Nicholas Simonelli2018 Rising Alumni

Nicholas Simonelli

After completing a master’s in applied kinesiology, Nicholas Simonelli joined The Power House at Highland as a performance coach. He quickly became a leader in the company by creating a unique education program for new hires and current staff. His work as Director of Education provides a consistent, high-quality investment in The Power House coaches and keeps them ahead of changes in the fitness industry. He also oversees daily programming for the entire gym, which serves around 200 athletes per day. Outside of work, Nick has a passion for ultimate Frisbee as a volunteer youth coach and player. He is captain of one of the most successful professional ultimate teams in the country, traveling the world for tournaments and helping to legitimize the sport. Nick says CEHD helped him look at human movement with more depth and complexity than ever before, and introduced him to people who inspired him to strive for more.


Performance Coach & Education Leader, The Power House at Highland

CEHD Degree

MEd Applied Kinesiology, 2014

Please list any professional accomplishments you wish to mention.

Instrumental in the creation and implementation of both the new hire educational program and the elite performance training program at The Power House at Highland.

Please list any past or current volunteer activities.

Assistant Coach - youth club ultimate team, Superior. Assistant Coach - college club ultimate team, Grey Duck. Captain - men's club ultimate team, Sub Zero.

What professor(s) or course(s) were most influential during your time in CEHD?

I found both John Fitzgerald and Stacy Ingraham to be quite influential in their own ways while I was taking classes through the CEHD. They had a distinct way of going above and beyond during their lessons and were always available for you outside of class. With teachers like them being motivated to succeed is the least one can do in return.

What was the impact and benefit of your educational experience in CEHD?

My experience helped me look at human movement with more depth and complexity than ever before. I was able to dive deeper into my interests and stay surround by people who consistently inspired me to strive for more both in academics and in life.

What is your favorite memory from the University of Minnesota?

I have fond memories of learning new concepts or principles during lectures in Cooke Hall and then walking directly into the adjacent rec center to test and apply them as soon as class was over.

Who has inspired you the most during your career?

My two employers, Max & Jill Lipset, have inspired me greatly over the course of my career. They are always engaged and supportive towards me becoming a better professional and I have learned volumes from them over by they way they treat themselves, their clients, and their employees. Watching them at work has become a daily inspiration for me and one that continues to grow with time.

What skills are important to succeed as an emerging professional today?

Of all the knowledge and material that filled my brain during higher education nothing proved to be more vital to my success as a professional than the basic yet crucial skills of patience and communication. The ability to truly listen to someone and then communicate clearly and concisely in return can prove to be your strongest training program. But oh my does it require patience, patience and understanding are key as an emerging professional.

What are you hobbies?

I love to drink coffee, rock climb, and play ultimate frisbee with friends.

How do others describe you?

Hopefully as bright in both outlook and disposition but these days it could range anywhere from reserved and thoughtful to loud and mischievous.

How do you describe yourself?

I would describe myself as someone who operates with intent and is rather introspective. I like to digest the big picture and will often avoid speaking or acting out until I have had a chance to do so. Like most people in my field, I have a rather competitive nature that is often brought to life through various sports and other physical means.

What's a good book you'd recommend to others?

I just finished Ready Player One by Ernest Cline which I would feel good recommending to anyone. Typically I enjoy reading dystopian short stories/novels along the lines of Murakami, Bradbury, and Vonnegut.

If you could have coffee with anyone from history, who would it be?

I would love to have coffee with Alan Watts.

What gets you excited about work?

The large variety of clientele, challenging work projects, and amazing co-workers help keep me engaged and excited for each day.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was a kid I think I wanted to be someone who played outside for a living--I guess I got pretty close!

Outside of your job, how do you grow professionally?

I enjoy keeping up with other professionals in the field of strength and conditioning and I like to read research from seemingly unrelated fields to help me keep perspective on common practices.

What is a "fun fact" about you?

I can eat pizza alarmingly fast.