Got Cut? How To Stay Involved In College Athletics.

Like many of you, I found sports throughout high school to be an important, and integral, part of the academic experience.

There’s something about being a member of a team working toward a common goal for the pride of your school that makes you feel like you’re set apart, or rather, a special part of, the school itself.

As I started preparing to start college, I found myself wondering how I could continue to push myself athletically while pushing myself academically in college. For some, this may be too much, for others, it’s the perfect balance of work and play.

If you’re like me, and want to stay active and find your athletic niche while hitting the books for the next chapter of your life, here are some helpful resources to help.

IM Sports

Virtually every college in the nation has a complete suite of university sanctioned and sponsored intramural sports programs. The university sets up teams, leagues, play times, and schedules for a variety of sports to help those students who wish to keep active, but aren’t part of an NCAA sports program, to do so.

These IM programs are easy to join and with some only requiring a team fee for students, and what’s more, you and your friends can join up together to form awesome teams to dominate the sport you excel at. And it’s not just the major sports that colleges sponsor. From indoor volleyball to ultimate frisbee, you can find almost any sport you’re interested in or passionate about to be a part of.

I played soccer from when I was five years old all the way through high school. So when I found myself on a huge campus with some free time, I recruited some dorm friends who also happened to love soccer to join an IM team with me. It was easy, and really fun.

If you want to learn more about the types of IM sports programs that the university or universities you’re interested in offer, most universities have a rec sports or IM program page on the school’s website.

Walk-Ons

Were you a standout on your high school team? Did you hold records and have competitors fear your name? Then don’t be afraid to walk on to any of the university sports programs. Many incredibly successful collegiate athletes were initially walk-ons that were not recruited by the college itself.

Blair White, an un-recruited football player for Michigan State University decided when he was a freshman to just try out for the team, which he eventually made. He ended up becoming not only a starter and integral part of the Spartan football team, he was named All Big Ten before being drafted by the Indianapolis Colts.

He wasn’t afraid to at least give it a shot, and neither should you!

Club Teams

In high school I was a swimmer and a soccer player. When I got to college I searched for a way to still participate in sports teams, and be a part of my school’s pride. I tried out for the soccer team, but didn’t make the cut, which turned out to be a serendipitous occurrence.

A few days later on the way to class, somebody handed me a flier for a club/varsity rowing team semi-sponsored by the university. I tried out, and found that I was a perfect fit for rowing. Many teams on the collegiate level are looking for fresh, new talent to step up to the challenge.

I ended up rowing all four years at my university, and competed on a collegiate level, simply because of a flier and my desire to be more than simply a student. Try to look for club teams as well — many schools have club sports programs that are university sanctioned that compete at a collegiate level.

So shop around, check out your options, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone! If you want to stay active and compete, there’s a ton of options to consider to do so.

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Jared Gerling

Jared Gerling

Jared Gerling earned his BA from Michigan State University. Jared has been writing since he was eleven when all his characters had swords and magic spells and bad attitudes. When not writing or studying, he can be found watching Spartan football and basketball games, reading, or working out. Jared currently lives in Chicago pursuing his MA in Writing in Publishing from DePaul University.
Jared Gerling

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