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Lacrosse builds more than sportsmanship

CU DENVER CLUB SPORTS BUILDS A COMMUNITY

As the campus shifts out of the dreary months of winter and into the closing weeks of the semester, students are coming to terms with what might be the most difficult time of the academic calendar one CU Denver sport eases the intensity.

With finals becoming an ever-proliferating reality, the importance of personal well-being is perhaps more important than ever before. Establishing a community of like-minded students is credited as the best way to go about improving personal well-being, but on a commuter campus, those communities can be hard to come by. However, with programs such as Club Sports, it is possible to connect to other students easily.

The Lacrosse program acts as a beacon of the potential club sports has at CU Denver to bring students together. With this season, the team has celebrated its third year on campus. With each passing season, more connections are developed between players—take Drew Lazar for instance. He started playing during his first year on campus, and three years later he now serves as a co-captain of the team. “The older guys took me under their wing,” Lazar said. “They showed me how to take the sport seriously. They taught me how to switch off my brain for a couple hours and forget the stress of school. I would just focus on the game.”

Lazar, like many other players, has found his community on campus through lacrosse. Under the leadership of Lazar, this inclusive continues to expand. “I feel that I have a far greater sense of community and school pride in gaining the acquaintanceship of the team,” said Elliot Smith, a first-time player for the team. “We don’t have the same sense of community as a lot of other college campuses. But if you get out and get involved, you can not only change that for yourself, but also contribute to the sense of community for everyone else you meet.”

Smith, who only began playing lacrosse this season, has felt his own growth as a player, “I am improving myself and learning a ton from all my excellent teammates.” This personal development is a deeply important aspect to Club Sports and a primary draw for many students at CU Denver.

“I have learned how to give knowledge back to the players,” Lazar said. “I used to be a yeller or screamer but I have learned that this isn’t the best way to motivate my teammates. I now try to lead by example and push my teammates on by showing rather than telling.” Lazar proves that even when in a leadership position, players still have the potential to grow into better leaders and teammates.

Currently sitting at a 3-5 record, it is difficult to motivate different players from many backgrounds to play for an entire season, especially when the term “club” is often associated with “non-committal.” “A winning record is tough,” said Lazar. “It’s all a numbers game.” However, this does not stop fraternity to exist between teammates.

As Auraria Campus moves into the dying weeks of the semester, consider the example the of lacrosse and be intentional about personal well-being, while competing to win.

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