RPP Athletes… “Why I love My Job”


January 30,2014 – Nunzio Signore (B.A./N.A.S.M./F.M.S./P.E.S.)

Today is Sunday and I’m in a bit of a “reflective” mood.

While we work with kids from dozens of High Schools and Middle Schools in the area, I was thinking about the journey of starting a new business and what it takes to be the “go to” guy in the area.  Quite frankly what it takes are kids who put their trust in you and have a great work ethic.  In thinking back on the progress of one particular athlete this year, I felt compelled to write this blog.

Gabby Caccamo (Hudson Valley Hurricanes, Suffern High School) came into my gym looking a bit insecure and intimidated – like most kids do when they first step into the weight room.  She needed to lose some weight, but was already a decent pitcher (her velocity was around 51-52 mph).  I told her mother that if she was willing to put in the work, she would see drastic changes not only in her pitching but in her life.  Well, this year Gabby has lost 25 lbs and has gained 9 mph in velocity (at last check she was at 61 mph).  In addition to and more importantly, she has blossomed into a confident beautiful woman.  So much so that her mother walked into my gym one day with tears in her eyes talking about the great change in her daughter athletically and personally.  As a strength coach and a father (with a daughter) nothing gets better than that.  She continues to be a great role model for many young girls (my daughter being one of them), and an example of the power of strength training and hard work.


Collin MacDonald (University of New Hampshire) doesn’t play for the UNH because he was supposed to.  He goes to a D1 school in part because he drove 35 minutes each way to RPP 3-4 days per week and did everything his coaches asked him to do – gaining 17 lbs. of muscle in the process.


collinsled (2)

Cyrus Shirazi (Tri-State Arsenal, Don Bosco Prep) wasn’t visiting a top nationally ranked college baseball program this past weekend because he had a good season last year for Don Bosco.  He’s there in part because he trains 3 days per week at RPP and never complains about being tired (even after a throwing session on a Sunday morning when a lot of his friends are still sleeping).  He also plans to kick it up to 4 days per week when the season starts.  So there goes the “there’s not enough time to train” theory.  Cyrus knows there’s not enough time “not to”.  And oh by the way, Cyrus’ velocity is up from a range of 82-84 to 86-88 mph since September, while putting on 10lbs. of muscle.


Don Bosco Prep pitcher Robert Iametti didn’t pack on 15lbs. of muscle (going from 170 to 185 lbs.) and increasing his velocity from 82 m.p.h. to 85 m.p.h. since October during this off season by doing “speed and agility work” alone.  He got there by having one of the greatest work ethics (and quite frankly being one of the nicest kids I’ve ever met).  Robert’s endurance also increased tenfold by starting to monitor his heart rate while training to make sure his rest periods are long enough to maintain power throughout the whole workout.  When I suggested he do this, there were no questions asked, he just did it.  Here’s Robert at RPP.

RPP alone is not responsible for these athletes’ success, not by a long shot.  Nor are these young athletes our only guys who did what it takes to succeed this year.  I’m just demonstrating one piece of the puzzle in their preparation and strength training.  Throw in practice, school work, and nutrition and you get the perfect scenario.

The next time you find yourself wondering what it takes to get to the next level, ask yourself if you’re doing what you need to do now, to get to where you need to be in the future.

  1. Are you eating a good breakfast?  (Make sure you allow enough time!)
  2. Are you allowing 1 hour per day at least 3 days per week (even during in-season!!) to hit the gym? Don’t allow yourself to get too busy to maintain and improve your health.
  3. Are you spending hundreds of “dollars” and travelling to Showcases when you could be spending “time” on strength training and mobility work?  Go to the Showcase when you have something to SHOW!

In this world of automatic and short-term gratification, there is no magic pill.  Athletic success still takes time, consistency and commitment to attain long-term success.

And I’m glad that it does.  It presents us with the athletes who really want it.