Kicking off a Season on the Right Foot
Following rounds of intense tryouts this week, nine NYU Shanghai competitive sports teams welcomed their new members, poised to make their debuts at the upcoming Pudong Sports Games in late September.
It will be NYU Shanghai’s first time participating in Pudong’s biggest sports fest, held every four years, with student athletes expecting to compete in men’s and women’s tennis and badminton during the weekend of September 23-24. The men’s basketball and soccer teams are also set for two-week tournaments starting October 9.
As an effort to rejuvenate the strength of existing teams, the tryouts attracted nearly 200 participants, largely from the Class of 2021 along with seniors students returning from semesters abroad and study-away students from New York and Abu Dhabi.
Garry Frazier Jr., head coach of NYU Shanghai men’s basketball program, said he was glad to see many new players show interest in the sport, vowing to develop a systematic training routine that fuses “continuity and sets” to improve the team’s basketball IQ.
“I believe we will have a team of dedicated men. That’s always a strong foundation on which we can set standards for the team’s sustained development over the next four years,” said Frazier, who has more than 10 years of university basketball coaching experience.
Looking forward to the competition in October, Branden Taylor ‘17, captain of the men’s basketball team, said the biggest challenge lies in how to spark team chemistry and learn to play as a cohesive unit in a relatively short time.
In addition to aggressive outreach efforts to set up matches with partner schools, Taylor said he is eyeing a change of leadership style this year in terms of contributing to the team.
“Before, I tended to lead by actions on the court, like scoring the ball and making passes. Now, I feel like I do not necessarily need to make the same impact game-wise, but rather take up a mentorship role and become the type of player who can give advice,” Taylor said.
Mei Shuyang ‘20, captain of NYU Shanghai’s tennis team, shared similar excitement and optimism, saying they expect great progress based on the turnout for Wednesday’s and Thursday’s tryouts.
According to Mei, members of the tennis team are expected to spend two hours each week practicing a variety of techniques on top of another hour of physical training. Commitment to the weekly training, considered a precondition for the success of the team, is highly advised.
“We will take attendance very seriously. We want our team to abide by discipline, to improve professionally, and at the same time to have loads of fun,” Mei said.
The Office of Student Life also offers a selection of non-competitive sports options such as weekly classes on dance, yoga and Tai Chi. “The goals of the programs are ultimately to develop mind and body for students, promote sportsmanship, and create violet pride,” said Adam Ebnit, Assistant Dean of Student Life.