Meet Our #LandingLife Contest Winners: Max Hilty
Back in December, we announced the winners of our #LandingLife contest, offering a once-in-a-life opportunity for winners to live with us for one year, rent-free. Our judges were absolutely wowed by Max Hilty’s impressive trickshots and his plan to travel the country to break 100 world records.
We’ll be hearing a lot more from Max on Landing Life throughout the year, but first, we wanted to give Max a chance to introduce himself and share his plans for his travels.
Let’s get started!
Q: Hi, Max! Tell us a bit about yourself.
Max: Hello! My name is Max Hilty and I am currently living in Frisco, Texas. While I have been working in the golf industry ever since I graduated from college, my main passion in life has been my side project of creating multi-sport trickshot videos. I first started filming trickshot videos several years ago when I realized it was a great way to combine my creativity with all the sports I loved to play when I was growing up!
From day one, my goal was to always try and challenge myself to come up with fun ideas that no one else was doing. Before long, I was not only shocked at the reception my trickshots were receiving online but also at the opportunities that began to come my way. One of my biggest goals in 2022 is to take the next step and try to transform my passion into a full time career. With the life-changing #LandingLife opportunity, I believe that I will finally be able to make my dream a reality.
Aside from my trickshot pursuits, my life has also revolved around helping take care of my mother, who unfortunately suffers from a rare hereditary brain disorder called Huntington’s Disease. Ever since her diagnosis nearly 10 years ago, my entire family’s life has been thrown upside down. While there is sadly no cure for HD at this time, I am hopeful that in my lifetime, there will be medical advancements that might help future at-risk families avoid the devastation that my mom continues to go through on a daily basis. One of my top priorities in 2022 is to use my platform to help raise awareness about the fight against HD. In addition to helping raise awareness, I will also be launching a YouTube channel and sports brand in the near future with a portion of the revenue being donated to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.
Q: How did you first find out about the #LandingLife contest?
Max: I first heard about the #LandingLife contest when I was daydreaming about warmer weather on a particularly cold day. Being a Landing member already, I sometimes go on the website to look at other cities I would one day dream of living in. On this particular day, I was stunned once I stumbled across the #LandingLife contest. This was right around the time I was trying to figure out how I was going to be able to afford to take a chance at going after my dream. I immediately started brainstorming ideas on what I could do for a video submission.
When I found out that I won, it was such a blessing and game-changer for what I was trying to do with the direction of my life. I was in disbelief not only at the fact that I actually won but also at the incredible timing of this life-changing opportunity!
Q: Where are you planning on living for the next year with Landing?
Max: Right when I found out that I won the #LandingLife contest, I started planning how to best take advantage of this opportunity and make the most out of this next incredible year! I’ve decided to move to Scottsdale in February and will spend at least three months out there for the remainder of the winter. Moving to Arizona will give me the best opportunity to film for my new YouTube channel and start my journey of transforming my passion into a career.
For my second move, I plan on going out to Los Angeles for a little while this spring. I have always wanted to experience living in California but never had the opportunity. This move will allow me to follow the good weather and hopefully immerse myself a bit within the entertainment industry. While LA is typically known for movies and TV, there are also a lot of successful individuals out there in the YouTube world that I am trying to break into.
For the majority of the summer, I am planning on moving to Denver so that I can be close to family and friends while continuing to film for my channel and grow my sports brand. At the end of my time in Denver, I plan to make my final move back to Texas before it starts to get cold out in Colorado.
Q: What are you most excited to do and see while you’re in Scottsdale?
Max: Scottsdale has always been on my bucket list of dream locations to call home! When I was young my grandparents used to have a house about 45 minutes outside of Scottsdale that I visited with my family. It was on these family trips that I absolutely fell in love with the desert scenery of Arizona.
My obsession with Arizona lasted long after my grandparents passed away. I almost moved out there for college and just over two years ago, I almost made the move for work right before the pandemic started. One of the reasons I didn’t make the move this last time was I wasn’t sure how I would be able to afford to live there. When I won this competition, it was the first place that crossed my mind!
I used to love exploring the national parks outside of Scottsdale with my grandpa back in the day, so I’m extremely excited to have similar hikes right outside my back door. Also, the golf scene in Scottsdale is one of the best in the world. I can’t wait to experience desert golf and also discover a bunch of amazing new filming locations with beautiful mountain backdrops.
Scottsdale has changed a lot since I was a kid—there’s a lot more nightlife and things to do, so I’m excited to explore more once I get out there as well.
Q: What are your plans while you’re in Los Angeles?
Max: California is another place I’ve always had an infatuation with. It’s definitely been on my bucket list of places to live for a very long time. There’s so much opportunity out there to collaborate with people in the YouTube world. While living in LA, I am hopeful that I will meet a bunch of new people and learn as much as I possibly can about how to be successful in the content creation industry. I can’t wait to visit some iconic spots out there and definitely see myself spending a lot of time in the ocean or filming near the beach!
Q: What are you looking forward to doing in Denver?
Max: Moving to Denver will allow me the opportunity to be close to my family and friends while also enjoying the wonderful summer months out there. While I am extremely excited to be able to travel the country in 2022, my mind will always be thinking about what is happening back home with my mom. Spending the summer in Colorado will provide me the opportunity to spend time with my parents while also pursuing my dream.
Denver is home to some of the best outdoor recreation in the country as well as my favorite sports teams, so I will be spending a lot of time experiencing as much of the Colorado sports scene as I can! While I have visited Denver many times over the years, I have never lived there, so I can’t wait to explore the city a little more in depth and find the best spots to film. I am also hopeful that my girlfriend will be able to join me in Denver once she graduates from grad school this summer. I hope to use this opportunity for us to test out living in Denver in hopes of maybe making it our full-time home one day.
Q: What are your plans once you head back to Texas?
I initially moved to Frisco, Texas, this past spring because I had previously done an internship in the area when I was in college. I knew that there was more opportunity in the sports world in Texas than my hometown, so I made the tough decision of leaving my family to pursue my dreams. It ended up being the best decision I ever made because I came in contact with some people who really supported my dream and encouraged me to take a chance on myself.
While I can’t wait to travel and experience life in other parts of the country over the next year, I am also trying to set myself up for the future. I’m definitely looking forward to going on these adventures, then eventually getting back to Frisco where I will continue to build on everything I plan to accomplish in 2022.
Q: Tell us more about your trickshots!
Max: Growing up, I was obsessed with basically every sport you could think of. In addition to all of the team sports that I played, I was also exposed to a bunch of action sports in my youth. As an avid skateboarder and snowboarder, countless hours of my childhood were spent learning new tricks. However, after multiple injuries, I eventually had to give up my action sport pursuits.
It wasn’t until I stumbled across the world of trickshots that I was able to tap into the process of learning new tricks again! In the beginning, I would focus on trying trickshots that focused on one sport at a time. Eventually, I started trying to combine multiple sports at the same time. This is when I had a major breakthrough and started to truly challenge myself.
In the past several years, I have done trickshots that incorporate basketball, soccer, golf, baseball, football, skateboarding, tennis, and even ping-pong. It has been amazing to see my videos be featured by some of my favorite sports media companies, including ESPN, The Golf Channel, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, and many others. I continue to pride myself on coming up with unique ideas and multi-sport combinations that you won’t find anywhere else!
Q: Do you have a particular trickshot you’re trying to accomplish while you’re on your journey? Anything you’re working up to being able to do?
While I am on my journey around the country, I have set the goal to try and break 100 various sports world records. This might sound like a lofty goal, but my plan of attack is to go after a bunch of existing trickshot world records and also to redo a bunch of trickshots that I have already done over the years with official measurements. It is my hope that people will see my wild multi-sport trickshots and want to try them out themselves! If anyone breaks any of the measurements I put up, I will definitely be giving them the credit and shoutouts that they deserve.
In addition to the trickshots that I have in mind for 2022, I also plan to start trying to do some sports tutorial-related content. Because trickshots are so time-consuming, I have come up with a couple goal-oriented video series that will be both informative and hopefully inspirational to other athletes out there. Included in these tutorial series will be my pursuits of kicking a 60-yard field goal, hitting a 95 MPH pitch, and hitting a 400-yard drive in competition. These are all accomplishments that I have been close to over the years but never actually achieved. I can’t wait to fully dive into all of these video series and see what I can do in 2022!
Follow along with Max’s adventures this year
Be sure to keep up with Landing Life this year to check in with Max’s travels and his trickshots!