By Alexa Hyman
Are you grieving your untapped athletic potential, but lack the time to commit to a varsity sports team? Do you long to satisfy your competitive edge? Intramural sports might be exactly what you need.
IM sports may be perfect for those of you who answered yes to any of the questions above because the program offers important benefits. During the fall, winter and spring, Albion College’s intramural sports program offers four seasons of same-sex and co-ed sports leagues, ranging from flag football to wallyball. Here are five reasons you should start or join an intramural sports team this spring:
1. Stay in shape
For students who like to or would like to regularly work out, IM sports schedules your work-outs for you. It’s not always easy to motivate yourself to get to the gym and run aimlessly on the treadmill, while passers-by judge you through clear glass walls. In Intramural sports, there’s no such embarrassment when you are on a team full of your friends—not to mention you will get a hard work out while having a good time.
Jérôme Petitgrand, Versailles, Île-de-France, France, junior, plays intermural soccer to maintain his skill level. Petitgrand decided to stop playing for Albion’s varsity team last fall after it became too time consuming.
“[The IM league is] beneficial because it permits me to play regularly without losing all the skills I have,” Petitgrand said. “And the level is pretty good because a lot of soccer players and former soccer players play, too.”
For athletes in their off-season, intramural sports offers a great opportunity for them to keep in-touch with their athletic abilities in a less pressured environment.
“I play to stay in shape and to keep my touch in the off-season,” said Kyle Alsheskie, Wixom sophomore. “We did just start spring practices and it takes a toll, but it’s good exercise.”
Alsheskie plays varsity soccer for Albion and, though he keeps his competitive drive in check almost year- round, he’s still extremely competitive in the IM volleyball and soccer league.
“I’ve yet to win an IM champ shirt, and I want one,” Alsheskie said.
2. Relive your glory days
For those of you former all-stars who are still nostalgic about your high school athletic successes, IM sports may be your second coming. Get out there and prove the skills you still have—or think you still have. You might impress your audience and make a name for yourself or, in the worst case, put your prime to rest at last.
For college athletes, dedication to their sport may be strong, but even they need a break to keep them from burning out.
“It’s nice to get away from football since that’s something we do year round,” said Nick Emery, Bloomfield Hills sophomore. “A lot of us played basketball in high school, and it’s nice to relive our past since it’s all about football now.”
According to The Kansas State Collegian, “[Exercise] can help reduce the overload of hormones that can play a key factor in being stressed.”
Even if you have a busy schedule, an intramural sports league does not require a large time commitment. Depending on the size of the team, missing games once in a while when you have to study for an exam most likely isn’t a big deal. The program offers a perfect opportunity for college kids to get away from their stressful lives as a student. Feeling angry? Spiking a volley ball down on your opponents might help to alleviate that.
4. Get Involved
College is a big place, even if Albion’s campus does have a five-minute walking radius. Joining a club or getting involved in Greek life may not be your thing, but getting involved and meeting people on campus is important to your development during college. Watching and playing sports brings all kinds of people together to bond over a common love for the game. Who knows, you might even meet a lifelong friend or your future boyfriend or girlfriend.
Lauren Scott, Plymouth senior and student IM director, has been playing intermural sports since her freshman year at Albion. As student director since last January, Scott got involved because of how much fun the program is, as well as the great benefits that it offers to students on campus.
“It’s a nice change of pace for students’ exercise, and it allows students to get in the competitive spirit in a different atmosphere than the Greek organizations and other clubs on campus,” Scott said.
5. Have a blast
Whether you are competitive as all get out or just want to goof around in the gym, intermural sports offers students the opportunity to have fun without the stresses of screaming coaches and time-consuming practices. IM sports also guarantees an embarrassment-free environment, where the most horrendous of athletes can come out and give it all they have. Get a group of your friends together, register your team online and start making unforgettable memories.
Interested in playing indoor soccer, softball or tennis this spring? The process to get registered in the program is easy. Visit www.imleagues.com, create an account and register your team (with your team name) under the proper sports league. Team members can then visit the site, make their own account and join your team.
“I got involved because of how much fun my friends and I always have,” Scott said. “Even if our team is no good, which our volleyball team this past spring definitely wasn’t, we still have a great time.”