Girl company on projects empowering young girls through books


You can find Dr. Silby and her books at:


So you know she is legit:

Caroline Silby, Ph.D. holds a Doctorate and Master Degree of Sports Psychology from the University of Virginia. She is a nationally recognized expert on the development of elite athletes, author of, Games Girls Play: Understanding and Guiding Young Female Athletes (St. Martin’s Press, 2000, 2001), contributing author to, Sports Secrets and Spirit Stuff (American Girl Company, 2006) and The Female Athlete (Boston Children’s Hospital Harvard & Springer Publishing, May 2016) and just released A Smart Girls Guide: Sports and Fitness: How to Use Your Body and Mind To Play and Feel Your Best (American Girl Company, February, 2018). Dr. Silby spent twelve years as adjunct faculty at American University and continues to serve as a consultant to their sports teams. She has worked on an individual basis with two Olympic Gold Medalists, over 20 Olympians, two Paralympian Gold Medalists, four World Champions, fifteen National Champions, dozens of professional dancers and hundreds of National Team members and Division I student-athletes, teams and their coaches.           

As an elite athlete, Dr. Silby was a member of the National Figure Skating Team. She later served on the U.S. Figure Skating Association Board of Directors, Athlete Advisory Council and Sports Medicine Committee. Dr. Silby was appointed to the U.S. Olympic Committee Athlete Advisory Council, Collegiate Sports Council and Finance Committee.   Currently, she serves on the Sports Medicine Committees for the United States Figure Skating Association as well as the Professional Skater’s Association and is a member of the Medical Advisory Board for American Ballet Theatre. Formerly, she served as President of the Board of the Southwest Women’s Law Center and on the Education Committee for the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Dr. Silby has served as a spokesperson and consultant to the American Girl Company and is completing her second book with the company. She is a speaker for the US Department of State Sports United program. She has been a contributing writer to Sports Illustrated, Pointe Magazine, CheerProfessional and is an expert advisor to Faith Popcorn’s BRAINRESERVE, Center for Sports Parenting and Title IX Sports.

In her role as a featured speaker for SportsUnited, a US Department of State program, Dr. Silby has worked with basketball, tennis and soccer athletes and coaches from Morocco, Swaziland, Australia, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Colombia.

Dr. Silby is also a curriculum creator for Winning Play$, a financial education program for high school students, focusing on the psychological, emotional, and behavioral aspects of money. The program won the U.S. Department of Education’s Excellence in Economic Education Award in 2010. She also serves on the Advisory Board for FabLab, a Fox television series, aimed at encouraging girls to become engaged in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Dr. Silby is a sought-after expert and has appeared on numerous radio and television programs including the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, Tru-Television, ABC-Wide World of Sports, Oxygen Television, NPR and the Mitch Albom Show. She resides in Annapolis, Maryland where she has an active national practice.


John Hohlt from The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) shares on PHIT for a Queen how using Christ through sport to influence.

John Hohlt from The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) shares on PHIT for a Queen how using Christ through sport to influence.

June 28, 2019


John Hohlt from The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) shares on PHIT for a Queen how using Christ through sport to influence.



  • Went into coach due to the positive influence of his coach
  • We went to see the world transformed by Jesus through sport
  • Coaches can be the greatest influencer in the sports world
  • FCA wants to help complete the ministry
  • Coach’s words have power
  • We are called to be ambassadors for Christ, and this doesn’t change on the field
  • Do you want to be a legend, or do you want to build a legacy?


To learn more about FCA Camps in specific locations, visit and watch the 2019 FCA Camps video here.


View the media page for FCA here. For more information about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, visit FCA’s web site at, its Facebook page at or its Twitter feed @fcanews.


Learning more about FCA:

Throughout more than six decades, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.orghas worked to bring coaches and athletes together through large events, exciting Camps and impactful Huddles. But the small, intimate groups that meet for Bible studies, devotions and prayer help athletes to truly lean on their brothers and sisters in Christ—and become closer to Him in the process.

FCA offers hundreds of resources, from sports-themed devotional Bibles to Bible reading plans that athletes can complete alone or with others. All are designed to help coaches and athletes further their walk with God.

“When coaches and athletes come together in the exciting setting of a game or match, they can go all out for Jesus on the field,” said FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson. “But when they quiet their hearts, get into God’s Word and fellowship with their teammates in Christ, that’s when real Christian growth happens.”

For example, on the YouVersion Bible reading app, FCA offers several reading plans, such as the 31-day RISE Devotional for Competitors, the 31-day Undefeated Devotional for Competitors, the 10-day True Competitor Sports Devotional, the seven-day Heart of a Coach Devotional and the 31-day Relentless Devotional for Competitors, among others. Additionally, those who want to delve further into the stories of each FCA Magazine can also follow along with five-day reading plans that supplement the interesting and uplifting magazine content.

Under FCA’s numerous resources, coaches and athletes can find free devotionals, Bible studies, videos and reading plans for individuals, small groups or entire teams. Full collections on topics such as criticism, dedication, righteousness, injuries, accountability, fear and more allow coaches, team leaders, and parents to choose the subject that best fits each situation. FCA also offers free ice-breakers, games, and skits that can be utilized to bring groups together and help athletes get to know one another—all while deepening their learning about the Bible and God’s love and grace.


A Still Quiet Place. Mindfulness Techniques for the Athlete with Dr. Amy Saltzman

A Still Quiet Place. Mindfulness Techniques for the Athlete with Dr. Amy Saltzman

June 21, 2019

Mindfulness has found its place in sports! Dr. Saltzman discusses mindfulness and how it can lead to improved sport performance overall, reduce stress and increase the enjoyment of sport!


  • Saltzman defines mindfulness as paying attention to the here and now, with kindness and curiosity so we can choose our behavior. Mindfulness lets us tune in to our bodies and fine tune our athletic performance.
  • What is going on in our body when we practice mindfulness? Mindfulness increases problem-solving and emotional regulation, learning and memory and cognitive flexibility as well as decreases activation in our amygdala (our flight or fight region of the brain). The brain has neuroplasty which means we can change the wiring of our brain, and we can change it to be more resilient and compassionate. Cool, huh?!
  • Saltzman shares her most valuable tools for mindfulness; learning how to have your feelings without your feelings having you, learning how to respond instead of reacting and self-compassion.  
  • Mindfulness can be helpful for athletes but even more important, it can be helpful for coaches and parents even more! Dr. Saltzman shares some issues that are coming up with our young athletes and how it is impacting their health and happiness.
  • Saltzman has an online course for athletes, coaches, and parents. Get signed up and use the discount!! September classes to come.


You Know She’s Legit:


Amy Saltzman M.D. is an athlete, mindfulness coach, holistic physician, and devoted student of transformation. She is the author of A Still Quiet Place for Athletes: Mindfulness Skills for Achieving Peak Performance and Finding Flow in Sport and in Life. In 2018, the book was voted Changing the Game Project’s book of the year for Athletes. Dr. Amy’s offerings allow any athlete or team to develop mental, emotional, and spiritual skills for finding flow; the exact same skills are being used by an ever increasing number of college, professional and Olympic athletes. She offers in-person and online mindfulness training, to individual athletes, coaches and teams.



To find out more about Dr. Saltzman’s work, her book and to sign up for training go to:


Dr. Saltzman has generously offered a 10% discount for her upcoming Fall training in September. You can sign up now and put 10%PHIT in the scholarship box to receive!