March 5, 2020 – By NJP
Liam Maxwell, arguably one of the best volleyball players to ever come out of New Jersey, spent some time with NJP to share his thoughts, advice, and memories. As you read this interview, you will see what an amazing role model this athlete is to the NJ Volleyball community. Articulate, passionate, and willing to take the time to have an impact on younger players through his words.
You can follow Liam through the Belmont Abbey website at this link: https://abbeyathletics.prestosports.com/sports/mvball/2019-20/bios/maxwell_liam_dixx?view=bio
An amazing young man…
Here is our interview with Liam…
Tell us a bit about yourself?
- My name is Liam Maxwell, I am a senior at Belmont Abbey College graduating in May 2020. Belmont Abbey College is a liberal arts institution in Belmont, NC, right outside of Charlotte. I am majoring in Mathematics with a minor in Business Management. I played at Southern Regional High School and won three state championships while there. My uncle, Eric Maxwell, is the head coach at Southern. I have two wonderful parents, Charles and Cathy Maxwell and a brother, Drew Maxwell who went to Virginia Tech. My former club team was Warren Sixpak where we finished top 15 in the country my junior and senior years.
How long have you played volleyball and what inspired you to take up volleyball initially?
- I have played volleyball for as long as I can remember, as my dad and uncle played volleyball together when they were young and passed it on to their kids. When my brother Drew was in high school playing for Southern is when I really developed a love for the game. Watching my brother win two state championships inspired me to want to reach that level, as well and I worked tirelessly at my craft.
True leaders can get followers easily and you have certainly had a cast of NJ players join you at Belmont Abbey. What is it like to be joined by so many former teammates and friends?
- Matt Maxwell and Brennan Davis are not only two phenomenal volleyball players as evidenced by their resume in high school, but they are two of my best friends so having them around positively impacts every aspect of my life. Our chemistry on the court and off comes from years of practice, we know exactly what the others are going to do/where they are going to be at all times on the court. The level of trust is incredible.
Can you share some advice for current high school level volleyball players and students? (Technical, mental, recruitment, etc…)
- My advice for current high school players is to not overlook the smaller schools, whether it be in D2 or D3. There is so much talent at all levels of college volleyball that you should not limit yourself when being recruited/looking for potential schools. The best decision I have ever made is going to Belmont Abbey College.
Tell us about your college team, how is your current season progressing, and where do you expect to finish?
- Our college team is currently ranked 4th in the conference, with some big conference games coming up at home. We seem to be peaking at the right time, with conference playoffs right around the corner. Our goal is and always will be to win conference, as settling for anything less is a loser’s mentality.
Can you share one tip for a current high school player to improve his game?
- Watch the best players in the country at your position. I watched hours of film on TJ Defalco, a current USA volleyball outside hitter and tried to pick up little tricks and shots.
Tell us about your college coaches, how different are these coaches from your high school or club coaches?
- My college coach, Nolan Albrecht, played volleyball at Belmont Abbey and thus has a deep relationship with the school and the program. He is wise beyond his years and is building not only great volleyball players but great men. It is tough to compare coaches to other coaches, as each one is different but I can honestly say I have been blessed with amazing coaches/mentors.
What was your best memory of NJ HS Volleyball?
- Winning the state championship in 2016, my senior year
Tell us about your college outside of volleyball…
- It is a great place to develop your faith life (I am a devout Catholic) as well as a great place to make connections in Charlotte that could result in potential careers.
Have you won any awards at the college level?
- I have won first team All-conference in 2018 and 2019 and Honorable Mention All American for D1/D2 in 2018
What is your favorite inspirational video or music that you engage before the games?
- Any clip of Kobe Bryant talking about the Mamba Mentality
NJP considers you as one of the top players in the country. Do you plan on playing professionally after college?
- I do not plan on playing professionally after college
What word of encouragement or inspiration can you offer current high school level players?
- Do what makes you happy, life isn’t easy and it’s even harder when you are doing things for other people
Tell us about your workout regiment as a D1/D2 college athlete?
- Practice everyday whether out of season or in season, with weight lifting three times a week, more strenuous weight lifting out of season. Summer workout program
Tell us about the transition to college life?
- It takes a little bit to get your footing, but you learn so much about yourself and what you are really passionate about. You should embrace being uncomfortable, as it develops your character.
What are your other hobbies?
- I go to coffee shops and read, play disc golf, play Fortnite, listen to music
What do you do during the offseason to stay in shape and prepare for next year?
- I try to workout everyday, with a focus on legs for volleyball. Also, I get reps at either my high school practices if I am home, or a local club team’s practice if I’m in Charlotte for the summer.
Who is your favorite college or pro volleyball player and why?
- TJ Defalco, he is about my height which is considered undersized at our position, but his technique and skill more than makes up for it. He is the most fundamental player, in every aspect of volleyball, I have ever watched.
Is there a teacher or coach who really helped you along the way?
- My parents are both teachers and coaches and they have helped me immensely through good times and bad times. It is very helpful to know that whether I have the best game of my career or an absolute dud, they will still be there for me.