Monday, January 27, 2014

Want to play a team sport, but don't have a team? Rec&Ed can help!

Guest Blogger Sean Williams, Rec&Ed Team Sports Specialist

I love sports, particularly team sports. You learn the importance of teamwork and how to work towards a shared goal. It's so fulfilling to see young people improve and achieve their own success. It doesn’t stop at childhood; adults can still play too. Rec&Ed has many team sports for adults: softball, baseball, kickball, volleyball, pickleball, and basketball.

Rec&Ed welcomes "free agent" adults to our Team Sports program

While we form the teams in our youth programs, our adult teams come in as an already formed group. Usually, the teams are groups of friends and/or co-workers.

I know, however, that there are many people in the community that may be new to the area or do not have friends with the same athletic interests. In some cases individual players can find some opportunities to join a team that needs someone, but that can be very hit or miss from season to season. That is why I often create “free agent” teams for individuals with similar skill sets to provide an opportunity to participate.

Winter basketball group of strangers picks fitting team name

"I found this league by doing a Google search," Daniele Prestini, who moved to Ann Arbor from Italy last April, told me. "I felt suddenly pumped to play on a team." 

Like Daniele, several other adults called or emailed me about joining a basketball team this winter. Some had recently moved to Ann Arbor and others had been in the area for the last three to six years just trying to find a team to join. I created a "free agent" team comprised of these individuals -- none of them knew anyone else on the team.

I suggested the team name "Strangers," and to my surprise, they wanted to keep it. While the name was chosen to poke fun at the fact that this group of ten men did not know each other a few weeks ago, my hope is that they are anything but strangers at the end of the season in March.

The men on Rec&Ed's "Strangers" basketball team
met each other through our Team Sports program.
We provided the team with shirts as well as practice time over the course of the season. Like most adult teams the Strangers hope to see success on the court, but just having the opportunity to compete is very appreciated. Vimal Mathew immediately volunteered to serve as the team captain and offered his “Thanks for getting us a team.” Vimal said that the team struggled a bit in the beginning as they got to know each other, but are showing more teamwork on the court as the season progresses. 

Win or lose, I hope the Strangers will continue to have fun and enjoy playing a sport they obviously love. I also hope to create many more teams like this in the future with our other adult team sports programs.

If you're interested in playing adult team sports contact me at, whether you have a team or not. 

Find out more about our Team Sports program for youth and adults here

Sean Williams has worked in the Team Sports Division for AAPS Community Education and Recreation since 2001. He's been a "sports junkie" for as long as he can remember. Sean's name has grown to by synonymous with recreational sports in Ann Arbor. He enjoys running and spending time with his family.

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