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Interview with Derek Cantieni (Part 1)

Derek started his career at the University of San Diego in 2006 as the Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach. During his 4 plus years there he worked with 14 men’s and women’s varsity sports. He directly oversaw year round training programs for baseball, softball, women’s volleyball, men’s soccer, swimming & diving, golf, women’s tennis, and men’s & women’s rowing. His first job in baseball was with the San Diego Padres in 2011 at their High A affiliate, and the following two seasons at the Double A level. In 2014 he moved to the Oakland A’s to work with their AAA affiliate.

Derek then got out of baseball and spent time working at the Function Factory in San Diego as the Director of Sports Performance. In 2015 he became the first strength & conditioning coach at Kearny High School in San Diego, and in 2016, became their first athletic trainer as well. In 2018, he re-entered baseball with the Seattle Mariners as the Major League Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach.

Growing up in Fremont, Ca, Derek graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Kinesiology-Athletic Training, and also received his master’s degree in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego. He is a certified athletic trainer through the NATA-BOC, as well as holding the distinction of RSCC-D* with the NSCA. Derek currently resides in Arizona with his wife Riki, their daughters Mia and Maisie, and is expecting twin girls.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Derek’s journey to the Big Leagues
  • 2022 Seattle Mariners playoff run
  • Pendulum swings & Finding the sweet spot


  • “I think, you know, working at different levels, I think coaching is still coaching” (5:21)
  • “In the playoffs it all matters. You know, the energy level…you don’t need anything to motivate you. The playoffs itself is the motivation” (11:59)
  • “My personal opinion of where we should be is, you know, loading appropriately, moving appropriately, and combining those and putting them into the best programs we can” (19:44)

If you would like to learn more from Derek, you can follow him on social media:



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