By Camilla Beutel
Jordan Legg, a freshman public relations women’s club soccer player at Rider, explained that the atmosphere of the club soccer team emphasized creating positive relationships with fellow teammates.
According to Legg, the main difference between the university soccer team and the club soccer team, is that being on the club soccer team is more about bonding than mastering skills.
Behind the many acclaimed university sports teams at Rider, there are a number of club sports teams that are offered on campus, including the women’s club soccer team that Legg joined.
“First comes bonding and teamwork, and getting along with each other before actual passes and drills, so you work as a team on the field,” Legg said.
Legg noted that she thought about joining the university team at first but decided that she wanted to focus more on her academics than on sports to allow herself time to settle in.
According to the Bronc Nation women’s club soccer webpage, the goal of the league is to “provide opportunities for participation in quality athletic sporting events, which foster the physical, emotional, social and psychological growth of its participants.”
“Club soccer has two practices a week, and it’s about two hours, so it doesn’t take up as much time as the actual university team would with games and practices,” Legg said.
Kathleen Maniace, a junior secondary education major, discussed her experience joining the club team as opposed to the university team.
“The club team differs in that it is not as strenuous to take on, and you are able to have other obligations to various clubs and organizations on top of being a member of the club team because you have more time to do so,” Maniace said.
Legg discussed how the team works to improve players both as a group and individually and explained how her coaches and teammates are willing to provide support.
“We usually start out as a team, and then, for some of the exercises and drills, [the coaches] will break you off individually. If [the teammates] see each other struggling, [they] help each other out,” Legg said.
Unlike the university sports teams at Rider, the club teams are entirely student-run and the club soccer team’s assistant coach is a player on the Rider women’s soccer team.
“It’s not as intense as the actual team,” Legg said of the club soccer team. “[Coaches] are willing to work if you have a test coming up, or if you have work to go to. They are willing to bend around your schedule and be flexible with that.”
Reiterating the social aspect of the team, Legg indicated the importance of the sincere, responsive environment that her teammates created.
“Even if you don’t have amazing skills, they are open and they are the nicest people,” Legg said. “Even if you don’t gain skills or you don’t keep going, you’ll still have friends to see around campus, which is always a bonus.”
Maniace also accounted for the friendly and cooperative environment the team builds on with each set of drills and games they partake in together.
“I feel that, as a whole, everyone gets along very well and we all want to continue getting touches on the ball while having fun and not having to worry if a coach is going to tell us to run sprints on the end line if we mess up,” Maniace said.
Legg described how the club team is not as demanding as the university team, maintaining the idea of temporary involvement in the sport if preferred by potential players.
“I would say give it a shot and, if you don’t like it, you can always drop it,” she said. “It’s not an actual team where they’re going to get mad or you signed a contract.”
Published in the 11/28/18 edition.