High School To College: The Difference In Staying Active

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Charles J. Ping Recreation Center.                Photo Courtesy: ThePostAthens

Many former high school athletes have to find ways to stay active when entering their first year of college.

Most of these athletes will not play for their colleges at the NCAA level, but continue to have a passion for their sport.

However, continuing to play a sport can be difficult with no organization: no coach, no set teams, and no officiating.

Ohio University senior Gyasi Calhoun initially accepted an offer to play football for the University of Rochester, but backed out because he didn’t think he would have time to balance his engineering major and football.

“It was just a conflict of interest, studying something which was really rigorous on top of playing sports,” he said.

Like many others, Calhoun resorted to playing sports at OHIO through pick-up and intramural games .

Organizational vs. Non-Organizational

The lack of organization in non-sanctioned sports can be difficult for athletes.

“With basketball, it’s always next five guys,” Calhoun said. “If we’re running five on five’s, people sitting out will have to get a group of five together and they’ll have to wait to play winner. When it comes to fouls, it can be real difficult with no ref, but depending on the person, we’re all usually pretty good about agreeing on foul calls.”

However, this lack of organization is actually what attracted OHIO sophomore Tyler Ashley to pick-up and intramural sports.

“In high school, it was a little bit different because I played sports obviously every day, worked out every morning, but that’s because it was required and on schedule,” he said. “Now that I’m in college, I still do the same thing because I like being active, but since it’s not required I can take days off and work at my own pace.”

Difference in Competition

OU students participating in intramural basketball.                                                            Photo Courtesy: Ohio Marketing Students Blog

And because the athletes are bigger and the competition is more fierce, they see their game grow faster than high school – even without the benefit of organization.

“I’m not going to lie, high school, I’m not going to say was easier because it was organized, but there are a lot bigger dudes here,” Ashley said. “That’s honestly made me better because I had to get stronger to compete.”

Calhoun agreed, saying athletes from all over the country come together at universities, whereas in high school it’s usually just your region competing against you.

“There’s hundreds of students so I found a lot of competition,” he said. “I’ve played against a bunch of students who actually went to play for college and came here for grad school or just decided to stop playing and come here for the academics.”

The Benefit of College Facilities

College facilities like Ping Recreation Center offer many ways for students to workout.

Weightlifting, basketball/volleyball, treadmills, track, and a rock-climbing wall are all available inside Ping.

Calhoun said he believes he is able to stay in shape because of the motivation he gets just by walking into Ping.

OU Club Tennis Team                                      Photo Courtesy: TheAthensNEWS

“Being around such a diverse group of students, no matter what time you come in, I feel motivated because I see all these people putting in work,” he said.

In addition to intramural sports, OHIO also offers over 30 club sports; giving students the opportunity to compete without the same commitment required by the university’s official teams. However, club sports generally require more of a financial commitment than intramural or pick-up games.