Going to college provides countless opportunities to try new things, including Club Sports. There are an estimated two million students currently participating in Club Sports in the U.S. (Source: New York Times)
Today’s student story is brought to you by Alexina Laliberte. She participated in club sports for three years and even helped restart the field hockey club at her school.
Name: Alexina Laliberte
School: University of Phoenix
Major/Degree: Bachelor of Science in Business with a Project Management Certification
Status/Class: Junior – Class of 2021
How To Start Playing Club Sports
If you’re interested in playing a club sport, asking questions, attending club fairs, and checking out the clubs’ websites and social media are great ways to learn more and know what to expect. I would highly recommend attending interest meetings to get to know teammates, coaches, and the type of environment you’ll be in.
I got started with club sports because my university didn’t have women’s college field hockey or women’s college lacrosse teams at the time. I found a flyer for the lacrosse team in my dorm and I helped get the club field hockey team back up and running!
I participated in club sports for two of the three years I attended University of North Carolina Charlotte. The school I attend now, University of Phoenix, is completely online. I would still be playing now if I could! I think UNCC will be getting NCAA approval for women’s lacrosse soon – how cool!
Playing A Sport You’ve Never Played
My advice for someone considering participating in club sports is to just do it! It is a great way to continue to play a previous sport in a more relaxed setting or even learn a new sport. We had a few girls who had never played field hockey before joining our team and it was amazing to see them learn to love the sport. Club sports allow you to do a lot more off the field. The relaxed setting allows participants to enjoy life outside of the sport, which was something that drew me in. I highly recommend participating in them to anyone interested.
Finding Equipment For New Sports
There are also so many ways to get affordable equipment if you don’t already own equipment for the club sport you play. A lot of the time other teammates and/or the coach(es) will have extra equipment if you need it. This is a great way to get to try out the sport before committing all the way or committing long term to it.
Balancing Sports and Classes
I didn’t have to do much balancing between classes and club sports. Practice before games or tournaments was mandatory, but our academics were a priority to our coaches, teammates, and the university. I never felt like I had to sacrifice my school work to be on the field.
During the lacrosse season, we traveled at least twice a month. Most of the trips we made for games were day trips, but for tournaments, we were gone for three days at a time. The frequent day/overnight trips did not impact my academics at all. I always made sure I got my assignments in early or made time when traveling to do my work in the hotel.
We didn’t do much traveling for field hockey since it was such a new club at the school, so my academics weren’t impacted at all and I didn’t have to make accommodations.
Non-Competitive, Low-Pressure Sports Fuel Friendships
Due to the lacrosse team being a lot more established than the field hockey team, I would say club lacrosse was much more competitive than club field hockey. Overall, neither of them were insanely competitive. Going to practice was the best part of my day most weeks! It was a great way to meet friends and get the chance to keep playing the sports I love the most.
I benefited a lot from the club sports I played! I came from a Division 1 high school and a few travel teams that put a lot of pressure on their athletes, so it was really nice to be able to play these sports without added pressure. I was able to fall in love with the sports again and have fun with it instead of put a ton of pressure on myself. They also gave me something to do outside of going to class and work. It was nice to have another way to meet new people with shared interests.
Club sports aren’t run the same way at every school, so educating yourself as best you can is the most important.
Alexina is an Instagramer at @alexinagrace where she shares Fashion, Beautify, and Lifestyle content. We’d like to formally thank Alexina for sharing her Student Story here on Bloom + Amplify.