February Club Sport of the Month: Lacrosse

Hard work is a tool. A tool utilized by NC State’s student body to continuously think and do. Within that paradigm, there are a select few at this university who set an example of the value of hard work through sport.

A sport that is entrenched in American history, lacrosse, has provided our men’s club lacrosse with an avenue to exercise their potential as student-athletes. Maintaining good grades while performing on the field every weekend can be tough, but these men show that all is possible with hard work.

In the month of February, our men’s lacrosse team will embark on a new season as a squad of 45 men, prepare for battle. In an effort to see their progression into the 2016 season, we interviewed club president, John to learn about the teams’ resilience and excitement.

UREC: Can you recall a memorable moment you guys had last year?

John: Last year we shoveled an entire field before a game. It was the first game of the season and we already had three games cancelled. We wanted to play our first game so we were out for eight hours shoveling the field. The next day, we came out and won the game.

UREC: How’s preseason coming along?

John: This year we’ve got 45 kids lined up to play on the team so preseason has been different. When I started we only had about 25 kids so this year we have more reps, more time and participation, so all is well.

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UREC: What are you guys looking forward to the most this season?

John: We are looking forward to playoffs, we’ve got a place in our division, but won’t be easy. This year, we are looking to win a playoff game. Last two years we’ve made the playoffs for the first time in team history so this year if we win a game it’d be the biggest thing yet.

UREC: How was Club Lacrosse at NC State established?

John: Team started 15 years ago once the school lost its varsity program. After a few years, club lacrosse became word of mouth. We’ve got a website so guys who come out of high school we don’t really recruit them, they just come to us.

UREC: With school and athletics, how do you guys balance?

John: This team only has six hours a week to practice so it isn’t a terrible time commitment. Once we start traveling, we definitely ramp up the commitment, but as a far as running the team, we have over 10 officers doing the leg work. That makes things run smoothly, letting guys come out to relax from school and get the stress off.

UREC: One thing your squad would like the students of NC State to know?

John: This year, we’d really like to have more support. A lot of the fans come from local teams that we played for and family but we’d like to have a bigger support from the school. We’re out at Method Road so its not directly on campus but the games are fun to watch and we’ve got really good competition so we’re excited.

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The team plays their first set of games this weekend in Athens, Georgia. Using the inspiration of making the playoffs two straight years, the team expects to add to that schuss with big time wins.

With the support of the Wolfpack nation, getting the boys over the hill will be an easier task. Make sure to keep up with their schedule and more at their website!

Relieving Stress During Exams

Stress can be a good thing. Yes, you read it here first; stress can be a good thing, but only if you learn to use it as strength.

Eustress is defined by a University of Mississippi study as “positive stress that improves performance, motivates and focuses energy.”

Reaching a point in which the stress you’re dealing with becomes a motivating factor in studying and maintaining a high self-esteem can become beneficial for your grades, appearance and overall health.

Distress is the opposite of eustress, defined by the same University of Mississippi study as “negative stress that can cause anxiety or cause for concern.”

The concept of distress and eustress is prevalent on a college campus. Depending on your perspective, the pressure of this time period can either bring the best or the worst out of a student.

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This time of year is critical for the typical NC State student. With exams, projects and presentations due, the stress is at an all-time high from Main Campus to Centennial Campus.

Dealing with the stress is pivotal to attaining academic goals. Preserving the body physically can prepare the body for the mental rigors of the exam period.

At University Recreation, we offer four activities in particular that allow participants to turn distress into eustress. Here are my favorite activities:

YOGA

As an activity predicated on building flexibility and balance, yoga is perfect for dealing with stress. According to a recent study from the MGN College of Education in India, “Seven weeks of regularly doing poses, practicing yoga breathing and participating in mediation practice reduced students’ stress levels, which translated into better academic performance.”

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The facts stated show the effectiveness of yoga in relieving distress and building eustress. Utilizing breathing techniques to clear the body of negative energy while training the muscles to adapt to various positions almost replicate the process of retaining information.

When you study, you try to learn the unknown and master the material. The similarity to yoga is scene through the repetition and the adaptation of the mind and body to its environment, making yoga a fantastic activity for exam week.

BOXING

Boxing has long been heralded for its ability to build cardiovascular fitness while releasing stress that can way a person down. The combination of the two opens up the mind to receive information through releasing the bad vibes that can plague the thought process.

“Studies have shown that working out can help relieve depression, stress, anxiety, and anger. When you get your adrenaline going, your mind starts going, too” said renowned psychologist/physical therapist Elizabeth Lombardo.

Through a sport that drains you of negative emotions and clears the mind, the strenuous process of studying can become easier, especially when it comes to retaining information with a clear mind.­

H.I.I.T.

High Intensity Interval Training. The words that spell out “H.I.I.T.” all are vital descriptions of this activity. Built upon the principle of maintaining a high rate of activity in a short span of time, H.I.I.T. is a fantastic way to build fitness while clearing the mind.

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The vast combination of workouts and intervals provide a mercurial realm of activity that forces the participant to build a sharp, attentive mind state. This activity evolves through an individual workout in a similar manner to the material you learn in class.

Within a curriculum, the information grows in difficulty and quality of time. H.I.I.T. replicates that system through a rise in tougher activities as you get acclimated to the initial exercises. This model of progression can get a student into that mindstate of climbing their ladder to success.

SWIMMING

In a recent study conducted by Speedo and Ipsos MORI, swimming was discovered to be a perfect activity to wind down the stress of the day. A quote from the study stated, “Over two thirds of those surveyed feel that swimming can have a positive mental impact, with 70% agreeing that it helps them to feel mentally refreshed.”

Recognized as a perennial sport in regards to building fitness, swimming is perfect for allowing the participants to trade their negative energy for positive, clear-minded thoughts. Through the rigorous strokes necessary to progress within the water, swimming provides a great workout with minimal force to the joints.

Getting in water overall is a great feeling. It creates a weightless feeling for the participant that almost immediately alleviates the pressure on the mind that can carry on to other parts of the body. Swimming is perfect for clearing the mind and relaxing the body during exam week.

As the semester wraps up, all of our hard work from the past four months will come together. Group projects, presentations and those dreaded exams stand no chance if you can maintain eustress and avoid distress.

With strenuous nature of the last two weeks of December, we hope to provide you with an alleviating alternative to you day. To learn more about what we offer, visit recreation.ncsu.edu/.

Think and DOminate,

Cherif

November Club Sport of the Month: Men’s Soccer

Globally recognized as the world’s game, recently, soccer has grown substantially in the United States. Building off of the energy of tournaments like the World Cup and video games like EA Sports’ FIFA, soccer is becoming a major sport in a country that is enamored with football, basketball and baseball.

At NC State, soccer has maintained a great following through the legacy of our men’s varsity team, currently ranked top 25 in the nation. This team has produced players such as former US Men’s National Team member Pabli Mastroeni and current Carolina RailHawk Nazmi Albadawi.

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Our men’s club team has followed suit, building a program predicated on building great student-athletes and fantastic soccer players. Check out our interview with the team below.

UREC: How is the season going thus far?

So far we have had a very good season; we have yet to lose a conference game and we look like strong contenders for Regionals. As the season goes on we have only been getting better and that is something that is very promising.


UREC: What are you guys looking forward to the most this school year?

As the regular season comes to an end, we are really looking forward to Regionals. If we qualify, we will be going to Florida on Halloween weekend and hopefully we can have a strong showing there. We have not qualified for the past couple of years, so this is something that we are really looking forward too.


UREC: As the new members come in, what is the most important thing necessary to become a valuable team member?

The most important thing would be commitment. We have players from all over the place with many different playing styles so when a new player comes in it is important that he is going to all the practices in order to get better team chemistry. The more committed the player is the better adapted he can become to our playing style, and the bigger impact he can have for us on the field.

UREC: What is the strongest attribute of this team on the field?
Our strongest attribute would have to be our teamwork. We work very hard every practice to make that we are all on the same page when it comes to game time, and that shows. We are very strong when it comes to attacking and defending as a unit.

UREC: Typical practice looks like?
At the beginning of practice the first thing we do is get a warm up going, this usually consists of a couple laps around the field just to get our legs going. After this we incorporate some technical work with some fitness as well. Once we finish this we move on to some small sided games, some possession drills, or a scrimmage. We also try to make things more interesting by having the losing team do more fitness at the end of practice.

UREC: During travel, what are some of the best memories you can recall?
The best thing about traveling with the team is the time we get to spend together. The team meals we have are usually what everyone looks forward to and is always a good time. And of course whenever we stay at a hotel we seem to also find a way to get a little soccer game going, usually in the halls or in the parking lot.

UREC: What is a staple tradition your team has?
Our biggest tradition is going to the Clemson tournament. Every year Clemson has a tournament, and this is something that we always look forward too as a team. This is the time we get to spend the most time together as a team and it really helps us come together and get to know each other, especially the newest players that some might not know as well.

UREC: Being a student-athlete has benefited you in a multitude of ways, top benefit is?
Being a student-athlete can be something that is very demanding at times. With school being very stressful at times with exams and projects, the best thing for me about being a student-athlete is the relief that is gives me. I know that no matter how busy the week is, at least twice a week I am going to have a couple hours where I get to relax and do what I love. It helps me relax and get away from all the stress of school, and that is something that is very important I think for everyone; everyone needs to do something that gets you away from the stress and re-energizes you.
 
UREC: Lastly, what makes men’s club soccer at NC State special?
What makes club soccer soccer so special is the bond and friendships that it creates. There is something about being part of a team that is inexplicable. We have people come from so many different places and cultures that are brought together by this one sport that we love. Club soccer takes soccer and creates bonds that go way beyond that, it creates awesome friendships. Club soccer has given me friendships that will last a lifetime, and that is pretty special.

Insight on the 2015 Monster Dash

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As Raleigh’s hot summer days turn into chilly fall nights, we look forward to helping the Wolfpack family grow through fun, engaging events. One event that we are looking forward to is the Monster Dash on Centennial Campus.

Scheduled to kick off on October 29th, this event combines obstacle course racing with Halloween traditions. The combination of running, crawling and critically thinking fits NC State’s mindset of “Think and Do” like no other.

The 5 kilometer, 3.1 mile race begins with a puzzle that is meant to stimulate the mind before a plethora of new challenges. Teams have to work as a unit to finish their puzzle or lose precious time to their fellow competitors. Once the puzzle is complete, participants begin their quest for first place as the Dash officially starts.

A staggered run from Centennial’s Greenway to Lake Raleigh leads to the paddling phase, which is one of the most fascinating elements to the Monster Dash. Kaley, a participant from last year’s Monster Dash says, “Paddling was the coolest part of the Dash because some of us had to learn on the fly. It gave us so many laughs and moments to remember.”

This year’s Dash is at night, adding a whole new level of difficulty for the paddling phase. Though the water will have lighting, paddling at nighttime will make the journey interesting as many participants will experience paddling in the dark for the first time.

An interview with one of the Monster Dash’s coordinators shed light on this year’s new component. “Hosting this event at night will make it extremely interesting. Paddling on Lake Raleigh at night while wearing wild Halloween costumes will definitely make it a night to remember” said the Monster Dash coordinator.

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Once the paddling phase is complete, runners will pick up their team pumpkin from the Greenway and proceed to Centennial’s Oval to complete a plethora of challenges. These challenges test teamwork and communication skills as teams will complete tasks varying in difficulty such as jumping through tires and completing small games.

After the games on the Oval are done, participants will complete their longest straight run of the day. This run will serve as crunch time that will likely dictate the winners of the race. Competitors will have to remain consistent and strong on their stride towards the finish line.

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At the end of the run, participants will finish with a bang as the last part of the race is a 50-yard low crawl through mud. This part of the race will stress the concept of unity within teams as all four members will have to complete the low crawl to cement a finishing time.

Throughout the race, teams will enjoy their time together working hard and thinking critically on the pursuit of the coveted first place title. Laughs aplenty will be generated through great costumes and challenging tasks, creating great memories to start the fall season.

The winning team will take home a prize pack including an Adidas sports bag, perfect for holding gym apparel. All participants who register before October 22nd will also receive a commemorative Monster Dash tee shirt in their size.

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Post-run, competitors will be treated to snacks and encouraged to take pictures of their team’s costumes. At this stage, costumes will be the focal point as participants and staff alike will marvel at the creativity of the Wolfpack family. After a review from race staff, the best costumes will receive a prize from University Recreation.

To register for this race, visit IM Leagues to add your team of four or even enter as a free agent. Teams of four will be constructed upon submission of teams with any less than four participants.

Benefits of Competitive Sports

 

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University Recreation is dedicated to providing students with a plethora of options to maintain healthy, active lifestyles while pursuing academic goals. This dedication makes our competitive sports sector an integral part.

Many students at NC State have a passion for athletics. Sadly, not all of us had the basketball skill of Abdul-Malik Abu or the football skill of Jacoby Brissett to continue playing at the highest level. This leads us to require a fix or a supplemental realm to live out our athletic dreams.

Within our recreational facilities at NC State, many competitive sports teams host games and matches built to test competitive will and build camaraderie. From cricket to the popular flag football, University Recreation covers a wide demographic of different athletic interests.

The various sports University Recreation offers allow participants to enjoy a multitude of different sports, even some during the same seasons. Getting into a sport and building relationships with your peers of different characteristics is easier when you’re interacting through competition. Taking advantage of this allows the participant to benefit in a variety of ways.

ACADEMIC 

Playing competitive sports in college has been proven to increase the rate of positive academic achievement. Spikes in grade point average, test scores and overall consistency in school have been linked to participation in intramural and club competition.

A 2014 study at the University of Maryland provided context into the known fact of competitive sports’ impact on education. The research in this study led by Maryland professor Sangmin Kim utilized a representative sample of 9,230 students in high school and college.

10 years of research concluded in findings that showcased a positive relation between high math scores and competitive sports participation. Sports such as baseball, soccer and football in particular showed high scores in reading along with consistently above average scores in math.

These statistics prove the true benefit of competitive sports. The added activity in your schedule can keep you busy while participating in a sport you love. Overall, staying busy is extremely helpful to the pursuit of a success academic career as you are constantly processing experiences. Utilize competitive sports as a part of your day in which exercise produces growth.

SOCIAL

Competitive sports in college allow participants to maximize understanding of their peers and colleagues. The more dialogue a student has with their classmates, the better they understand the culture they reside in and how they can make an impact on it. Competitive sports foster healthy communication through sports, promoting the idea of campus growth.

In a study conducted by Brock University in Ontario, Canada, competitive sports’ benefit to college students is studied on a social level. The study aimed to provide information on what social characteristics changed in participants of friendly competition.

After a review of over 300 surveys, the study found competitive sports to improve leadership abilities grow self-confidence and especially improve tolerance of different culture. The last one in particular struck a nerve as participants noticed a major spike in their acceptance of other culture.

When you go to a prestigious public university, you encounter people from all across the world. Participants of this study showed growth in their understanding through constant communication with people from various cultures. Sports was utilized as a medium between American culture and the world, creating a space in which participants can grow personally through simply playing games.

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Competitive sports also proved to reduce social alienation amongst participants. During college, things get tough and time goes quickly leading to people alienating themselves to find peace. The Brock University study showed that sports allowed students to release the tensions of the day with their peers instead of coping alone.

As a senior at NC State, I can attest to having moments in which I wanted to be alone. Through it all, playing club soccer allowed me to find people who I could relate to, making my time here easier.

The relationships I’ve built through simply playing sports have made life fun at NC State. Whether its having relationships with coworkers or classmates that I already met through competitive sports, simply kicking a ball around built relationships that make my day-to-day routine flow in an enjoyable manner.

PHYSICAL

Over everything, competitive sports’ benefit to the physique is the most evident. Whether its strength, endurance, or coordination, competitive sports allows students to continue living like an athlete.

The mentality behind always being prepared for competition encourages physical attributes to flourish and develop through sport. While having fun and developing relationships, sports such as soccer and basketball promote cardiovascular health.

Cardiovascular health is vital in many day-to-day aspects including energy reservation and energy use. The better your cardiovascular health is, the easier the long walk from one class to another becomes.

Many studies have highlighted competitive sports’ ability to help maintain fitness in participants. The motivation to exercise is unconscious as the motivation to win and have fun prevail. This makes exercise effortless while maximize physical attributes.

Competitive sports provide students with a wonderful opportunity to thrive academically, network with peers and maintain fitness. University Recreation offers a variety of intramural and club sports for the Wolfpack to take advantage of these potential benefits.

To get more information on intramural and club sports, check out the links attached in this sentence. We can’t wait to see you at our courts and fields this year. Plus, we give away really cool shirts to champions!

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Think and DOminate,

Cherif Gueye

 

 

Club Sport of the Month: Equestrian Dressage

NC State University Recreation is excited to highlight NC State’s Equestrian Dressage club team as July’s Club Sport of the Month. This team won numerous titles during the 2014-15 school year and plan to build even more memories and acclaim this upcoming school year.

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To look back on the successes of last year and the exciting future of NC State’s equestrian dressage, here’s our interview with team captain, Ashley Grandis.

University Recreation: How was last year’s club season?

Ashley: Wonderful! Last year, we won Overall Team Champion at our NC State IDA Homeshow. We competed at the St. Andrews University IDA Show, placing ahead of the host team and an additional Reserve Team Champion title. We won the Regional Team Reserve Champion for Region I during the 2014-15 year, an award we hadn’t won since 2008. In addition to our competitive success, we also earned the Community Service Award through Club Sports 2014-15 for our devotion to CORRAL (an organization that pairs rescued horses and at-risk girls for therapy) as our service project for the year.

University Recreation: What are you guys looking forward to the most?

Ashley: We are looking forward to gaining new members and growing our team at a new facility, SaddleTree Stables for the 2015-16 year. Greater scheduling flexibility, more affordable rates for our members, and a larger selection of horses to ride should lead us to even more success.

University Recreation: As the new members come in, what is the most important attribute necessary to becoming a valuable team member?

Ashley: The most important thing to becoming a valuable team member is dedication not only as a rider, but for all aspects of the club. For example, we have different events throughout the year such as bi-weekly meetings, clinics, fundraisers and community service events that are necessary components of being a member of the team. It is vital that members understand the importance of actively participate in these components in addition to the weekly riding lessons and various competitions.

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University Recreation: When does the season start? How long is it?

Ashley: We start recruitment in August with RecFest during the first week of school. After that we host our interest meeting and tryouts a couple days after RecFest. After tryouts we solidify our team roster, and begin weekly lessons the first week of September. We typically have about 5-6 competitions throughout the year. We train and compete both Fall and Spring semesters, excluding Winter Break and Spring Break. Our season wraps up mid April, ending with Nationals if team members qualify.

University Recreation: What is your favorite thing about the team?

Ashley: This team consistently promotes professional, social, and personal growth. From a professional standpoint, the team provides a spectrum of leadership roles from being an active member all the way to taking on officer positions such as President. I finally was able to show on my resume the love I have for this sport throughout my life. Socially, the team creates life long friendships that make our time at NC State even better. I have found my “equestrian family” on through this team. The cherished memories I’ve shared with this group will always be with me.

University Recreation: Typical practice looks like?

Ashley: A typical practice consists of a weekly lesson with four riders per group. Riders are assigned horses by our coach, Jan Jacobson. Members will tack up his or her horse for the day and head to the riding arena for an hour lesson. Typically during a lesson, Jan will take turns working with different riders individually to give riders added personalized coaching. Typically, a few weeks before any competition we practice riding through our dressage tests.

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University Recreation: What is a tradition your team has?

Ashley: As mentioned before, we all enjoy Mexican food and haunted trails. During the Fall we have a lot of competitions that sometimes end up pretty close together spanning from September through early November. Its become a tradition to go to a haunted house or trail at every weekend show when we travel. Additionally, our team frequents El Cerro pretty much every time we get back into town after a day show.

University Recreation: What does a rider need to do to join your squad?

Ashley: In order to join the team a rider needs to attend RecFest and/or communicate via Facebook or email found in the club sports directory to inform current officers of their interest on the team. Potential members should attend the interest meeting and those who chose to take the next step will attend tryouts at our equine facility. Those trying out will pay a small fee for the use of the facility, coach and horses for the day approximately $15. Tryouts will be based on skill, and also availability per division level. After tryouts those who made the cut will pay a small fee for club dues to join in order to be a member for the year.

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The Wolfpack equestrian dressage club’s commitment to success in the arena and in the community is evident. A multitude of honors paired with an impact for the greater good showcases their passion for sustained excellence, which we are excited to follow.

Additional contact with the equestrian dressage team can be done through email at: equestriandressage-club@ncsu.edu.

Student Employee Highlight: Marketing

Marketing is an instrumental part of NC State’s University Recreation system. Everything from social media to photography is created by a team of fellow Wolfpack members dedicated to showcasing what University Recreation has to offer.

All of the departments at University Recreation work to put a spotlight on our resources and facilities. Here at marketing, students of various skills and majors come together to promote healthy, active lifestyles through print and digital work, culminating in maximal participation by our student body.

One of University Recreation’s longest-tenured Marketing Assistants, Samantha, granted us an interview to learn more about the marketing department. Through this interview, she gives some insight into her role at University Recreation.

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University Recreation: What is your favorite thing about working at University Recreation?

Samantha: My favorite thing about working for UREC is my team in the student workspace. I have the best people surrounding me, and there is never a dull moment. It’s a great creative environment.

University Recreation: Describe your role at University Recreation.

Samantha: As a Marketing Assistant, I do a lot of different things. Primarily I have worked as a Graphic Designer where I create materials to help advertise programs and events for UREC. Recently, I have been handling more things on the PR side, tweeting, posting to Facebook. It is a lot more about administration but has been a giant learning experience for me but has taught me a lot about time management and connecting with my team members.

University Recreation: Why is marketing important to University Recreation?

Samantha: Without the marketing we do, a lot of the special events or programs University Recreation puts on wouldn’t be nearly as well attended. There is so much going on and everyone has such busy schedules, that if we didn’t advertise the way we do people might not realize how much UREC is offering on a weekly basis.

University Recreation: How has your work here impacted your professional growth?

Samantha: By working here I have learned what I love about graphic design and what I want to carry into my professional career. I have watched older students grow through the student development programs and go on to get “real world jobs” and seen how the Professional Staff at UREC really foster our growth as students and professionals through critique and teaching us values that exist in the real world. Things like deadlines, time management, accountability, and customer service.

University Recreation: Graphic design is imperative to our work, where do you draw the inspiration for your work?

Samantha: Behance.com and other professional sites are a great resource. My boss Adam is always the first one to reference a professional in the industry when he understands what I am aiming for with a project, and is always telling me to google certain designers or projects other recreation departments have done.

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University Recreation: Greatest memory working for University Recreation?


Samantha: We went to the Challenge Course and then had dinner at Noodles and Co. as a team this past spring, and that is when I got a lot closer with a lot of the student staff. It was the first time we all had a chance to come together and just have fun instead of working under the pressure of school and deadline hanging over us.

University Recreation: How would you describe your fellow marketing staff at University Recreation?

Samantha: They are all so funny! The workspace is plastered with inside jokes. And of course, they are all so talented. Everyone has their strengths, be it in videography, web development, or design but I am always amazed at the rate at which everyone’s skills are improving and growing from pushing themselves to try new areas of marketing.

University Recreation: What is the typical day at work consist of for you?


Samantha: Some days I am plugged into a project, and am really in the zone so I have all of the Adobe Creative Cloud Programs open and tons of files all over my computer. Other days, it’s a lot about organizing projects, answering emails, and browsing for inspiration. The hardest part about working in a creative field is fighting artist’s block. Fighting through the block is always

University Recreation: What are you looking forward to the most as the fall approaches?

Samantha: This fall I am studying abroad in Prague with the College of Design! It will be my first semester of college without my UREC team. I will miss everyone, but I hope to come back in the spring inspired and ready to work on awesome projects.

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Think and DOminate,

Cherif

Benefits of Yoga

Within life as a college student, stress is eminent. In order to fight the negative effects of stress, many ways to relieve stress and get away are spoken of. My personal favorite method is yoga.

As someone who strives to stay fit, yoga gives me the ability to stay physically sharp while training to control my breath and balance. This combination creates a space in which I can let go of the exams and assignments plaguing my mind while gaining many positive physical and mental attributes.

Studies have consistently shown yoga to be an avenue for personal growth. Research has encouraged everyone from elementary school students to the elderly to try yoga. The reasons for the encouragement is evident from physical prosperity to mental unplugging, the benefits are endless.

To provide insight into the impact yoga can have to your health, here are some of the benefits, physically and mentally, of participating in yoga:

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PHYSICAL

A recent University of Maryland study highlighted the various physical benefits of yoga, calling the activity “a mind-body therapy that connects the body, breath, and mind to energize and balance the whole person”.

Throughout the analysis of yoga and its origins, the study emphasized yoga’s ability to help those with conditions such as anxiety, stress, tendinitis, and even long lasting lower-back pain. Along with the benefits to those with physical conditions, yoga also promotes general athleticism that impacts the normal day.

Growth in range of motion and proper posture are two benefits that stood out to me. As you go through the day, range of motion and posture are important to avoid small injuries and accidents. In fact, they are so important to every individual, we often forget their impact on our daily lives.

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Yoga has been shown to greatly improve the participants’ physical capabilities, which in turn prepare us for our day-to-day lives. Improvements in strength, coordination, and flexibility match the improvements in range of motion and posture. These core attributes are instrumental in successfully dealing with a strenuous day.

Think about it, on the way to class on a rainy day, coordination and posture integral to staying upright. Those bricks on campus seem as if they are actively attempting to trip you up. Proper coordination will teach you to maintain a strong core and balance yourself effectively as you attempt to avoid embarrassment.

However, let’s say you did slip on those bricks. Flexibility along with strength would be necessary to combat the fall. If those two attributes were intact, you would have the tools necessary to save yourself from the fall and remain upright.

MENTAL

Along with the physical benefits, tranquility and peace of mind are cultivated through yoga. As you progress through a normal day, these mental attributes are used to efficiently go through the motions and progress as a scholar.

Yoga’s ability to calm the body and brain has led to people using the activity for educational purposes. This has led schools in the United States to implement yoga into student programs on the pursuit of improving academic performance.

As reviewed in a Wall Street Journal article, a recent study conducted by California State University, Los Angeles found yoga to increase positive student behavior, health, and academic performance.

The study proved many things, specifically yoga’s ability to reduce feelings of helplessness and aggression, which helps overall emotional balance. The control of emotional balance gained helps to increase the likelihood of information retention and confidence in the classroom.

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The results can be attributed to yoga’s reliance on using breathing exercises to center the mind and the body. This facet of yoga increases focus and concentration in order to align the body and the breath. In turn, students of all ages find themselves better prepared for the rigors of class.

As a rising senior, yoga has helped me build the confidence and emotional stability to chase my goals for senior year. One lesson that has made my life easier is the utilization of breathing.

The breathing exercises in yoga taught me how to relinquish stress via the release and intake of air. Something as inconspicuous as breathing has given me total control of the way I think, leading to more rational and impactful decisions during my summer courses. Through it all, yoga’s mental benefits are continuously finding their place to benefit my day-to-day life.

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CONCLUSION

As you enjoy your summer and begin to ponder on different ways to improve your health, consider yoga. The activity is proven to build strength on multiple levels, from mental to physical, as both are necessary to succeed in college.

The opportunities to participate in yoga here at NC State are growing. From the normal level Yoga Flow to the intense Xtended Yoga, the Wolfpack are afforded various opportunities to participate in this amazing activity.

This summer, University Recreation has introduced Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga. As a variation of yoga, this activity is taught on paddleboards atop one of our pools. The lack of consistent stabilization to the ground forces the participant to concentrate on balancing him or herself, creating a fun challenge while attaining the yoga training. This yoga class doesn’t require paddle-boarding experience but does encourage previous yoga experience.

To learn more about yoga at NC State and other group fitness classes, follow this link.

SUP Yoga4

Think and DOminate,

Cherif

Club Sport of the Month: Men’s Basketball

NC State University Recreation would like to recognize our men’s basketball team as the highlight of May’s Club Sport of the Month. This past school year the squad consistently competed on a regional and national level. The 2015 NIRSA National Basketball Tournament in April closed their season out.

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In order to learn more about NC State’s men’s club basketball team, here’s our interview with team captain, Benjamin Simons.

University Recreation: How was last year’s club season?

Benjamin: The last year’s club season went decent. Our overall record for combined teams was 19-17 on the year with wins over every club team in state. The club split up into two teams for the spring semester and won the 17th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Tournament at Wake Forest University. Dunking for Deah was a new 3 on 3 tournament sponsored by our club team in honor of former NC State student, Deah Barakat. This was a huge success raising over $3,000 for his charity alongside our team winning club sports event of the year. We didn’t perform as well as we would have liked to in nationals but we plan to make a big run in the national tournament next year with the majority of players returning.

UREC: Coming up on a new school year, what are you guys looking forward to the most?

B: Our club is looking forward to bringing in 4 to 6 new players who are very good basketball players alongside people. After that we’re looking forward to winning local tournaments plus competing in nationals.

UREC: As the new members come in, what is the most important thing necessary to become a valuable team member?

B: The most important thing to become a valuable team player is getting along with the current players on the team. Team chemistry on and off the court is an important aspect for our club.

UREC: When does the season start? How long is it?

B: The season starts in September with tryouts and runs all the way into mid April with nationals. Our season consists of 8 months.

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UREC: What is your favorite attribute of this squad?

B: My favorite thing about our team is how we compete against other in-state schools. We traditionally have a strong record against in-state universities and hope to keep this going.

UREC: Typical practice looks like?

B: A typical practice consists of playing pick-up for 2 hours every Wednesday night. I try to keep practices laid back but next year we will look to make changes during practice time.

UREC: During travel, what are some of the fondest memories you can recall?

B: The fondest memories would be my sophomore year as our team finished in 3rd place at James Madison University’s fall tournament. 32 club teams across the east coast came to compete in this excellent tournament and to finish 3rd was a huge success. That was one of the most talented teams I’ve played on but the friendships made from that year is another fond memory of mine.

UREC: What is a staple tradition your team has?

B: Our team doesn’t have a staple tradition but something I would like to happen is for The 3 on 3 Tournament, Dunking For Deah to become a new tradition annually hosted by our club team.

UREC: Being a student-athlete has benefitted you in a multitude of ways, top benefit is?

B: We’re no varsity athletes by any stretch but a benefit would be is meeting other club athletes at tournaments and establishing new friendships.

UREC: What does a player need to do to join your squad?

B: A player needs to have skill out on the basketball court but a good attitude as well. I look at skill significantly but it all starts out with being a good team player plus person. They’re a lot of good players at State but players who are talented at basketball alongside being a genuine person have a good shot at making our squad.

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This team has done great things on the court and through this interview, the importance of character and dedication to basketball is evident. With tryouts coming in September, University Recreation will be hosting information for men’s club basketball here.

Additional contact with the men’s club basketball team can be done through email at: basketballmens-club@ncsu.edu

Student Employee Highlight: Fitness

At University Recreation, our fitness employees are instrumental to helping the Wolfpack reach their fitness goals. As sources of information on fitness, these employees guide fellow students to their goals through guidance, motivation, and ultimately, support as they reach their fitness goals.

Elizabeth has been a fitness student employee for more than 2 years. Her work has led helped her grow as a fitness instructor while helping members of the Wolfpack student body attain fitness goals.

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Here’s our interview with her:

University Recreation: When did you realize that fitness was a passion?

Elizabeth: I began taking hot yoga classes when I was 15 years old, it started as a fad that all the cool kids did but for me the ‘fad’ never stopped. Yoga became a way to relax and de-stress after a day of school and what not. Through that, I became motivated to impact lives with the wonderful tool that is exercise. As a student at NC State, I fulfilled this dream of impacting fellow students’ lives through fitness.

UREC: What is your favorite form of exercise?

E: In the past yoga has been my favorite form of exercise, it is the perfect way to forget about any and all obligations and find some inner peace. In the past few years I have began to enjoy running, lifting weights and TRX. I believe in having balance in a workout regimen rather than only focus on one aspect or method of training. This has allowed me to be able to give students a multitude of options when training.

UREC: What motivates you to help other people                                                  ?

E: I think that my interest in fitness has given me confidence, and I’m not just talking about physical appearance. Fitness has given me confidence to improve and succeed in school, work, and friendships. It has made me certain about who I am am, I want to share this opportunity to gain confidence with anyone who will listen. Fitness provides benefits not only physically, but in all facets of daily life. As I had that epiphany, I made sure to spread that knowledge about the benefits of exercise. That is what motivates me daily.

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UREC: What is the typical day at work like?

E: A typical work day at University Recreation is a blast, its something that I look forward to. I am always greeted with smiling faces from fellow employees as well as participants! My fellow University Recreation employees are always supportive and motivating! 

UREC: How has your position with University Recreation allowed you to grow professionally?

E: My as a group fitness instructor at University Recreation has been my first opportunity to teach fitness! Therefore, I have learned how important it is to be punctual, organized, and prepared! This will be beneficial not only if I choose to go into fitness as a career, but in any direction I take my path. Getting the opportunity to communicate with the various unique students at NC State has taught me how vital it is to communicate consistently.
UREC: What is the most valuable skill or lesson you have learned working for University Recreation in your current position?
E: I have learned to expect the unexpected, and how to react quickly and efficiently to any situation! These skills along with the professional skills I have developed are beyond what I expected. Coming in, I just wanted to help my fellow students in any way I could through fitness. University Recreation has allowed my potential to grow as I have developed skills that will help me advance in various avenues!
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The benefits of having a fitness instructor are endless. From cultivation of motivation to more consistent result, instructors can be an instrumental part of reaching your fitness goals. An article conducted by Johnston Health of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill reinforces the benefits of an instructor.

The two points of the article that stuck out to me, the ability that an instructor has to create better results and how their guidance can help the participant overcome plateaus.

As a part of the job, instructors work to create regimens that take the participant to the next level. This helps fitness levels grow exponentially fast as the participant is guided through exercises that challenge the body.

Overcoming plateaus has always been difficult for anyone striving to reach their fitness goals. Group fitness instructors have a distinct ability to change workout routines and motivate their clientele to surpass the roadblocks to fitness success. This motivation is cultivated through getting a group on the same page on their path to fitness.

Further research conducted for the American Council on Exercise through a collaboration of Indiana University and Texas A&M University professors, highlighted the influence of an instructor to an exercise regimen. This study monitored more than 40 people who exercised consistently, half of the sample size had instructors.

The research showed that lifestyle behaviors were shown to improve through structured exercise sessions that instructors cultivated for their clientele. 60 percent of the study participants demonstrated evidence of health-behavior change, majority of the 60 percent fitness instructors guiding their progression.

Employees like Elizabeth promote positivity and consistency while working out. Studies conducted have shown how instrumental an instructor can be to the progression of fitness. For the Wolfpack nation, University Recreation offers many ways to work with instructors.

Group fitness regimens including yoga, pilates, Zumba, and more paired with the ability to even have a personal trainer gives the Pack a multitude of resources. Check out what we offer here.

Think and DOminate,

Cherif