We are here with Dominic Cancellieri, who just finished his sophomore year at Bergen Catholic. Dom is an awesome athlete playing both basketball and baseball at Bergen. He is also an excellent student. But I have to say that if anyone understands that strength training is integral part of an athlete’s success it’s Dom.
Nunzio: Dom thanks for being with us today. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am Dom Cancellieri from Wayne, New Jersey. As you mentioned I am a sophomore at Bergen Catholic. I have been a two-sport athlete playing basketball and baseball since I was about 4 years old. My primary sport is baseball but I also love basketball. I definitely take athletics and athletic training very seriously as you know. I want to be as strong as I can but I have also learned that I need to mobile and explosive as well.
Nunzio: I know you are also very focused on your academics. Can you tell me a little about how you balance academics and athletics?
Well, the price I pay is a loss of sleep, that’s for sure. It’s basically countless hours of hard work in both aspects, whether it’s in the gym or in the classroom. You have to focus on your homework for hours and not stop until the work is done. It seems like I am always studying and training for hours and hours every week.
Nunzio: I have to assume it gets tough in the winter when you are playing basketball, training for baseball and keeping up with your school work.
Yes, definitely. When all three are going on at once it gets pretty hectic.
Nunzio: You have spent a lot of time training here this past year working on your physicality, both off-season and in-season. I know your pitching velo is up from the fall now, consistently in the upper 80s, touching low 90s. Can you talk a little about what you think the training has done for you?
Training here at RPP, especially for baseball players, both pitchers and players is spot on. There is no better specialized training out there. Before this year, I used to train at the local gym. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was just trying to get big. I would just look in the mirror and try to get bigger. That caused my top velo to go down 4 mph. Then I started training here working on power, strength and speed and not just getting bigger. It’s all about having mobility and strength in all the right places. So, now my velo has shot up recently hitting 91 mph during the spring season.
Nunzio: I know you play for the Indiana Prospects Baseball Travel Program, a very high level program but can you tell me a little about how you ended up playing for a travel program out of Indiana?
Basically, sophomore year is the most important year in regards to college recruiting. So, I tried getting in touch with them. They are an extremely well known and well-respected travel baseball organization. A teammate of mine at Bergen also was very helpful with the introduction. He put in a good word about me. They put me on their best 16u team for the summer. I will be able to play in front of all the colleges of my dreams.
Nunzio: I know you have a big decision coming up soon. Tell me a little about what’s important to you when you think of college ball? And what you are looking for…
Obviously baseball is a huge aspect of it, but I am also looking for the best education I can get. It’s not all about baseball to me. I also want to make sure I land at a place that excels at academics as well. So that when I graduate, and perhaps not pursuing a pro career, I have a great education to fall back on. I definitely want to go to a school that can provide both, a great baseball program and great academics.
I am also a pitcher as well as a middle infielder so I am also looking to go in as a two-way player, if possible. But I am sure that will play itself out as I go through the recruiting process.
Nunzio: I don’t think I have ever asked you but what are your GPA and SAT scores?
My GPA is 4.6. My PSAT score was a 1,340 out of a possible 1,520. I am still waiting for my SAT scores. I took one AP course this year in European studies as a sophomore and I am planning on taking a couple more this coming year.
Nunzio: What advice do you have for younger student-athletes like yourself?
Basically, whatever sport you play for make sure you focus getting strong and mobile and explosive in the right places. If it’s football you should get as big and fast as you can, but if it’s baseball you also need to pay attention to mobility as well as strength and explosiveness. Work hard and go as hard as you can and definitely balance academics and sports. You have to find a way to make both work.
Nunzio: Awesome, Thanks Dom. Good luck this summer.
By Nunzio Signore (BA, CSCS, NASM, CPT, PES, FMS)