Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Get to Know Your Coach: Roy Napoli

Hello Everyone!

Athletes at AGSP get to work with the area's best sports performance coaches during their training sessions. Recently I did a Q&A with Coach Roy Napoli, check it out and get to know your coaches better!

Our athletes know you as Coach Roy Napoli, what does Coach Roy like to do outside of making athletes better?
Well, I really enjoy the outdoors, camping far away from busy cities and suburbs. I practice martial arts and like to play guitar and bass guitar for my church, where I teach Sunday School. I spend a lot of time learning to cook new things and love to read, particularly about history.

How did you get started working with athletes?
I was taught the value of strength and conditioning in high school by one of my football coaches, and after tearing my knee up my junior year, I had to find every edge possible to recover from surgery in time for my senior season. I read book after book and scoured the internet for reliable sources of information. After that season ended, my coaches let me apply the knowledge that I had found to our football team, and everything kind of grew from there.

Based on your experience, what is the one, biggest physical skill that today's athlete lacks? How do you address that need?
Oh just one?! Its a toss up between mobility and strength, many athletes are weak where they need strength, and too stiff where they need to be able to move. The hamstrings, glutes, and scapular retractors in particular are the weakest areas I see. At the same time, many athletes cannot move around their thoracic spine or their hips, and together this is limiting their performance and getting them injured. Specific mobility, flexiblity, and strength need attention every session.

You've been a Collegiate Division One Speed, Strength, and Conditioning Coach, how has time at the collegiate level helped your current athletes?
My time working as part of a Division One Strength Staff was invaluable. I learned so many things from the coaches who mentored me it would take an encyclopedia to cover it all. I learned how to train athletes who would play at the professional level, as well as how to help a walk on freshman develop into a contributing player for their team.

What do you like most about working with athletes?
I enjoy the process of an athlete's growth. One of the most rewarding experiences I have had was introducing a7th grader to a strength and conditioning program, and working with that athlete through signing day to play for a division one program six years later. Just like watching an athlete, who was a walk on freshman, make meaningful plays on the field/court four or five years later, knowing all the hard work they put in in the weightroom getting stronger and faster was paying off.

What advice would you give today's athlete?
Set goals and continue to work towards those goals. Make training a part of your life and stick with it, through ups and downs, eventually you will get where you want to go. Most of all remember to HAVE FUN!

Thanks Coach Roy for your great energy and great coaching!

Keep Training!

Akron General Sports Performance

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