The School of Kinesiology’s Physical Activity Program (PAP) involved 6,700 students last year in more than 50 different physical activity courses. These courses help to fulfill the University’s mission to create well-rounded students in stimulating learning environments.
PE 1036 – Racquetball is an excellent example of University students learning a new skill from renowned athletes. PE Instructors Brian Phillips and Mitch Hoffman both play racquetball competitively and are passionate about teaching students the sport they love.
Their enthusiasm for the game lead Phillips and Hoffman to involve University of Minnesota students in the U.S. Open Racquetball Championship, the premier racquetball championship featuring the top racquetball players in the world. This year, the event is hosted in Minneapolis
from October 2 through 6, 2013. Through their efforts, University of Minnesota entered the Wednesday and Thursday games for free. Hoffman says, “The first time I attended the US Open and watched the pros, I was hooked.” With men’s pros hitting the ball upwards of 180 miles an hour, watching the professional games is an exciting and eye-opening experience. A highlight of the championship is the portable glass stadium (pictured above) that allows spectators an unparalleled viewing experience. Students may also have a chance to meet some of the best players in the world.
While the US Open event is an incredible experience for any student, racquetball extends far beyond professional competitions. Hoffman commented, “…the camaraderie and fellowship of those that play the game has given me a lot of great friendships.” Because racquetball extends beyond the court, Hoffman and Phillips assist students in learning the sport through PE 1036 and the Racquetball Club. The University of Minnesota has racquetball courts at the recreation centers in both Minneapolis and St. Paul.
More on our instructors:
Brian Phillips, a racquetball instructor for over 17 years and a certified instructor for the American Professional Racquetball Organization since 2005, has played racquetball competitively for over 25 years. He is a two time gold medalist in doubles and bronze medal winner in the National Singles Championship. Mitch Hoffman has been teaching racquetball for nine years at the U of M. He currently competes at the “A” level in racquetball. He is on the Minnesota Racquetball board of directors and the U.S. Open Racquetball Championship organizing committee. He believes that simply getting students on the court will make them lifelong players of the sport. Brian and Mitch both play for Gearbox Racquetball.