Name: Gabe Kaptchuk
Year: Class of 2015
Majors: Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Math
Hometown: Cambridge, MA
Why You Should Play A Club Sport
You should play club ultimate frisbee. I don’t care if you’ve never thrown a frisbee before or never seen the sport played. Once you get to campus you should walk around campus, find some kids throwing around a disc, and introduce yourself.
If you really don’t want to play frisbee, I’ll forgive you. But you should join a club sport no matter what you do. It can be anything from soccer to equine sports, or you could just join frisbee.
On Hopkins campus we have nearly 30 club sports teams that organize themselves, practice, and compete each year. I started playing frisbee – could you guess that I was part of the frisbee team? – during my final year of high school. I would not have called high school Gabe “unathletic”, but calling him athletic would have probably been overly generous. Arriving at Hopkins, I joined a variety of clubs, including Dangerzone, Hopkins’ Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team. The benefits I have reaped from being on the team are numerous, but I’ll attempt to list just a few in order to encourage you, the reader, to join a club sport once you get to Hopkins campus.
1. The freshman 15 is a real struggle
Most club sports practice at least 3-5 times a week. Getting your heart rate up and burning some calories all while having fun will help keep you healthy as you adjust to a college lifestyle. While you won’t have the time commitment of a varsity athlete, playing a club sport makes sure that you are taking the time to get in your exercise, something that can often slip the mind of students suddenly exposed to a hundred new opportunities. Plus, you want to make sure you are looking good once the spring rolls around…
2. Meet new freshman
I met my current roommate early in my freshman year while attending my first Dangerzone practice. When you get to campus, it can sometimes be overwhelming meeting all these new people. With a club sport, you immediately have common ground with all the other freshman on the team, a foundation from which you can build a larger friendship.
3. Mess around and have fun
Club sports serve as social outlets beyond the field. On frisbee, we try to get together once a week at the captain’s house to hang out. Spending weekends away at tournaments has led to the development of a catch-phrase infused lingo that can hardly be understood by my best friends who are not on the team. All the students on the team are there to have fun and do their best to make it impossible to not have fun when you are around your teammates.
4. Don’t mess up the way we did
Everyone will make a mistake sometime during their time in college. It might be academic, social, or something completely different. Chances are, an upperclassman on your club sports team made the exact same mistake you will be on the precipice of making. Having regular access to upperclassman from the moment you get on campus helps you not make the same stupid decisions we did. Upperclassmen can help you navigate coursework, choose between housing options, or make social decisions.
5. Leadership opportunities
All the teams on our campus require massive effort to organize. Budgeting, scheduling, practice-planning, just to name a few, are all handled by students. Even more so than other clubs on campus, club sports expose students to real leadership positions where you learn to make decisions for an entire group of people. While these positions aren’t thrown at you freshman year, you can quickly find yourself leading the team. Even if you’re looking to work in a field where this type to experience won’t bump your resume above others, the practical experience you gain is invaluable.
If these reasons are enough to convince you to join a club sport, then I don’t know what will. My involvement with Dangerzone has been an invaluable part of my Hopkins experience and i really hope you chose to become part of a team once you get to our campus.
Also, in case you forgot, join Frisbee.