December Coach of the  Month: Antonio Squillante, Head of Sport Performance and Training at USA Cycling

Interviewer: Welcome to an exclusive interview with Antonio Squillante, the Head of Sport Performance and Training for USA Cycling's Sprint Program. Antonio, thank you for joining us today. Let's start with your journey into the strength and conditioning profession.

Antonio Squillante: Thank you for having me. My journey into strength and conditioning began as an athlete first, participating in track and field and later American football during high school. Back in Italy, there wasn't a concept of a strength and conditioning coach. I took it upon myself to learn how to train and enhance my athletic performance.WhatsApp Image 2023-11-30 at 1.05.47 PM

Interviewer: What motivated you to transition from being an athlete to becoming a coach?

Antonio Squillante: Well, I wanted to become a better athlete, but the lack of coaching led me to delve into strength and conditioning. I started reading extensively, went to school, and it gradually became an all-consuming obsession.

Interviewer: Can you share your greatest coaching success story?

Antonio Squillante: Making it to the NSCA Board of Directors is, without a doubt, my greatest achievement, alongside working with coaching the USA Cycling's Sprint team. It's an honor to contribute to the field at such a significant level.

Interviewer: What are the top two most effective VBT methods you've used to improve the performance of your weightlifting athletes?

Antonio Squillante: Open sets and cluster sets have proven to be highly effective in improving the performance of my athletes.

Interviewer: Any advice for fellow coaches?

Antonio Squillante: Stay humble and stay hungry. Learn from all sports, from all athletes. Make sense of what you see using physiology to discern facts from fallacies. Keep learning and helping others develop their craft. There's as much learning in teaching and sharing as there is in reading. Never lose sight of practical applications. Keep it simple.

Interviewer: And for athletes looking to improve their performance?

Antonio Squillante: Focus on what matters the most. Don't try to be fancy unless you have covered the basics well first.

Interviewer: Anything else you'd like to share with our audience?

Antonio Squillante: Develop a system to track athlete readiness; it's a game-changer. Whether it's VBT or a simple jump test, build it into your program and use it consistently—every day, every week, year-round.

Interviewer: Finally, how can our audience connect with you or learn more about your work?

Antonio Squillante: You can find me on Instagram at @antonio_squillantecscs. It's mostly pictures of my family and our dog Dexter, but it's me, I promise.

Interviewer: Thank you, Antonio, for sharing your insights and experiences with us. Your dedication to the field and your impactful work with USA Cycling's Sprint Program are truly inspiring. We wish you continued success in your endeavors.

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