Student athletic clubs at Gustavus Adolphus College allow students to be a part of a team and commit to a sport without being a part of the NCAA. Gustavus offers a variety of club sports for both men and women during the fall 2013 season, including rugby, tennis, and ultimate Frisbee.
Many students have assumptions about club sports that are not necessarily true. Club athletes practice together each week, compete against other schools in the MIAC, and are always looking for more hard working athletes to join, regardless of experience level.
“If you dedicate yourself to our program, and put in the time and effort, we will welcome you to the team with open arms. I guarantee you will see play time in games, regardless of your initial skill level. We are always looking for more people to join up with us,” Junior Rugby Player Peter Selness said.
Aside from joining a club to play a sport they love, students join for a variety of other reasons:
Some students want to be a part of a team without committing to a varsity sport.
“Not everyone has the talent or time to play NCAA sports at Gustavus, but club sports allow anyone at any level to at least enjoy the sport that they love,” Junior Ultimate Player Matt Spoden said.
“Club sports are so different from varsity sports, and are kind of overlooked at Gustavus. We play competitively against other schools, but games are friendly because we are all playing because we love the sport. We know all of the teams within the MIAC and are on really good terms with them all. We’re all there to have a good time playing a sport we love,” Selness said.
Members of sports clubs meet on a regular basis to practice and work together to develop individually and as a team.
As of now, the women’s ultimate team is involved in tournaments, but won’t be recording scores until Sections this spring. The women meet about four times a week to go through drills to improve on certain aspects of the game, and will continue to do so this winter in Lund.
“We sometimes join the men’s team for drills and scrimmages, which is nice to get the chance to gain some shared knowledge, and to see how people play on a whole different level and style. We can then incorporate this into our playing,” Sophomore Ana Hollander said.
Even though the men’s rugby team lost their first game on Sept. 28, against Southwest, they are hoping to step it up in future competitions.
“We do a lot of rugby drills and work on technical skills during practice. We also do some scrimmages against our teammates to work on tying everything together, as well as letting the rookies get a feel for the game. We also lift weights as a team, and do a lot of running and conditioning,” Selness said.
Tennis club has had one tournament so far at USD in Vermillion, SD. The team placed fifth, and will be competing in three more tournaments this fall, as well as at Sections in the spring. To enhance their game, the team practices four times a week for a couple of hours.
“Besides drills, we play each other in actual match play for both singles and doubles to help prepare us for our tournaments,” Junior Tennis Player Janessa Anderson said.
According to student club athletes, joining is a great opportunity to bond with a team, make new friends, develop new skills, and to play with athletes of all levels.
“Club sports are a great way to meet other students and continue playing or start playing sports,” Senior Rugby Player Andrew Choquette said.
“Some of my closest friends and mentors are on the ultimate team, and the bonds and stories that come out of tournaments and practice are some of my fondest memories at Gustavus,” Spoden said.