We’ve all heard the rule: “30 minutes of exercise a day keeps the doctor away” (ok, so I may have improvised a little bit). In reality, exercise offers so much more than weight loss. When you exercise, you let off endorphins, or “feel good hormones”- you can’t help but feel better after a workout! It also allows you to meet people, whether at the gym, running group, etc. Sometimes, though, life gets in the way, and you can’t “find the time” to exercise.
When I first came to college, I was terrified of the Freshman 15. But I was also aware of my lack of individual motivation to exercise, which was the reason I played sports in high school- I didn’t have a choice but to come to practice. However, I certainly was not good enough to play for a college, nor did I want to. I had older friends who played sports for their colleges, and I knew their classes were a nightmare due to their demanding practice schedule. So, during my first Involvement Fair, I came across a table with the words, “Ultimate Frisbee” across the top. I asked about it, and was told it was a club sport. It sounded interesting so I decided to sign up.
Joining the Ultimate Frisbee club was the best decision I have made thus far in college Not only did I make friendships that will last a life time, but my time management skills improved exponentially; I even managed to LOSE weight, not gain it. I believe joining a club sport can positively impact anyone’s college career, so below I have listed a few reasons why you too should join one!
1.) Making friends and networking: When you are a member of a sports team, you instantly have an automatic group of 30+ friends, people you have something in common with. It is easy to get together and scrimmage and have fun. For Frisbee, there are additional leagues we have the opportunity to play in outside of West Chester University. Players from West Chester, Philly, and surrounding areas join these leagues, so I have made friends from all over, of all different ages and backgrounds. Also, much like sororities and fraternities, you have a solid networking background for after college. Club alumni are involved in all different types of career fields, so there is sure to be someone you can connect with after college who is doing something similar to what you want to do.
2.) Doing well in school: We practice six hours a week and often have tournaments on the weekends that take place all day. That does not leave you with a lot of free time. For some people, this is a struggle, and the reason why they choose not to do a club sport. For me, however, it helps. If I did not have practice from 7- 10 on Mondays and Thursdays, I know I would put off doing my homework/ studying until late and rush through it. Knowing I have practice and will be tired afterwards motivates me to get it done early! It also helps me to take care of the most important assignments first. Time management is a wonderful skill to have, something that will benefit you immensely in the future.
3.) Staying healthy: between practice, league, and tournaments, I have the opportunity to exercise a lot. On the days I have off from Frisbee, I find myself at the gym as well. My body has gotten to the point that I feel gross if I DON’T exercise! If you really love your sport, you’ll find that you want to go to run and workout every day, so you can get better and build your endurance. I also tend eat a lot healthier. If I go to the gym, I don’t want that chocolate bar to wipe out 30 minutes on the elliptical- I worked hard for that!
4.) It’s not the school Team: When a part of a club sport, you have the best of both worlds. You have the opportunity to play a sport you love, but still have time to do what you want. The atmosphere is much more relaxed. Playing a college sport is very time consuming, and I give a lot of credit to anyone on a D1, D2, or D3 college team.
So, at the Spring 2015 Involvement Fair, march over to the sports tables and sign up for one! Attend a few practices, see if it’s for you. What’s the harm in that?
Ashley Cantasano is a third-year student who is majoring in marketing and adverisement. She can be reached at AC784683@wcupa.edu