Most of us have been taught that no matter what, as long as you put in hard work, anything is possible. Nicholas Abbatangelo, Westwood High School senior and varsity running back, proves just that. This is a man who truly strives to be the best at his game.
Ever since he was a child, Nick would always be outside playing football. Whether it was football on the field or football in his backyard, he loved it. It was and always has been a passion of his. Even when he’s not playing, he’ll still somehow have all of his attention on it. With this in mind, he works hard outside of the game, so that he can be the best when he gets back on the field. This hard work ranges from him studying professional players in the NFL, to maintaining a winter bulk diet, and then starting a new cutting diet in the other seasons. Nick puts multiple hours a day into this sport.
It certainly pays off when he’s out there running on the field.
One thing he has managed to do is fight through one of his most dominant weaknesses: his size. Standing at only 5 feet and 6 inches, Nick is already and automatically one of the smallest guys on the field. He manages to push through this barrier by getting as strong as he possibly can. He works out almost everyday before or after school, which gives him the results that he’s looking for. When he’s out with friends, you can catch him doing pushups during a conversation or doing chair dips during a get-together at a restaurant.
Wherever he is, so is football.
Nick states, “One common source of motivation is the man next to you: your teammate. You all have been through the same process and have grown up together alongside each other on the same teams. Football creates not only a family, but a brotherhood. We’ve all worked hard for this moment, so let’s not let each other down and let’s help each other out.”
When he’s out lifting, he’s completely maximizing his weight-lifted ratio. What this means is that the more you weigh, the more you can lift. When you weigh a certain amount, there is a limit as to how much you can lift. When you can’t possibly lift more, you need to gain more weight because you’ve most likely maxed out your strength for your weight.
According to Strength Level, an online database that keeps track of millions of different people’s lifting statistics, Nick’s max bench of 295 pounds, his weight at 165 pounds, and his age — 17, suggests that he is stronger than 97% of lifters in that group. When you take these same statistics into account, consider the squatting group and change the amount lifted to 415 lbs, it puts him at 98% stronger than all others in that group. These records are most definitely ones to be proud about. It’s amazing how he stays consistent with his body and doesn’t just focus on one muscle group like most people do.
Workout buddy, senior Zack Mullaney, has been friends with Nick for a long time. Mullaney is someone who’s seen the amount of work that he puts in, and he believes that he’s on a great path. “I’ve never seen anyone work as hard as he does. It seems like he always has goals set for himself,” Mullaney said.
Nick knows that he is considered a small person for the game that he plays. He comes at this obstacle in an organized way: “I train accordingly in order to compensate for my lack in size. I dedicate myself to increasing both my strength and speed to a point that surpasses those who outweigh me and are taller than me by a tremendous amount.”
Football has integrated its way into Nick’s mindset. He believes that “my drive to always constantly improve my strength of becoming better has been applied to every area of my life, both school, sports, and socially. I take every success and failure with a grain of salt and I’m most thankful for my failures and mistakes that allow me to fix what I have done wrong, which make me into an overall better person.” With these applied, we can see the confidence and voice that he continues to endure and show. He thanks not only football for these traits, but also all the hard work that he’s puts in, and this is why he will continue to be the best.