Blog 1: Mizzou Club Racquetball
Since Columbia, MO and the University of Missouri are such large communities, it’s nice to find smaller, more close-knit communities for a sense of belonging. I find myself able to be apart of multiple small and large communities, but one of the communities I most connect to is the Mizzou racquetball team.
The racquetball team is a club organization here at Mizzou where you can join to play the sport leisurely (recreation team) or competitively (traveling team). At the end of the season, usually last week of March/first week of April, the largest collegiate racquetball tournament is held. The top six guys and top six girls from each club team attends Nationals to compete for the 1st place trophy. A major perk is that you get to miss school and travel to a different place (Arizona, Kansas City, California, etc) every year to play and represent your school.
I have been on the team since sophomore year and participating in racquetball is one of the best communities I am involved with. I did not play in high school, so when I first joined the team, I felt like an odd man out. Although the feeling quickly faded. I got to know the other people on the team and improved my skills tremendously thanks to three-hour practices, three times a week. The large racquetball community suddenly became smaller because Mizzou became a team.
To say that Nationals is an incredible experience is an understatement. Mizzou won 3rd in the nation in 2010 and won 5th in the nation in 2011. I see talent there from 18-22 year olds, that I didn’t know existed. The winners of the number one seed for guys and girls earn a spot on the US Olympic team. It makes you want to be the best because you are around the best.
Overall, I get my racquetball information from many different outlets. I can log onto Facebook and look at pictures/recent updates on the Mizzou racquetball group page or www.mizzourec.com also has information for those who are interested in playing. On a larger scale, www.usra.org is the US Racquetball Association website. Every tournament is posted for each individual state and whether you are a beginner or professional, there is something for you. Also the website gives all the up to date news stories about what is happening around the world of racquetball. This is a community that I will hopefully be apart of for a long time, because it is something I am truly passionate about.