Nick Perugini said he considers himself to be a sort of “coach-away-from-coach.”
A senior kinesiology major with a passion for exercise and body movement, Perugini has volunteered as a strength and conditioning coach for Temple varsity athletes in the basement of McGonigle Hall for nearly a year.
He volunteers three or four days a week and enjoys being able to train in what he calls a “good environment.”
When he’s not training Temple athletes, Perugini trains at CrossFit Love in Northern Liberties. Because he has trained the CrossFit team alongside their assistant coach, he considers himself part of the team, which he said has been to regionals four years in a row.
In high school, Perugini competed in football, track & field, baseball and powerlifting. His former coaches provided him with older equipment, which he used to create a gym in his off-campus Sydenham apartment.
Perugini specializes in mobilization and body maintenance and said he is “hooked” on strengthening and conditioning.
He also said he enjoys working on mobility and movement because “people who sit all day need to know to how to reverse the damage.”
Through his specialization, Perugini educates people about dealing with minor aches and pains and how to prevent them from occurring.
Perugini said he helps athletes follow programs that their head coaches put together for them. And his work doesn’t stop when he leaves the weight room – instead of using his free time for Netflix, Perugini said he spends hours researching techniques by watching online videos and reading to extend his knowledge.
“He’s a volunteer in every sense of the word,” said Sam Whitney, an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Temple who Perugini met when he first started volunteering.
Perugini said he tries to be a good motivator and relates to student-athletes more than other physical trainers because he is “in their shoes.”
Jaqi Kakalecik, a senior biochemistry major and a lacrosse goalie, said Perugini always encourages her to go after everyday and to do the best she can.
“When you’re around someone who’s always happy and energetic it’s hard not to be motivated by them,” Kakalecik said.
Kakalecik said she considers Perugini “a master at mobility.”
“He keeps it at a professional level,” Kakalecik said. “He’s there to get you to do what you need to be doing.”
Kakalecik said working on mobility drills with Perugini had a major impact on her athletic performance this year.
“He’s ahead of his time,” Whitney said.
Jane Babian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.