April Club Sport of the Month: Table Tennis

Another semester has now ended and the only thing standing between us and summer is our final exams, but we cannot forget about our Club Sport of the Month.  University Recreation would like to highlight the Table Tennis Club as Club Sport of the Month for April.

Marlene Wong, Competitive Sports Coordinator, had nothing but great things to say about the team:
“Table Tennis has been really successful competitively this season. They won the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship hosted at Virginia Tech this past February, which qualified them for Nationals in Monroeville, Pennsylvania for the first time in several years. Five Table Tennis Club members competed for the national title the first weekend in April. Additionally, they have improved organizationally this year and have big plans for the upcoming season.”

NC State is Mid-Atlantic Regional Champions


President Scott James, took the time to answer some questions about the Club Table Tennis team.
University Recreation: When was the Table Tennis team established?
Table Tennis: The club has been around since at least the ’90s.

UREC: When does your season start, and how long does your season last?
TT: Our season starts the first week in September. We continue practicing until the end of April, though our tournament season ends in early April.

UREC: What upcoming competitions are you preparing for?
TT: Our season is now over, but we just participated in the national championships at the beginning of April.

UREC: Does your team have any recent achievements that you are especially proud of?
TT: Yes, this season we were Carolina Division Champions, Mid-Atlantic Regional Champions, and placed 11th at the National Champions.

UREC: What is a tradition your team has?
TT: Our team is very diverse, so on trips to out of town tournaments, we often talk about cultural differences among our team players.  For instance, this year our traveling team consisted of players from the United States, China, France, and India.  Aside from table tennis, being part of our club is also a great multicultural experience.

UREC: What is your favorite thing about playing and being a part of a Club Sports team at N.C. State?
TT: Being able to meet new people from various parts of the world, and to compete in a sport I enjoy without the time commitment of a varsity sport.

UREC: How often do you practice? What is your typical practice like?
TT: We practice twice a week. A typical practice for many of our players simply involves getting together and playing games. For our more competitive players, a typical practice involves a 15 to 20 minute warm-up, footwork drills, and practice on serves and serve returns.

UREC: What is it like to travel around and compete against different schools?
TT: It is great, we all enjoy getting to see different campuses and meeting players from different schools.

UREC: What is your best memory about Club Sports?
TT: Going to nationals this past season was awesome. We placed 11th in the nation and were able to play with and meet some of the best players in the country, including US women’s Olympian Ariel Hsing of Princeton!

UREC: What if someone is interested in the Table Tennis Club? How can they find out more information? Are there tryouts?
TT: Interested students can contact us using our club email account to learn more information.  Interested students are usually given 3 practices to decide if they would like to join. There are no tryouts to be in the club, but we do hold tryouts for the tournament team when necessary.
University Recreation is extremely proud of all of the accomplishments the Club Table Tennis team as had this year.  We want to wish you the best with all of your matches and tournaments in the upcoming semester.

Forever backin’ the pack,


March Club Sport of the Month: Ski and Snowboard


Bryce TripUniversity Recreation’s would like to recognize the Ski and Snowboard Club as the Club Sport of the Month for March.  They have had a successful month with many individual accomplishments.  Read what Competitive Sports Coordinator, Marlene Wong, had to say about this club being recognized for Club Sport of the Month:

“The Ski & Snowboard Club recently went to Snowshoe Mountain where 35 club members bonded and had a great time on the slopes, doing what they love. Over Spring Break, 10 club members went to Vail, Colorado where they got to improve their skills and experience . Also, the club is sent three members to Regionals, two snowboarders and a skier.  The skier, Austin Oliver, successfully qualified for Nationals as well.”
Each year the club competes against twelve other universities in the Southeast, showing off their talents and skills.  The members have traveled to places such as  Wyoming, Quebec, Vermont, Utah, and Colorado to explore and do what they love.  The Ski and Snowboard Club are sponsored by Owner Direct and Nectar, who contributes to their competitions.  There are weekly club meetings on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in Carmichael Gym,  room 2037.  Take a look below at the interview I had with President, Brady Bell, and learn more about the club and activities the team participates in each season.

UNIVERSITY RECREATION: When does your season start, and how long does your season last?
SKI AND SNOWBOARD: Our season technically goes from January to March because we take five trips each of the first five weekends of Spring semester, and then for Spring Break, we take a trip out west.

UR: What upcoming competitions are you preparing for?
SAS:  There are races at all five of our trips; therefore, we have to be prepared for each of them.

UR: Does your team have any recent achievements that you are especially proud of?
SAS:  We recently had three members qualify for regionals!  Austin Oliver qualified for skiing, and Stefan Coreth and Claire Gibson, for snowboarding.  Stefan Coreth ended up qualifying for Nationals as well, but unfortunately was unable to attend.

Spring Break-Vail

UR: What is a tradition your team has?
SAS:  Snowshoe is always the last trip of the season.  We generally rent awesome houses and get as many club members and officers to go as we can, and we always have an incredible time.

UR: What is your favorite thing about being apart of a Club Sports team at N.C. State?
SAS:  I would say meeting so many new people who like sports as much as you do.  It is a great opportunity to develop new friendships and hang out with people who are interested in the same things that you are.

UR: How often do you practice? What is your typical practice like?
SAS: Unfortunately, we do not have practices because the mountains are not close enough, but we have meetings either once a week or once every other week, depending on the time of year.  At the meetings, we talk about upcoming events, fundraisers and trips.

UR: What is it like to travel around and compete against different schools?
SAS: It’s fun to get to know people from other schools. We aren’t as competitive as some of the other schools, but we have fun with it, and it’s interesting to see the skill levels of other schools in the area as well.

UR: What is your best memory about Club Sports?
SAS: All of the new friends we have gained from being a part of Club Sports. There is not a specific moment that stands out because whenever we are together, we always have a great time.

UR: What if someone is interested in the Ski and Snowboard Club? How can they find out more information? Are there tryouts?
SAS:  You can visit our website , or you can e-mail us.  There are no tryouts, we just have meetings on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in Carmichael 2037.

RecFest August
University Recreation would like to congratulate the team on your successful season, and a special shout out to Claire, Austin and Stefan for qualifying for Regionals.   Keep up the good work and best of luck next season!  If you are interested in being apart of the Ski and Snowboard Club, be sure to check our their Facebook page, or email them.  Also, you can attend RecFest next fall and have the opportunity to meet some of the members and learn more about the club.


Forever backin’ the pack,
Morgan Eddins


“The Top”

Man on top of mountain.

Photo Credit: http://www.dreamstime.com

Do you ever find yourself having too much stuff to do and not enough hours in the day to do it all? Do you find yourself rushing from one occasion to the next, not truly being present in the moment, but simply going through the motions? Often times, society tells us we must do it all, see it all, be it all in order to reach the top, but my question to you is what even is “the top”?

Recently, I have realized “the top” is an ever-changing target, and all people have different ideas of what equates to “the top”. Owning your own business one day, having a healthy, happy family of your own, or becoming a Master Jedi are all plausible scenarios of what reaching “the top” might be for you. For me, personally, reaching “the top” is finding peace and happiness within myself.

As a senior in college, I can honestly say I have observed both my peers and myself attempt to reach the top via multiple facets – If I can just make the Dean’s List this semester, I will have reached the top; If I get into graduate school, then I will have reached the top; If I can just obtain one of those Intramural Championship t-shirts, I’ll be at the top (this one might be true); As long as I have a job by the time I graduate, I’ll have reached the top; If I can just land this internship, then I will have reached the top… the list goes on and on. The truth is, we’re wholeheartedly putting our happiness in outside sources, sources we have absolutely no control over. Think about it, if you tell yourself getting into grad school will fulfill your happiness, what happens when you get rejected? You’re broken? That’s why, after extensive trial and error, I’m a firm believer that reaching the top, or finding peace and happiness is something that only you can control – something that you must find within yourself.

I would like to give you a few suggestions on ways that I believe can lead to peace and happiness within. Here are 10 lasting tips to reaching the top!

1. Try Yoga: Some of the non-yogis might be thinking about not reading the rest of my article right here. Please don’t go. Take it from a high intensity, boot camper – I used to HATE yoga. I looked awkward. I felt awkward, and I was so focused on being awkward that I couldn’t even enjoy the practice of yoga. However, I didn’t give up on it and now I LOVE it! I practice yoga every Friday morning, and it is one of the most fulfilling things I ever decided to do for myself. A recent study at the University of Wisconsin showed that consistent yoga practice improved depression and led to a significant increase in serotonin levels and a decrease in the levels of monoamine oxidase (an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters) and cortisol (McCall, M.D., Yoga Journal). Check out our group fitness schedule to find a yoga class that works for you.

2. Trim the fat: One of my favorite quotes is by a guy named Roy Blauss. He said,

“We should cultivate the ability to say no to activities for which we have no time, no talent, and which we have no interest or real concern. If we learn to say no to many things, then we will be able to say yes to things that matter most.”

Often times, as college students, we overcommit ourselves. We commit to too many things and become okay at a bunch of different activities instead of being really good at a handful of activities. Reach the top by trimming the fat and freeing yourself up for the activities that are most fulfilling to YOU.

3. Surround yourself with good company: The beauty about surrounding yourself with good company is that when we don’t have the energy and strength to pick ourselves up, people who love us and care about us can step in and give us a hand. I have a hard time allowing others see me struggle. It’s a pride thing, unfortunately. The truth is, I just flat out don’t always have it together. No one does, and it’s times when we don’t have it all together that friends and family are most important!

4. Treating yourself every now and then: Hi. I’m Tara and I LOVE sweets. You’d think being a group fitness instructor and personal trainer, sweets wouldn’t be an issue for me, but they are. Tina Haupert, a blogger, and author, wrote a book called Carrots N Cake. One of the chapters is titled Cookie Friday. In this chapter, she talks about allowing herself a sweet treat every Friday. She looks forward to cookie Friday. It is a reward for her. I have tried to cut out desserts all together, and in reality, I fell flat on my face. Depriving yourself of something you love can sometimes backfire causing you to overindulge. This doesn’t have to pertain to just sweets. Moderation is key in all aspects of life.

5. Meditation: I used to think people who meditated were weird, and now I meditate, so what does that say about me. Dr. Hedy Kober, a neuroscientist who studies the effects of mindfulness meditation, which she has practiced for 10 years at her lab at Yale University, said it best when she said, “It did to my mind what going to the gym did to my body — it made it both stronger and more flexible” (Huffpost Healthy Living). Furthermore, the article states, “Studies show that meditation is associated with improvement in a variety of psychological areas, including stress, anxiety, addiction, depression, eating disorders and cognitive function, among others. There’s also research to suggest that meditation can reduce blood pressure, pain response, stress hormone levels and even cellular health.” I value meditation because it allows me to slow down, and simply be present.

6. Sense of belonging or purpose: Do you have an organization that you are involved in – maybe a community activity, or recreation league sport, or church, or club? If not, I encourage you to find something you are passionate about and get involved.

7. Laugh: Philosopher, Thomas Nagel supports the notion that life is absurd and we are best off if we go about life with a sense of irony. In other words, don’t over analyze every tiny aspect of life. Life is too short to be taken so seriously. Simply shrug your shoulders and laugh.

8. Forgive: I’ve found that when I hold grudges and have a hard time forgiving, I end up doing more harm to myself than the person I can’t seem to forgive. Forgiveness is letting go of the event that hurt you. When you allow yourself to forgive, you are allowing yourself to be free.

9. Sense of achievement: I once had a personal training client who I would time going up and down 3 flights of stairs. In her last session, she reached her personal best time of climbing the stairs. In that moment, my client had reached the top, literally. Set a goal for yourself and don’t let anything get in your way of accomplishing that goal!

10. Glass half full: It’s simple, but true – attitude is everything! A family friend of mine who is a counselor once told me that a certain part of our brain lights up when we do a positive action. The same part of our brain lights up when we think of doing that positive action. For instance, when I actually help someone else, and when I merely think of helping someone else, the same section of my brain lights up. Have a positive attitude and your overall demeanor will be positive and contagious.

Hopefully some of the tips above sound enticing to you, however, if they do not, I encourage you to find out what works for YOU. What makes you happy? A quote I recently stumbled upon read, “Finding peace and happiness within yourself is extremely difficult. Finding peace and happiness outside yourself is impossible.” In short, if I had to leave you with one take away from this article, it would be to reach “the top” by finding peace and happiness within yourself opposed to outside sources.

To stay connected with everything that goes on in University Recreation, be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and Twitter, and check out our Website.

Until I’m back, GO WOLFPACK!


Blake’s Bracket Bulletin

It’s that time of year again, folks: March Madness! Without a doubt, March Madness is the greatest three week span of the entire year. March Madness is the mecca for sports fans with games playing constantly, matchups that have never been seen and Cinderella stories capturing the hearts of a nation.

University Recreation is again hosting the Intramural Sports Bracket Challenge through ImLeagues.com, with the winner taking home the elusive IM Champion Shirt. However, this year there are additional prizes involved. If your bracket beats mine in the challenge, you are eligible to win some free University Recreation gear as well.

After a painstaking process of number crunching, highlight watching and the occasional coin flip, I have finally completed my bracket. Now, without further delay, the moment we have all been waiting for; Blake’s Final Four.

Final Four

Florida Gators

Florida has been far and away the most dominant team in the nation this year. Riding a 26-game winning streak is never a bad way to enter the tournament either. I have them matching up with Pittsburgh in the Third Round, which I don’t think should be a problem. Florida overwhelms the Panthers in nearly every statistical category. I think UCLA used up all of its magic when upsetting Arizona in the Pac-12 conference championship. I have a Florida, New Mexico matchup in the Elite Eight, which should end the hypothetical Cinderella run for the Lobos. The top overall seed has advanced to the Final Four each of the past two years, the Gators will make it a three-peat.

Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State, the preseason No. 2 team is fully healed from a season plagued by injury. Fresh off of dominating the B1G 10 Tournament, I believe (after some serious convincing by nearly every ESPN analyst) they will keep the ball rolling into the Final Four. Admittedly, this has less to do with the ESPN analysts and more with being unimpressed with Villanova’s shoot-first point guard and Virginia’s low-scoring style of play. I believe that Michigan State’s offensive weapons will overwhelm Virginia, who will struggle to score with the healthy Spartans. Also, no four-year Spartan player under Tom Izzo has failed to reach the Final Four. This group of seniors will not be looking to break the streak.

Arizona Wildcats

I honestly believe that the most difficult test on the path to the the Final Four for the Wildcats will be their Third Round matchup with what I have slated to be Oklahoma St. If Marcus Smart can’t push his squad past Gonzaga, then the road gets even easier for Arizona. If the Wildcats can get past the Third Round, I believe they will have dodged the team most likely to give them problems. Arizona should overwhelm San Diego St., Creighton and Wisconsin with its athleticism and should enjoy what I believe will be a relatively simple road to the Final Four, especially as they look to move past their disappointing loss to UCLA in the Pac-12 Conference Championship.

Louisville Cardinals

It is quite difficult to doubt the brilliance of Rick Pitino, which made me shocked to see the Cardinals fall three spots to a No. 4 seed after Pitino publicly projected a No. 1 seed for his squad. Louisville is as hot as any team in the nation after breezing through the AAC Conference Championship. After a slow start, this group has finally seemed to find its groove and will be playing with a chip on its shoulder looking to prove the committee’s seeding wrong. I have Kentucky beating Wichita St., but even if the Shockers meet Louisville in the Sweet Sixteen, I believe that the Shockers magical run has to end somewhere and Louisville has the physical tools, similar experience, coaching and sheer skill to outmatch the Shockers. After that, I believe that Louisville will simply put up too many points on the swiss cheese-like Duke defense and grind its way into the Final Four in what is by leaps and bounds the most difficult path.

Food For Thought:

  • Six of the last seven national champions have been a No. 1 seed.
  • A No. 16 seed has never defeated a No. 1 seed.
  • There has been an average of 10 upsets in the Round of 64 in the past five tournaments.
  • A No. 12 seed has upset a No. 5 seed in 12 of the past 13 tournaments.
  • A No. 2-4 seed has lost in the Round of 64 in 25 of 29 Tournaments.
  • A double digit seed has made the Sweet Sixteen 27 of 29 Tournaments.
  • Michigan State has made the Sweet Sixteen in 11 of the last 16 tournaments.

Key Injuries

  • No. 2 Kansas, Joel Embiid- This bigman has NBA scouts drooling, but he won’t be available until at least the Sweet Sixteen.
  • No. 5 VCU, Melvin Johnson- The A-10 Sixth Man of the Year missed the A-10 Championship game against St. Joe’s.
  • No. 8 Colorado, Spencer Dinwiddie- Dinwiddie led the Buffaloes in points and assists per game before going down with an ACL injury.

Some Potential Upsets

No. 11 Dayton over No. 6 Ohio State

Ohio State is the obvious favorite in this matchup. But still, when is the last time that mattered in the NCAA tournament? These two schools are within 75 miles of each other, which will likely give the game a rivalry-type feel. Dayton, being a mid-major who has always played second, maybe even third or fourth fiddle to the powerhouse Buckeyes will come out looking to play hard and prove that they are the best team in Ohio. Ohio State has struggled with consistency this year and I can see them letting this one slip through their fingers. There has been an No. 11 seed to make the Round of 32 every year since 2005, why not Dayton?

No. 12 Harvard over No. 5 Cincinnati

Harvard’s reputation of being a smart basketball team should not come as a surprise to anybody. This Ivy League school only had one slip up in its conference schedule and was ranked 30th in the AP Poll at the end of the regular season. Cincinnati has three starters as tall or taller than Harvard’s starting center. This is a true matchup of brains vs. brawn and I have feeling that Harvard is going to channel its inner Jeremy Lin and win one for the nerds. A No. 12 seed has advanced to the Round of 32 every year since 2007.

Whether you are trying to win Warren Buffet’s One Billion Dollar Bracket, a group with your friends or if you are trying to take me down in the University Recreation IM Bracket Challenge, I hope this piece can be of some help as you narrow down your picks!

I’m in a Wolfpack state of mind…

Blake Shelton

The Forgotten Statistic

As we find ourselves heading down the final stretch of the intramural basketball regular season, you and your squad should have your eyes set on making a deep playoff run, a la Louisville from last year’s March Madness. However, unlike Louisville, you do not have to be the number one overall seed in your group by wins and losses to participate in the big dance.

Even the lowly 0-4 teams have a chance to make a Florida Gulf Coast-esque run in the intramural playoffs. How so, you may ask? It is because of one important factor that oftentimes goes overlooked by even some of the most seasoned intramural sports veterans; the sportsmanship rating.


The sportsmanship rating was introduced as an incentive to encourage fun within the intramural sports world. Referees assign each team a rating at the end of the game based on the actions displayed throughout the contest. A rating of 3.0 is considered average and can drop as low as 0 or climb as high as 4.0 based on the team’s sportsmanship each game. Teams must maintain an average rating of 2.5 to be eligible for postseason play. This means, if your team sweeps the competition, but does so without sportsmanship, you will find yourself on the outside looking in at the playoffs.

I spoke with Dustin Champion, Competitive Sports Program Assistant here at University Recreation about the importance of a sportsmanship rating and he gave me some tips for those of you looking to boost your ratings for the playoff push.


Ways to Raise your Sportsmanship Rating

This is by no means the end-all-be-all guide to receiving a 4.0 sportsmanship rating, but it does include some things that Dustin pointed out that he notices when considering a team’s rating.

  • Helping other players up

A good way to show sportsmanship is by not only helping your own teammates up after a scramble for a loose ball, but also helping up the opposing team. This is good for your rating, as well as just a nice thing to do.

  •  Telling referees “good call”

When a referee makes a call that you agree with, let him or her know. It feels nice to know that someone agrees with your call, because it is likely that somebody disagrees with it, which brings me to the next tip.

  • Don’t argue calls

Nobody is perfect, refs may sometimes make mistakes. It happens on the biggest stages every single day. If your ref happens to make a call that you do not agree with, keep it to yourself. There is no need to go full-out Jim Boeheim on a fellow member of the Wolfpack.

  • Retrieving loose balls

If a ball goes flying across the court, make the extra effort to grab it for the ref. Not only does it show good sportsmanship, it also allows you to get a few extra seconds of game time, which is something everybody wants!


Ways to Lower your Sportsmanship Rating

Again, just because you do not do any of these things listed, it is still possible to show poor sportsmanship in other ways. Avoiding these things does not guarantee you a good rating.

  • Technical Fouls

Technical fouls based on violent, overly-aggressive play are likely to stick out in a referee’s mind when the game is over. Intramural sports are meant to be fun, there is no need to get so physical that a technical foul is called.

  • Language

Just because you miss an easy shot, that does not give you an excuse to shout out explicitives on the court. Be mindful and respectful when you play and the referees are likely to remember.

  • Arguing calls

This point cannot be reiterated enough; these referees are students, just like you and me. Show them the respect that they deserve for doing their absolute best at an extremely difficult job.

Remember, intramural sports are meant to be fun. This is one of the best ways to meet new people, interact with friends and stay healthy and active. By implementing these tips, you can make the intramural sports experience for everybody involved. Good luck on that playoff push!

Blake’s IM Basketball Roundup

Blake’s Favorite Team Name: Fettucine Scalabrine

Blake’s Bold Prediction: Team Shooty Hoopz is coming for the Men’s B Title!

I’m in a Wolfpack state of mind…

Blake Shelton

Club Sport of the Month: Women’s Lacrosse


University Recreation would like to recognize Women’s Club Lacrosse as February’s Club Sport of the Month.  Last Monday, I attended the Women’s Club Lacrosse game against UNC to support them and take a few photos.  As I pulled into Method Field, I glanced down to notice the temperature had dropped to 34 degrees and a wintry mix had started to show on my windshield.  I had taken pictures in colder weather, so I was not worried until I realized I was missing one crucial thing for taking pictures outside in cold weather, my gloves.  This made taking pictures quite a difficult task.  The game continued on during the inclement weather, which showed me just how dedicated the club players truly are, so I would like to give major kudos to all of you!


When I was given the opportunity to cover Women’s Club Lacrosse for Club Sport of the Month, I was beyond excited.  In high school, I managed the Men’s Lacrosse team and became absolutely intrigued with the game.  Although men and women’s lacrosse have their differences, they are both very intense games to play and watch.  At NC State, our Women’s Club Lacrosse team consists of 18 players, including five officers, who hold responsibility of coaching every game and practice.



Below you will read the interview I had with senior captains, Mandy Gentry and Lauren McCauley, and have the chance to learn a little more information about Women’s Club Lacrosse.


University Recreation:  When was the Women’s Club Lacrosse team established?

Women’s Club Lacrosse: Women’s Club Lacrosse was founded in the early 90’s at North Carolina State University.

UR:  When does your season start, and how long does your season last?

WCL:  We play year-round, in both the Fall and Spring, but Fall is our off season. We typically have regular season games from late January through April.

UR: What upcoming competitions are you preparing for?

WCL:  We are now currently preparing for a tournament at Appalachian State University at the end of March. We have participated in this tournament before and are very excited about being able to go again this year.

  Does your team have any recent achievements that you are especially proud of?

WCL:  Each season, we continue to increase the number of players on our roster, as well as the number of regular season wins on our record!

  What is a tradition your team has?

WCL:  We always have a team dinner at Amedeo’s to celebrate the completion of each season. Also, we sometimes have pasta parties the nights before games or tournaments where the team has a chance to relax and hang out off the field and eat spaghetti!

UR:  What is your favorite thing about playing and being a part of a Club Sports team at N.C. State?

WCL:  Joining Women’s Club Lacrosse has given us the chance to meet a lot of people and form lifelong friendships.  We also love how it makes us feel closer to NC State because we are participating in a on-campus club.

UR:  How often do you practice? What is your typical practice like?

WCL:  We have field practice every Monday and Wednesday and conditioning practice Thursday and Friday. Field practices begin with a warm up, stretches, and passing drills. The rest of practice varies depending on what we want to improve on, but usually ends with scrimmaging.

UR:  What is it like to travel around and play different schools?

WCL:  Being able to travel and represent NC State is one of our favorite parts of being in a club. We get to meet new people, experience new places, and learn from other clubs.

ImageUR:  What is your best memory about Club Sports?

WCL:  One of my favorite memories from my experience with Club Sports is when we went to a tournament in Wilmington. After games we would eat lunch and had some free time until our next game, and our favorite thing to do was to go play lacrosse on the beach as a team.

UR:  What if someone is interested in playing your sport? How can they find out more information? Are there tryouts?

WCL:  We do not have tryouts and welcome anyone interested in playing to come to a practice! You can find information on our Facebook, or you can email us with any questions.

DSC_0207 copy
Our Women’s Club Lacrosse team has two more games this semester in March against Appalachian State and East Carolina University and a two-day tournament in April at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  University Recreation would like to wish you the best in these upcoming competitions!  

Forever backin’ the pack,


Student-Employee Spotlight: Lindsey Racz

Student-Employee Spotlight: Lindsey Racz

The Department of University Recreation employs more than 600 student employees in an array of different positions every semester. Becoming part of the University Recreation team prompts students to excel in what interests them most within one of the many different departments. With such a high number of students working in one place on campus, the expectations are set high. Students are expected to be leaders within the Wolfpack community that engage and connect their peers to collegiate recreation. Lindsey found her niche in the Competitive Sports Department and has raised the bar for student excellence and leadership.


It’s common to see Lindsey in the University Recreation office sporting her pink iPad and checking her color coordinated schedule. This fast paced “girl-on-the-go lifestyle” keeps her busy with schoolwork, competitive sports and community involvement. University Recreation’s own modern superwoman took some time to talk with us about her most recent achievement; the prestigious William N. Wasson Student Leadership and Academic Award. This is the highest award that the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) grants to students. The award recognizes students who set exceptional standards in the Collegiate Recreation field among other criteria. Lindsey is the first NC State University student-employee to win this award.

University Recreation: What does it feel like to represent NC State on a national stage?

Lindsey: It is definitely such an honor to win this award, especially after transferring to NC State from Emerson College, which is such a small school. Emerson’s biggest intramural sport is Quidditch and until I came to NC State I didn’t know I could be involved in Intramural Sports without being a professional basketball player. Winning this award truly reflects the success of my supervisors and I could not have gotten here without their encouragement and support.

What made you interested in working for University Recreation?

I was a little worried about adjusting to such a large university, meeting people and finding a passion for something. Working with Competitive Sports started as a great way to meet people and then became something I was so passionate about.

Who nominated you for the award and what is your relationship with them?

Marlene Wong, Competitive Sports Coordinator, nominated me. She is my direct boss and supervisor and a real inspiration to me. She was a Wasson winner when she was in school so it was great that I could follow in her footsteps.

What campus experiences have helped you win this award?

I served on the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on-campus last year. This year I am the president of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences council (CHASS). As a psychology major it was also beneficial to get involved in these organizations through CHASS.

What are your career goals and how will winning this award help you reach them?

I want to go in to Collegiate Recreation and while doing this I would like to earn a graduate degree in either Higher Education or Sports Management. Since this is the highest student award you can receive from NIRSA it really helps when organizations see this on my résumé.

How did you feel when you won the award?

I have never won any type of big award in college. I was so excited when I found out I won! I had applied for other smaller awards and wasn’t expecting anything at all.

Was there a long wait between nominations and when you found out that you won the award?

Nominations were due in mid-December. It was a long wait process but I am so happy about the results.

Do you have any advice for students looking to get involved?

Keep challenging yourself.  Don’t be afraid to use your supervisors as a great resource and put yourself out there.

We are so proud of Lindsey for her accomplishments through University Recreation. She has set the standard for our department and will continue to work towards her professional goals. Thank you for putting University Recreation in the national spotlight and setting a precedent for future students to come!

That’s that with the Pack!


Pump Up Your Climb

I’ve seen posters around the gym that say, “Pump Up Your Climb,” but what actually is Pump Up Your Climb? I’m glad you asked! University Recreation hosted its first ever Pump Up Your Climb Tuesday, January 14. This program combines instruction on how to become a better rock climber with practice actually on the wall. Pump Up Your Climb is designed by experienced rock wall and fitness instructors. Below, you will read the experiences of several different parties who all participated in Pump Up Your Climb on Tuesday.


1. What is Pump Up Your Climb?

Pump Up Your Climb is a program that allows anyone interested in rock climbing to build strength and endurance in skills that will enhance one’s rock climbing experience. (Thomas Adams, Fitness Instructor)

Pump Up Your Climb is a program we started recently as a way to incorporate some cross training into climbing. It’s a way of learning and using exercises and circuits to help strengthen your climbing endurance and speed. (Michaela O’Connor, Rock Wall Instructor)

2. What should students expect when they come to this workshop?
Students should expect to sweat! Half of the workshop is a mini cardio/strength class and the other half is rock climbing. The cardio/strength class is designed to build muscle and endurance in body parts engaged during rock climbing. (Thomas Adams, Fitness Instructor)

Students should expect to get a full body workout when they come to Pump. We do so many different kinds of exercises that target all kinds of muscles. We worked on back, biceps, triceps and core. It was definitely a workout to say the least. (Michaela O’Connor, Rock Wall Instructor)

3. Why is it important to combine physical fitness with rock climbing?
Rock climbing alone is not the only way to improve one’s rock climbing skills. By doing other exercises that focus on muscle groups that are used in rock climbing, one can reach his or her full potential by exploring a variety of exercises that will enhance his or her rock-climbing capabilities. (Thomas Adams, Fitness Instructor)

When you combine physical fitness and rock climbing you become a better climber, you become more fit and more knowledgeable of your own limits while climbing. (Michaela O’Connor, Rock Wall Instructor)DSC_9561

4. Of the students who showed up for the workshop, were most experienced climbers, or inexperienced, or some of both?
Most of the students who showed up to the workshop were experienced climbers, but not everyone who climbed had climbed before. There are trained belayers who work at the rock wall who will assist inexperienced rock climbers. Inexperienced or beginner rock climbers are encouraged to attend. (Thomas Adams, Fitness Instructor)

The students who participated were definitely all ranging from very experienced to beginner level. Pump is a really awesome way to incorporate all levels of experience into climbing. (Michaela O’Connor, Rock Wall Instructor)

5. Both fitness instructors, and climbing instructors help facilitate and host this workshop. What role does each play?
The group fitness instructors lead the cardio/strength half of the workshop while the climbing instructors lead the rock climbing half. (Thomas Adams, Fitness Instructor)

The fitness instructors as of now are very very involved- they do most of the work with teaching and leading exercises that would be best to strengthen climbing muscles. The climbing instructors participate somewhat as well, but mostly we belay when the circuits take participants to the rock wall. We give advice and come up with some exercises that are safe to do on the wall. Both staff groups work really well together and we try to be as encouraging as possible. (Michaela O’Connor, Rock Wall Instructor)


6. How was your experience with Pump Up Your Climb?
Pump Up Your Climb was a great interval workout! Working on different body parts with the fitness instructors helped my endurance on the wall and I already feel like a stronger climber. Experienced climbers can use Pump Up to build towards the competition and new climbers should come join us too! It’s stress free and mixing in the fitness instruction takes away any intimidation that comes with being new to climbing. The staff was very encouraging and everyone was laughing and smiling. I’m looking forward to the next 4 weeks. (Jami Benson, Senior)

Hopefully these responses encourage you to try out Pump Up Your Climb. The program is 6 weeks long. Each session is on a Tuesday night from 5:45-7:00p.m. Below are the dates left!

January 28
February 4
February 11
February 18

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Until I’m back, GO WOLFPACK!

‘Tis The Season For Resolutions!

While it is easy to think of ways to better your life and come up with those New Year’s resolutions, we all know it is mighty difficult sticking to them. Even a few weeks into the new year, I can feel myself slipping away from my goals. Especially since returning to the daily grind of the “busy” college life, New Year’s resolutions can quickly turn into a thing of the past. But let’s get down to business and grab those resolutions by the reins! Here are some strategies that I have found help me stick to my resolutions today.

  1. Take baby steps! Let’s be serious. If you are a Level 5 couch potato, you’re not going to transform into this super-fit and healthy athlete overnight–it takes time! One of my resolutions this year is to eat healthier and I know I wouldn’t be able to succeed in flipping my diet from indulging in holiday treats and eggnog to salads and green juice in a snap. The drastic change would be way too much stress and pressure! Plus, goals set too far away from one’s norm would make it hard to recognize any progress. So instead, I found that setting small attainable goals helped, like one week drinking water instead of ordering a Frappuccino and the next week, swapping a dessert with a piece of fruit. These incremental changes make New Year’s resolutions much easier to attain and save one from pulling hair out!

  2. Track your progress! I don’t know about you, but I like to keep my phone with me at all times, whether it be to communicate with others, keep up to date on the media, or quickly look things up online. Another one of my New Year’s resolutions is to run more, so conveniently, I have found that I am able to not only keep track of my activity and distance, but my mood and thoughts using a phone app. A record of all of this has helped me see each small accomplishment and focus on areas of improvement, since I’m able to connect my moods and behavior with my performance. And the methods to keeping track of progress isn’t limited to phone apps, that’s just what I found most beneficial and convenient for me. Writing in a journal and taking pictures are also great ways of tracking your progress.

  3. Grab a buddy! Having a group, partner, or professional to encourage you and keep focus can also be extremely helpful to keeping your resolutions. Going on runs with friends and eating meals together has made sticking to my resolutions much easier, less intimidating, and more fun–not to mention they keep me accountable! These people have served as a positive support system for me and it’s great to be able to share my thoughts with them. Plus, it’s incredibly rewarding knowing we have helped each other along the way.

  4. Keep your head up! We’re all human and sometimes we make make mistakes; nobody’s perfect! Since the new year I admit that I, being a girl cursed with both a sweet and salty tooth, have caved and snacked on some cookies and chips on occasion. At first when this happened, I felt bad for breaking one of my resolutions but I soon realized that obsessing over a slip-up wasn’t going to help me achieve my goals. So I let it go and moved on! Just remember that if you veer off the road a bit, everyday is a new day and another chance to give your resolution a go. It helps to take those setbacks in stride and use them as a motivator to recommit to your goal. Don’t beat yourself up if you give in, just make sure to get right back on track.

  5. Reward yourself and enjoy the journey! I know it’s tough to turn resolutions into habits, but especially on days after I have pushed myself on the track and my calves are screaming, I feel like I could just drop the ball, retire my sneakers forever, and wallow in Ben & Jerry’s. But giving up now would put all that hard work to waste! So instead, I try my best to think of the previous day as an accomplishment and today as a celebration. I give myself a break from the gym and relax, hang out with friends, watch a movie, anything that I register as a mental fist bump to myself! Afterwards, I take time to reflect and remember that I made these resolutions to benefit myself; I’m doing this for me! So just keep in mind to have fun and take pleasure in the journey to achieving that larger goal of becoming a better you.

For me, the key to sticking to my New Year’s resolutions involves planning, making gradual changes, and learning to enjoy the ride. Have you found any other strategies that help you keep your resolutions? Feel free to share them and comment below because all of us could use the extra motivation and help! Here’s to 2014 being the best year yet!

Make it great State,


Spring Intramural Sports at University Recreation

Welcome back from a well deserved break, Wolfpack Nation! I know if your break was anything like mine, filled with all kinds of delicious home cooked meals to replace all the ramen noodles and frozen pizzas I fill my tummy with during the school year, it might be time to think about working off some of those extra pounds that were inevitably picked up over the break. Lucky for us, University Recreation is offering 16 Intramural Sports this Spring to help get you back on the track towards a healthy and active lifestyle.


Basketball: Discover your inner TJ Warren with some IM Basketball this Spring by driving to the hole and throwing down the hammer with a big time jam. Or, if you are like me, stand in the corner behind the three point line and throw up a brick whenever you get the ball. Either way, it’s still fun! Registration is open and closes on Jan. 20. Play begins on Jan. 27.

Wallyball: Since its too cold for beach volleyball, check out this new take on an old classic game; playing volleyball in a racquetball court! In this version, your big time spike is never too long, so feel free to go for the home run hit! Registration opens on Jan. 27 and closes Feb. 10. Play begins Feb. 27.


Softball: Speaking of home runs, release some of that school induced stress with your best Babe Ruth impression in IM Softball! I must forewarn, calling your own shot is probably not good for your sportsmanship rating though! Registration opens on Jan. 27 and closes Feb. 10. Play begins Feb. 27.


Ultimate Frisbee: I don’t even know how to explain how much fun ultimate frisbee is; so I will let this video do it for me! It turns out ultimate frisbee is played by more than your high school cross country team. Registration opens Jan. 31 and closes Feb. 16. Play begins Feb. 21.

Ball Hockey: You may not be quite as good on a pair of ice skates as the hockey players in the Winter Olympics, but that shouldn’t stop you from playing the Fastest Game on Earth! Registration opens Feb. 3 and closes Feb. 17. Play begins Feb. 23.

11v11 Soccer: Get prepared for the World Cup this summer by playing some full field soccer! Your chances to win the Cup may be slightly better than the USA’s after that draw into the Group of Death! Nonetheless…USA! USA! USA! Registration opens Feb. 3 and closes Feb. 17. Play begins Feb. 24.

3v3 Soccer: You may not be Cristano Ronaldo, but that still shouldn’t stop you from enjoying The Beautiful Game! Although, I must admit I am hoping that ole Cristiano doesn’t look like his normal self when the USA takes on Portugal on June 22. Registration opens Feb. 16 and closes March 3. Play begins March 16.

4v4 Flag Football: Let’s be honest, we are all going to miss football by the second weekend of February. Get your fix with some 4v4 Flag Football! DISCLAIMER: Side-effects may include playing Madden, rewatching the Super Bowl or starting your Fantasy Football research early. Registrations opens Feb. 16 and closes March 3. Play begins March 17.

Dodgeball: Join up with Vince Vaughn as he strives to destroy the evil Globo Gym Purple Cobras; or just team up with some friends for a good time! Just remember the Five D’s of Dodgeball and you are sure to win; dodge, duck, dip, dive and… dodge!  Registration opens Feb. 16 and closes March 3. Play begins March 17.

Racquetball:  If smacking a softball isn’t enough to release that school induced stress, racquetball should offer you all the stress relief necessary! A brief word of advice; for some reason, as fun as it may be, hitting the ball as hard as you possibly can every single time doesn’t appear to be the best strategy. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t tried! Registration opens Jan. 13 and closes Jan. 27. Play begins Feb. 2.

IMTABLETENNIS CARD-01Table Tennis: Find your inner Forrest Gump and take on all challengers with IM Table Tennis! Registration opens on Jan. 20 and closes Feb. 3. Play begins Feb. 9.

PackFit: Come show off all that hard work you have been putting in at Carmichael Complex in our second ever PackFit Challenge! Registration opens Jan. 13 and closes March 25. The event date is March 25.

Inner Tube Water Polo: Can’t tread water for 30 minutes but still want to play water polo? Welcome to inner tube water polo! Just to confirm; this is not the children’s pool game, Marco Polo. Although, I should suggest that idea to competitive sports… Registration opens Feb. 27 and closes March 20. Play begins March 26.

PICKEMS CARD-01March Madness Pick’ems: It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And no, I am not talking about Christmas. Join in on the March Madness fun by submitting your bracket! This week is your ONE exception to spending any significant time on the couch, so take advantage! Registration opens March 10 and closes March 19. Play begins with the NCAA Tournament.

Pool Battleship: Take this classic board game and put a healthy and active twist on it; what you are left with is Pool Battleship! This video should clear up any remaining confusion. Registration starts March 24 and closes April 7. Play begins April 10.

Whether you are a first time IM participant, or you are looking to repeat as an IM Champion, University Recreation highly encourages you to sign up! Intramurals are a great way to lead a healthy and active lifestyle while enjoying friendly competition with your fellow Wolfpack students.

Registration is through imleagues.com and some sports have already opened for registration. Therefore, it is time to get into gear and sign up for one of the best experiences in all of college! I’ll see you guys on the court/field/pool!

I’m in a Wolfpack state of mind…

Blake Shelton