Health and Fitness Expert Dr. Mariel Schofield

Dr. Mariel Schofield is a former collegiate athlete and volleyball star at the University of Miami.  In 2014, she obtained her undergrad from University Of Miami. This past May, she received her Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy from the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. Schofield has been able to turn her passion for health and fitness into a long-lasting career. She is currently practicing at a sports and orthopedics physical therapy clinic called VERT Sports Rehab and Fitness in Santa Monica.

I had the opportunity to speak with the health and fitness expert about her time at the University of Miami. She also discusses some health tips and trying to help athletes reach their full potential after recovering from injury.

Why did you decide to practice in California compared to South Beach?

I grew up in Monrovia, Maryland and played volley ball competitively starting at the age of 11.  I then attended the University of Miami where I could play volley ball and study in their great physical therapy school. Upon graduating from the University of Miami with my doctorate in Physical Therapy, I had been in Miami for seven years and felt I wanted a change of scenery. I was offered an incredible opportunity here in Los Angeles to work at a performance facility. I love the rehab and recovery aspect of physical therapy, but I would love to bridge the gap between rehab & recovery to allow an athlete to optimize their performance. They are not just recovering from an injury they are becoming the best athletes they can be.

 Do you have any aspiration to open your own clinic one day?

Yes! Currently, I treat out of a few locations, one being a sports and orthopedics physical therapy clinic called VERT sports rehab and fitness in Santa Monica. What I’m really excited about is a facility called The Monarch Athletic Club coming soon to West Hollywood. This is a really unique experience in that we have an incredible team of performance and medical professionals that includes myself, a physician, five to six strength and conditioning coaches/trainers, yoga & Pilates instructors, and nutrition, and we are all combining to work in one facility. It is a unique set up that we have, it allows each client to have quarterly meetings with specialized medical professionals and a performance staff under one roof and we can systemically track their performance and outcomes over time. It has always been a passion of mine to have a multi-disciplinary client full of resources under one roof.

 How do you plan on expanding your brand through social media?

I plan on posting more images and video of my workout routines and training regimens. My goal is to build my brand by providing the public with well-developed content.

How old were you when you knew that Volley Ball was a passion of yours?

I was involved in multiple sports (volleyball, soccer, and lacrosse) when I was younger. I specialized in volleyball around the age of 16.  I grew up with two brothers who were also very athletic and that helped develop me into the athlete that I am today. My parents exposed me to multiple sports at a young age as well. A lot of research nowadays states that the earlier you specialize as a youth athlete the faster you’ll burn out and the less movement variability you have. So, the best athletes are multiple sports athletes during their youth and they can adapt to their surroundings.  At the age of 17, I decided to attend the University of Miami and played volleyball as an undergrad.

What was the toughest transition for you going from being a high school athlete to a collegiate athlete?

The toughest transition for me is that I am a Type 1 Diabetic and I have been dealing with this since I was five years old. I have always been great with managing it throughout high school, but once I hit college there were the extra components of stress with school, social life, and training. My schedule consisted of attending classes, training four to six hours after school, and traveling on the weekend. That transition and having to adapt to that type of schedule and managing my diabetes was the hardest thing for me. So, that was the toughest challenge I had to deal with transitioning from high school to college. You are on your own and you do not have your parents watching your every move, but you do have these extra responsibilities to master.

How were you able to stay motivated at the University of Miami as a student athlete pursuing your undergrad degree?

Discipline and surrounding yourself with individuals that will support you and bring the best out of you. I was extremely lucky with that I had a great coach, teammates, and resources that we as athletes need to succeed. I would contribute this to the reason why we were a highly ranked team.

Being that you are a graduate of the University of Miami how has it helped to mold you into the person you are today?

The experience of being able to interact with so many different people that were motivated and passionate. This really inspired me and helped point me in the right direction. Along with the coaching staff who taught me so many life lessons through being a student athlete. I also had the opportunity to work with elite athletes pursuing their dreams and lot of them went on to be professional athletes. They also became leaders in whatever industry they selected.  Just being surrounded by that body of passion, knowledge, and discipline is life changing. That and my personal experience of health has molded me into the person I am today.

 What is a good calorie intake for young athletes?

It really depends on the rigorous demands of the sport and the age of the athlete. I am not a registered dietitian, but when I’m asked about nutrition I tell people to eat whole earth grown foods in their most natural state. So, get rid of the processed food, added sugar and it really depends on the energy demands of the athlete.

 What artists do you listen during daily workouts?

Drake, Migos, Future, and Rick Ross.

 How much sleep should an athlete get daily?

8 hours of sleep. Less than 8 hours of sleep on a consistent basis decreases cognitive performance, memory, heart rate variability, and increases sympathetic tone. This leads to a decrease in function, health, and performance and you are not able to recover properly.

Who did you consider your role models growing up?

Growing up I considered my gym teacher Bonny Goldberg and her husband Barry Goldberg, who is the head volley coach at American University. I would also say my club coach Silvia Johnson who is now the director Metro Volleyball Club of DC.

 Are there any individuals you see as your mentors at this point in your life?

I had a great experience with one of my clinical affiliations at Rehab 2 Perform in Frederick, Maryland. My clinical instructors were Dr. Josh Funk, Dr. Zach Baker, and Dr. Jarred Boyd. They really understand the human body and what our roles are as physical therapists between injury rehab & performance. They have been influential through the whole physical therapy process.

Best advice you would give an aspiring personal trainer looking to obtain their certifications?

Never stop learning and being a student as well as always staying on top of current research.  Ask questions and never assume that something is correct just because you see it on Instagram.


What do you think?

Written by Landon Buford

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