Hill Street Boxing
October 29, 2019
As the season for fall sports comes to a close, many Pierson students are thinking “what now?” While some students choose to play a winter sport, many simply take the winter off, as unfortunately, there are not many places for students to exercise in the winter. However, only a short distance away from Sag Harbor- in the middle of Hill Street, Southampton- sits Hill Street Boxing. Unfortunately, not many teens know about Hill Street, as it has only been open for a year, but no matter what your athletic background is, Hill Street is a fantastic place for students to work out.
Hill Street was opened on May 5th, 2018, by owners Tommy Haynia and Avery Crocker, and is managed by Renata Munoz. Though very different, they are some of the best people you will ever meet. When the business partners were presented with the opportunity to open Hill Street Boxing, they jumped at the chance. Avery, Renata, and Tom all work as coaches at Hill Street, training people of a variety of ages and athletic backgrounds.
So why boxing? Coach and owner Avery Crocker was introduced to boxing at an early age by a local boxer. However, at the time, he had no where to train, so it wasn’t until he was living in Brooklyn years later that he started training with a coach. He describes that “It was at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn where I met Iran Barkeley and really fell in love with the discipline and focus of boxing.” He saw a future for himself in being a coach, and began studying the sport in more detail, eventually getting certified with USA Boxing. As a Level 1 Coach, he began training people one-on-one anywhere he could, though he dreamed of opening a business in his hometown. He explains that he wanted to build something that could instill discipline and self confidence in the youth, and that he felt the area could really benefit from this style of training.
Hill Street offers a variety of classes, some being more boxing oriented, such as the Bags and Body class, and others being more fitness oriented, like the Fight Circuit class. Bags and Body is an hour long class where participants work on their skills at the boxing bag for almost the entire class. Fight Circuit involves a circuit with three sections in which students work on lower body strength, upper body strength, and punching through a variety of unique exercises that changes with each class. Though the classes are quite different from each other, they do have one thing in common; punching. Both classes allow participants to not only punch a variety of bags, but coaches work one-on-one with students too, using mitts on which students can practice punching a variety of combinations.
Other classes include LFC(Ladies Fight Club), Boxing Bootcamp, and Technique and Defense. For the students who aren’t interested in boxing, there are classes such as ABS, Booty Bootcamp, and Total Body that focus on working out in The Studio, which is a workout room managed by Hill Street in the same building.
Not only does Hill Street Boxing offer a variety of classes, but it also offers a wide variety of times, days, and coaches for students to choose from. Hill Street has classes in the mornings and afternoons of every day of the week, and has a variety of different coaches teaching these classes throughout the week. Each coach teaches their classes in their own, unique way, which allows students to learn different techniques from each coach if they chose to take a variety of classes.
In addition to this, the gym has one of the best prices a student can find in Southampton; classes purchased in person at the gym are only $21.25 for a student. This is 15% off of their normal off season rates, which are $25 per class. In addition to this, Hill Street is currently running a fall special where if you bring a friend to workout with, each person only pays $15 for the class.
The coaches at Hill Street make the experience even better than that of a regular gym because they are always checking to make sure that everyone taking the class has the correct form in their workout. They create unique, fun workouts that change every week, and make the class truly special.
As coach Tom Haynia explains, boxing also brings a sense of confidence to fighters. “It’s the best total body workout.” He explains, “I think it will give kids confidence in themselves to stand up to a bully, because we teach them how to protect themselves.” The class is not just a way to exercise, but teaches students how to fight and defend themselves, so that if someone starts a fight with them, they can finish it. It’s not just a sport, it’s a class that teaches something everyone should know how to do; defend themselves.
However, despite all of this, perhaps the best part of Hill Street Boxing is the atmosphere of the gym. I have never before entered a building and felt so welcome and motivated in my entire life. The coaches are some of the absolute best people you will ever meet, and even the people taking some of the classes are extremely kind and motivational. It is hard to enter Hill Street Boxing and not want to come back. Coach Avery Crocker describes that he wanted to make Hill Street a place where all people could come workout, no matter their age or background in the sport. He wanted to make the place feel like anyone could come and learn to punch and workout, to make the gym feel like a family. With this he truly succeeded. As Avery said, “You really get to connect with your fighters as a coach. The sweet science of boxing is a beautiful thing, and it has been a joy of mine to teach it to others.”
I have been taking classes at the gym for a few months now, and I am amazed at how much the coaches at Hill Street have helped me improve at boxing and my overall fitness. I had hardly ever punched a bag or worked out at all prior to entering the gym, and despite that, the coaches have helped me improve immensely. Hill Street is a place where simply upon entering the building, all your stress goes away immediately. It’s hard not to see a punching bag and want to punch it, and it really does take away a lot of anger and stress. I look forward to taking classes at Hill Street every week, not just because it’s a good workout, but because everyone at Hill Street is so kind and motivational, and everytime I leave I feel like a new, better person.
Though it sounds a little corny, you don’t just get a workout at Hill Street, it’s a family, and no matter who you are, the gym helps you become a stronger, better athlete and person. It truly is an amazing place.
So how can you start? For more information on Hill Street Boxing, follow their instagram @hillstreetboxing_ and download the Hill Street Boxing app on your phone. To sign up for classes with the student discount, come visit the gym at 33 Hill Street, Southampton.