Summit training is key element in many teams’ successes

James Evans

The Summit is a training center in Bryn Mawr where athletes from all over the Philadelphia area go to train and improve on their speed and agility. Stars from Philadelphia professional teams, such as Aaron McKie and Jeremy Roenick, have gone there along with high school kids that just want to make the team. Furthermore, practically all of St. Joseph’s athletic programs attend the Summit, while only some of the Villanova programs do. However, the coaches from both universities have come out praising the training center for the work it has done with their players.

Last year, after not being selected for the Tournament — even though they had a record of 19-10 — St Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli decided to send his team to the Summit. His team has now responded by putting up an impressive record of 17-3, including a blowout of ’Nova last week. Coach Martelli had nothing but good things to say about the training center.

“The first thing is a personal touch; they are with you all the time pushing you on,” Martelli said. “They took pride and interest in what they did and were creative. That was one of the most important things, especially with young people. If you’re not creative, you tend to lose the young people. The Summit is ahead of the curve in ways they train.”

Though the Summit is very involved with St. Joseph’s athletics, they are also involved with Villanova sports. The men’s and women’s soccer teams have both started spending time over its off-seasons at the Summit and the change in the team has been noticable. “It’s an outstanding establishment, with very official trainers,” women’s soccer coach Ann Clifton said. “The trainers are really preparing our team for a grueling Division I schedule.”

The field hockey team has also started going to the Summit to try and improve its speed and agility. “I really saw a drastic improvement,” field hockey coach Joan Milhous said. “Their speed training is incredible. This year all my girls are going there.” The Summit can change the way a person plays the game. “Vanessa Pizzulli was a girl that I really saw a change. The Summit helps a girl who needs speed and its them teaching you and forcing your speed and gain speed at the same time.”

Even some of ’Nova’s superstars have gone to the Summit, including Brett Gordon. Coming off two ACL surgeries last off-season Gordon went to the Summit to recover and was very, impressed. “It’s a speed enhancement place. It really works on a players quickness,” Gordon said. “About five of us went there this off-season and speaking for everyone, it helped us out tremendously.”

Gordon, whose senior year was filled with staggering statistics and many awards, was not the only one who could see a change in the football team. “Both players [Gordon and Shaz Brown] talked about how much it helped them. Especially for Brett, coming off two ACL surgeries, the Summit was really able to help him rehabilitate,” head coach Andy Talley said. “Also, Shaz was coming off his own ACL surgery, so it was good for him. Both of them had great senior years and it was clear that it came from the extra work that they put in over the summer.”

The Summit focuses on a player’s skill, helping to sharpen their minds and maximizing one’s potential. However, the Summit also works with the general public, from the average high school teenager who wants to make the team to a grade school kid who wants to perfect his skills.

I definitely am not qualified to be a basketball coach by any means of the imagination, but the way the men’s basketball team has been playing of late, I don’t think it would be that bad of an idea if Coach Jay Wright sent his club over to the Summit next summer.

Think about it, Jay.