Next up in the Interview Series is First Year Julia Fletcher from Libertyville, IL. Julia is a Marketing and Logistics major who plays on the club water polo team. Hear how she got involved with
club sports in just her first semester on campus!
Where did you first learn about club sports? What were try-outs like?
I first found out about club sports during my first tour before I was set on Ohio State. I was put in contact with a few players after my orientation thanks to my peer leader. I went to their booth Student Involvement Fair and put my name down on their email list. There was an info session a few weeks later. There was no official try out for water polo because for one, there are not normally enough players to start cutting and two, it’s such a difficult sport that those who would need to be cut normally quit first. We actually have a ton of players this year, so we can register two teams for a lot of tournaments.
Did everyone have experience when they joined the team, or are there opportunities to learn the sport?
Not everyone had experience with water polo when they joined, but again it’s a weird sport, and it’s not one that you start playing when you are 5. However, I would say about 75% of the team has played before. It’s also very welcoming towards new players.
What does your average week look like in terms of practices and workouts?
Our season is in the spring. During the fall we start with two practices in the water a week. We add an additional small group workout and swimming practice as it gets closer to winter break. We do stop right around Thanksgiving to give players time to study for finals and wrap up their semesters. Next semester we will have 3 in water practices a week and maybe an additional dry-land workout.
How often do you compete?
We compete during weekend tournaments. We either host it here or travel up to 10 hours away. During our off-season we play against smaller teams and colleges closer to Ohio (Central Michigan, Bowling Green, Miami, Toledo, etc.). During our season we will primarily play against other Big 10 teams. We have about 2-3 tournaments first semester and 4-5 second semester. We normally leave Friday night or Saturday morning, stay at a hotel, and get back Sunday afternoon/ night.
How do you manage your schedule with classes, work, and water polo?
It’s hectic but doable. They are pretty understanding if you have to miss a few practices; however, you’re encouraged to be there.
What advice do you have for students who want to get involved in club sports at Ohio State?
I would say give it a shot! Club sports are a great opportunity to play a sport at a somewhat competitive level, and it’s a great workout. You also get to meet so many people that otherwise you wouldn’t have gotten to know. It’s a supportive community of people who really want to spend time together and help each other in any way they can. The team atmosphere is amazing, and every single person on the team just wants to see you succeed in the sport, in school, and in your career path.