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MMA & Kettlebells Help High School Athlete Achieve

Macy Schwartz: 1st Team All Bergen County, 3rd Team All NJ State, Honor Roll Student tells about her preparation for success over the past few years.

American Eagle MMA & Kettlebells Athlete Profile: Macy Schwartz

We asked our Mahwah-based Star Athlete a few questions about her accomplishments, goals, aspirations and training at our Ho-Ho-Kus Facility.

What are your most memorable achievements?

Throughout my four year career as a volleyball player, I have achieved numerous awards which I am extremely proud of and grateful for. Last year as a junior I received first team all league and all county honors. As well as the minds and motion award, which is an academic and athletic award given to varsity athletes who also achieve high honor roll.  As a senior I obtained First team all league for the second time, First team all County, as well as Third team all state.  As a team, we surpassed Mahwah High School’s previous record for the Girl’s Volleyball Team and came in 2nd in league and 3rd in state.

Wow! That’s some litany of achievements. Where do you go from here?

For the next 4 years of my life I plan on continuing my volleyball career at Richard Stockton College in South Jersey.  The team has won five of six of their last League titles and it is clear that they all have fun together.  One of the first things I noticed about the team was that they are all friends and like to be with each other-which I feel is one of the most important things.  On my team in Mahwah this past year, our companionship was a leading force in our success on the court.  After my first four years I will leave my volleyball career behind but continue my education to become a Doctor in Physical Therapy at Richard Stockton.

You sound like you have your path well chosen. Did you accomplish your goals  this year? 

At the end of my season last year, after receiving 1st all league and all country honors, I looked at my parents and told them next year I would get 1st in league and 1st in county, as well as obtaining the position of captain on my volleyball team for senior year.  As the club season went on and summer began, I never stopped working and made sure to strengthen my weaknesses so these goals would be possible the next year.  By the end of preseason I was named one of three captains by the team votes and achieved my league and county goals as voted by the coaches, also surpassing my goals and being voted third team all state.  It is an extremely exciting and accomplished feeling when you realize that all the hard work and hours spent training on and off the court have finally paid off.

It great to hear of a person who sets their goals and does their best to achieve &  even surpass them. What do you use for motivation?

As a child, I have always been extremely competitive and never got used to the feeling of losing.  Growing up in a family where ordinary isn’t an option; I found the basis for my never ending determination.  The support of my family and coaches pushed me forward and I never looked back.  But conventional, school sports are not what started my athleticism and love for competition.  When I was about nine years old I started to attend Martial Arts Classes and American Eagle MMA.  Admittedly, intimidation took over when under the instruction of intense martial artist, Phil Ross.  However as the years went on, I learned mental and physical discipline as well as lifelong lessons in the Do Jang.  The competitiveness of the Martial Art world and enthusiasm of my parents and trainers created the motivation which I carry with me today.

It sounds like the training ignited your competitive spark. How do you balance  sports, training and school? 

As you can imagine, it is difficult to balance all my sports, training, and school in one day—and still get some sleep. A normal day during school season consists of school, volleyball practice or a game; every day after school, then training with Phil Ross in either kettlebells or Martial Arts; three times a week for 1-2 hours at a time, and then homework.  In order to keep up with this schedule without wearing the body down, it is important to take care of the body with ice after a training session as a preventative and healthy meals in between.  It also helps to set up a schedule for yourself, setting aside time which will be used for studying and family.  

Sounds like a great plan for success. What did you do to prepare for this season?

Considering my season is seemingly never ending, with school season from before school starts during preseason and through the fall and then club from winter to spring, it is important to always keep on top of your body and health.  I constantly do multiple types of workouts consisting of running, sprinting, plyos, mixed martial arts, and kettlebells.  I believe that it is extremely important to train all the parts of your body in order to improve as a whole.  For example, instead of just working out while in practice, it is crucial to do workouts on the side as well.  Mixed Martial Arts is a great cardio exercise as well as improving reaction skills and overall body awareness.  It also obviously teaches important self defense mechanisms, fighting skills, and extreme self discipline.  Kettlebells is one of my favorite types of workouts and can be described as an intense cardio and weight training exercise.  The number of different kettlebell exercises is incredible and I have never had two workouts that were exactly the same.  I believe kettlebells has improved my overall strength the most out of anything and allowed me to advance dramatically in my volleyball career.  I began Mixed Martial Arts at around nine years old at American Eagle Mixed Martial Arts Academy, where I still train today.  Freshman year I started kettlebells there as well with trainer, Phil Ross.  Throughout all my years of training and participating seriously in sports, he has pushed me the most and the hardest out of anyone.  Self discipline in one of the biggest aspects when working out and training your body.  Wanting to continue a workout when your body is shaking in pain or wanting to come back for a workout after last time your entire body felt like jello isn’t natural.  It is a huge advantage to have someone knowledgeable there supporting and encouraging you.

It takes a great deal of determination and discipline to make all of those  sacrifices. Nothing worth anything comes easily. Good Luck Macy...or should we  say “Dr. Schwartz.” 

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