December 10, 2023

The epicenter of school spirit at most college campuses is found at big stadiums filled with thousands of screaming fans cheering on their nationally ranked football team.

California Baptist University has several strong and acclaimed athletic teams, and although school spirit is certainly not lost on this campus, we do lack those famous Friday night lights.

However, students at CBU are offered the option of recreational sports on campus that  include flag football, basketball, volleyball, soccer and many other sports. The key word in participating in these sports is “recreational,” meaning to participate in an activity for enjoyment, not work.

When it comes to sports, the saying, “Try your best and just have fun” gets old. For those seeking to follow careers as professional athletes, this saying is not always the best approach because there is so much on
the line.

But for those participating in recreational sports at CBU, there is absolutely nothing on the line.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a proud member of a flag football team — the Smooth Criminals — and I am obsessed with my team and I want to win it all. Each of the teams wants to make it far into playoffs and just maybe make it to Fortuna Bowl, the championship game.

I enjoy practices, try my very best and wear my jersey proudly. However, sometimes students take it all a bit too seriously, myself included.

I am often disappointed when I see players neglecting to help one another up when they’ve collided, or walking away without a simple, “Are
you OK?”

Sometimes I catch myself on the sidelines with an awful attitude because I disagree with a call or the other team scored because I missed pulling a flag. The moment I make the game all about winning and I walk away upset because I lost is when I need to check myself.

If my team doesn’t win big, I won’t lose money or my diploma. Life continues.

Playing recreational sports is about taking a break from schoolwork, reliving our dreams of being collegiate athletes and having a blast with friends. Thinking of recreational sports in this way alleviates the unnecessary pressure and makes playing that Monday night game more enjoyable.

It is important to be an example for your team and keep one another accountable, reminding each other that this is really just a game and in the end, no one really cares.

At your next game, play hard and try your best to get that win, but if you lose, tell someone on the other team they played a good game.

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