UMTerps.com took a minute to catch up with former Tewaaraton winner Katie Schwarzmann about life after college, all things Team USA and being an official Under Armour athlete.
UMTerps.com: We had seven Terps competing for Team USA in the Champion Challenge, which is more than any other program in the nation. What is it like to play
with so many familiar faces and what sense of pride does it bring as a former Terp?
KS: It is truly amazing that there are so many Terps competing for Team USA. I
couldn't be more proud to be a part of that group. My Maryland teammates
are my best friends, so it's a special circumstance when you get to play
with your best friends and represent the Red, White and Blue with them.
UMTerps.com: Two current Terps Taylor Cummings and Kelly McPartland were also playing with the US National Team. You played for Team USA as a collegian as well. How do you think an opportunity like that helps not only those two, but the Maryland team as a whole, when it comes to being best prepared for the regular season?
KS: Playing on the US team during my collegiate career made me a more confident player. I was able to learn from some of the best players and coaches in the world and take those experiences back to Maryland with me. Not only did I become a better player practicing and being challenged alongside the best players in the world, but also I became a better leader. I had to learn to step out of my comfort zone by playing in a new offensive system and playing with a new defensive mentality. You learn to play within the US system while also building confidence in your own individual talents. I have no doubt that the US experience will do the same for Taylor and Kelly.
UMTerps.com: You officially signed a deal with Under Armour. What have been some highlights from being an official UA athlete and what do you think they are doing to help grow the brand of women's lacrosse?
KS: Well, first of all my entire wardrobe is full of amazing UA products! I get to test out different products during my workouts, coaching, and everyday life. I have the opportunity to build the UA brand by promoting it every day. Under Armour grows as a company drastically each day and they will continue to improve their products; becoming a leader in the women's lacrosse equipment and apparel industry.
UMTerps.com: You also just made the jump to the collegiate coaching ranks. How big of an adjustment has it been to manage the game from the sidelines? What are you most looking forward to this season at Mount Saint Mary's?
KS: It has definitely been an adjustment transitioning from player to coach. To be honest, it was pretty hard at first. I wanted to participate in the drills, not just teach them. I find myself getting really excited on the sidelines when we do a certain drill in practice and someone scores a goal or makes a big play. I realize how those little things got me pumped up as a player and I hope to bring that same energy to our players. I am most looking forward to watching the team grow and get better every day. To see them translate what we have been working on in practice into games will be most rewarding.
UMTerps.com: Many former Terps now serve as head or assistant coaches at various universities across the country. How did playing at Maryland prepare you for a career in coaching?
KS: Playing at Maryland is a special opportunity that I could not be more grateful for. It's definitely a special circumstance when you not only have great coaches, but great leaders and role models working with you every day. The Maryland coaching staff is exceptionally knowledgeable, they are great teachers of that knowledge, but they are also students of the game. They not only want you to be a better player, but a better person. The wealth of on-field knowledge along with team values is something you can't help but try to pass on to others. I learned the value of team chemistry. I loved feeling how much pride I had in my school and team, and experienced a family dynamic within the program that was unmatched. That's why I wanted to coach and I would think former Terps would say the same. People want that experience to continue in their lives and share what they've learned with other players.
UMTerps.com: Last thing - what do you think Maryland fans can expect from the Terps this season?
KS: Maryland fans can definitely expect big things to come from the Terps this year! They are fast, athletic, hardworking, and the team is full of talented players who are determined to make it back to the Final Four. It is great to see new leaders emerging within the group. I can't wait to see what's in store for the Terps this season - I'll be cheering them on and watching every step of the way! :)