Merrimack Graduate Alumnus Helps Athletes Prepare for Success

Nick Cidado M’19, an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Boston College, will publish his first book later this month.
Headshot of Nick Cidado M’19 imposed next to the Merrimack College logo.
Nick Cidado M’19 received his masters in exercise and sport science from Merrimack College

In some industries, networking is the name of the game. And for Nick Cidado M’19, Merrimack College’s exercise and sport science graduate program has it in spades.

“I really enjoyed…coming to class with other strength and conditioning coaches who were also from other universities,” he explained. “It was a very interesting dynamic where we would all coach during the day and at night time we’d all convene together and we’d do our education. I really liked the professors – I definitely learned a lot – but I think the biggest component was the networking.”

Cidado’s classmates included coaches from Tufts, Harvard and, of course, Merrimack.

“We had a lot of the same mentality and were looking for the same career trajectory,” he said. “We would bounce stuff off each other all the time. I still keep in touch with some of them.”

Cidado’s path to Merrimack started with Mike Poidomani, the former head of football strength and conditioning at Boston College. Poidomani gave Cidado his first job as a strength training coach at his business, MJP Strength & Conditioning. At the time, Cidado had just graduated from Bridgewater State University with a bachelor’s degree in physical education with a focus on exercise science.

“He pushed me to get into the collegiate world just to see if I would like it,” Cidado recalled. “I got a strength coach internship at BC through his network. In the end, they were looking for a graduate assistant. The thing is that Boston College doesn’t offer any exercise science graduate programs. They connected with Merrimack and I was the first graduate assistant through Merrimack at Boston College.”

After graduating from Merrimack, Cidado was offered a role as a full-time strength and conditioning coach at BC. His job, as he describes it, is to reduce the likelihood of injury occurring in the athletes and improve their performance out on the field. Currently, he trains women’s lacrosse, BC’s field hockey, men’s soccer, and men’s and women’s golf.

“I work very closely with the coaching staff to make sure that our goals are aligned and I’m with the athletes pretty much every day,” he explained.

Cidado has been a lifelong lover of sports, having played basketball, football and baseball growing up. He went on to play quarterback at Bridgewater State.

“I really admire the process of putting your body through the work so that you’re prepared to go and play your sport at the highest level,” he said. “I was fortunate enough to have some really good coaches and they showed me this career path where I could actually help other athletes in their own process.”

That determination has also led him into the publishing world. At the end of January, he will release his first book, “Sweat More During Peace, Bleed Less During War: Preparation Tactics that Generate Success.”

“My philosophies are about doing everything that you can beforehand to make sure that you are set up for success,” he said. “It’s going to resonate a lot with athletes because a lot of my experiences are in the sports world, but these tactics and principles can be applied to anything, such as business, relationships and a growth mindset.”

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