Division I athletes at Santa Barbara are not the only students spilling their guts on the playing field while searching for a piece of their very own glowing Aggro crag.
The Exercise and Sports Studies Department offers a variety of physical education classes each quarter – everything from soccer to baseball to synchronized swimming. The classes meet twice a week and give students access to the same facilities that UCSB’s NCAA athletes use.
“Each class is unique, which makes each one fun and enjoyable,” junior biopsychology major Cory Arth said. “My favorite is the obvious – baseball, but just because I’m a baseball nut. There is, hands down, nothing that beats playing baseball on the intercollegiate field in the morning with other great players and getting college credit for it.”
Everyone from the most technically trained athletes to beginners can succeed in sports studies classes. Unlike the majority of Santa Barbara’s academic classes, they are not graded on a performance basis but rather by attendance. The classes are .5 units per quarter and students are free to take as many of them as they like.
The classes start off with basic skill instruction and drills before progressing into complete games. The instructors, many of whom are intercollegiate head or assistant coaches, teach in their specialty and supervise the classes.
“I think the best overall class I’ve taken so far is intermediate weight lifting because we were the class that met in the aerobics studio and we were forced to use free weights, elastic bands, medicine balls and PhysioBalls to get a complete workout,” Arth said. “Not only were those workouts the most effective, judging by the amount of soreness I felt the next day, but I learned many new training techniques that enabled the body’s core strength and enabled us to think outside of just pure machine lifting.”
The selection and times of the classes varies per quarter and each participant must sign up online through GOLD. The classes are listed under ES 1- and can be found in the schedule of classes put out each quarter. Students can take a class more than once or twice by signing up for the ES 1-99 with the right instructor. Just like any other class, crashing is always an option.
“I like PE classes for a couple of reasons,” Arth said. “One: it is the ideal way to break up classes or a rough schedule, and since it’s part of your schedule, you don’t have to worry about making a time to go and play or having other people to play with,” Arth said. “Also, we have the best PE staff around. For the most part, all of the teachers are IC coaches and are great people to get to know. They’re the real deal.”
With such a large variety of classes, there’s no reason to leave those gloves and cleats at home.