Get in the Game: Mind, Body, and Sport (Your Social Skills)

We all know that ZogSports lets you keep playing all your favorite sports you grew up playing, allows you to try something new, expands your social network, and gives you something to look forward to every week.  But did you know that ZogSports is actually healthy for you?  Mentally, physically and socially?  Expert psychotherapist, Alyson Cohen, LCSW, explains why:

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Get in the Game: Mind, Body, and Sport (Your Social Skills)

Have you ever thought about joining a social sports league in New York City? Well, you should. My clients are always looking for ways to make friends in Manhattan, build their professional networks, and find time to stay in shape. Joining a social sports league is a great way to strengthen your mental, physical, and social well-being.

Here are some key reasons why:

1- Physical activity reduces depression. It will physically make you feel happier. Exerting your body to get your blood flowing directly causes serotonin levels in your body to increase. Serotonin is the “feel good” neurotransmitter (brain signal) that when released, gives you feelings of carefree lightheartedness. This is the same effect as antidepressant medications, but you can get it without those pills! In addition to releasing serotonin, having a planned sports activity will give you more motivation to leave your home, thus reducing isolation and forcing you to flex your social muscles.

2- You will improve your physical health. Let’s face it, you’re not as young as you used to be. And when you’re a kid it’s easy to stay fit; you have recess, gym class, and energy levels that keep you bouncing off the walls. Now you’re an adult. You work in an office; you need a change of pace – literally. Step. It. Up. Joining a social sports league will give you the encouragement and boost needed to add fitness to your life. It’s  got potential to be way more fun than a gym and with all the distraction of your new friends, you’ll hardly realize you’re burning calories. Lifting weights and running on a treadmill isn’t for everyone,  but throwing balls at each other and running bases has definitely been fun for you at some point in time. Your inner kid is still in there and will give you all the energy you need once you find something fun to do!

3- You will make friends and build your social skills. So maybe you are new to the city and you literally know nobody. You’re not alone. Thousands of other people have just moved here too and they’re probably going to join some sort of activity to make friends. And it’s okay and a totally normal thing to do in a city as big as New York. The best part about meeting people through a social sports league is they want to be your friend! They want to hang out with you, get to know you, and have fun. It’s a win-win (even if your team continually loses). If you’re an introvert and have trouble talking to strangers, you don’t have to! Just focus on your game play until you’re ready to take that next step. Chances are that it’s only social anxiety holding you back but once you have upped your body’s blood flow, you’ll likely feel more at ease and better able to interact with your teammates.

4- Your professional network will expand. Lucky for you, the other members of your team are not professional athletes, however they are professional somethings. And maybe they work in an industry that could directly benefit your career (another win-win). Networking in New York City can be costly, time-consuming, and just flat out boring. Networking through a social sports league keeps interactions laid back, genuine and  could promote a higher quality relationship. The more diverse networking avenues you pursue, the more diverse professionals you will meet. It’s a simple formula and you will find it’s very possible to have fun and network at the same time!

5- Your self-esteem will improve. Participating in an activity that you enjoy will make you feel good about yourself. Even if you were the last kid to be picked on the team in gym class, now’s your chance for redemption. Generally, the level of play in social sports leagues is pretty non-competitive. Knowing that you took the big step of putting yourself out there, trying to meet new people, and putting effort into a new activity will make you feel proud of yourself. And you should be.

If you’re feeling like you could use a boost mentally, physically, socially and professionally, why not give joining a social sports league a try? The only thing you’ve got to lose is depression, weight, social anxiety, and job isolation.

For more information on maintaining your well-being, please visit my web site at www.alysoncohentherapy.com.

Let ZogSports ease your mind and help kick-start your healthy living lifestyle.  Use these quick tips to calm any nerves and find the right fit for you:

If you’re looking to make friends, don’t be afraid to sign up alone.  Most people who join ZogSports sign up as a free agent their first season and also want to make friends.  Zog places free agents on the same team, with other people of a similar skill level.  If you want to sign up with just a few friends, you can do that too, and Zog guarantees you will be placed on the same team.

If you’re joining to expand your professional network, explore ZogSports’ corporate offerings.  From corporate-only leagues to corporate events including field days and team building activities, you’ll find the perfect outlet for networking and improving employee engagement and company culture.

Afraid the competition will be too stiff?  ZogSports offers multiple competition levels for each league, so whether you’ve played your whole life or never played before, you’ll fit right in.

If you have any questions about ZogSports, feel free to email us at info@ZogSports.com or call us at (646) GO PLAY-8.  Our dedicated full time staff is always easy to reach and happy to help!

Visit us at www.ZogSports.com.

Where Has Your Zog T-Shirt Been?

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There are new Zoggers, there are loyal Zoggers, and then there are die hard Zoggers.  Meet Jonathan, who doesn’t leave for a vacation without packing a ZogSports T-shirt for each day of his trip.

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As the cold weather comes around, I think back to the nice summer weather and times on vacation, with my ZogSports Shirts!!!!

When I got home from college four years ago, my brother asked me to play dodgeball with him in the city.  I immediately said yes just out of my enjoyment of playing sports and competitive nature.  We did not do well that year, I think we only won one game but I had a lot of fun and got a bright pink T-shirt.  The next year we decided to play again.  This year was a little different, I got a yellow T-shirt and we won the championship.  I decided that the yellow shirt was more special than the pink shirt, so I got rid of the pink one.  Over the next few years I continued to play Zog dodgeball, but also added in kickball and basketball.  As the number of sports I played for Zog increased, so did my number of Zog t-shirts.  I was unsure what I should do with them all since they took up a whole pile in my drawer.  My brother even added a Zog ref shirt to my collection [as a holiday gift one year] that he found at the Salvation Army (because I loved getting to ref during dodgeball games).IMG_1069

While I was packing for a family vacation to the beach, I realized I needed shirts to wear on the beach.  And what would be better than a wide range of brightly colored Zog shirts?  I packed a different color for each day I was going to be at the beach.  Each day I would walk out with a different shirt and people would ask what sport that shirt was from.

These ZogSports shirts have now become my favorite vacation shirt.  I plan on continuing to play Zog for the enjoyment of playing sports and to add to my shirt collection.  So far my shirts have made it to Jersey, Cape Cod, and Florida.  Next summer I will be adding to the list.  Where has your Zog T-shirt been?

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Jonathan.  We’d be happy to add to your collection if you’re missing any colors.

Where has your Zog T-Shirt been?  Let us know!  Email us at info@ZogSports.com.

Want to start your own collection of ZogSports T-Shirts? Play in the most popular social sports league in the country! Check out all of the leagues here.

Why I Zog – Shafiq’s Story

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We know that ZogSports is the best way to meet new people in New York City, but we love to hear the evidence from first-time Zoggers!  Here’s Shafiq’s story:

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“I moved to NYC a few months back, and my roommate at the time highly recommended ZogSports to me (He also wore many cool colored ZogSports’ t-shirts around the apartment). So being the kind of person who loves to hang out, play sports, and meet new people, I decided to check out the Zog website. Fortunately for me, I found the perfect Sport (Volleyball), on the perfect day (Sunday), in the perfect location (Brooklyn Bridge Park)! Pretty much signed up on the spot.

The first meet was pretty awesome as I got to meet most of the team! We weren’t totally on the same page yet, but going to a happy hour (recommended spot by Zog) after week 1 got us talking and helped create a strong camaraderie. What was really cool is that we started doing all sorts of events around game time from week to week including brunches, sticking around to play more volleyball, and even exploring Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg together! Many of us also hung out together and watched the 4th of July fireworks together thanks to a warm invitation from a teammate! From there we got better every week and learned to communicate on court more effectively!  We even started having some inside jokes (whose got middle?).

This was a phenomenal first time experience, and I made some awesome friends along the way! I plan on trying other Zog sports as well as keeping in touch with current teammates to see what other sports they will be participating in, as well as what they are up to around NYC!

We got playoffs coming up this weekend and hoping to win it all! Go “Orange is the new BLOCK”!”

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Your new best friends are waiting for you!  Meet them now at ZogSports.com.

Zog Crossed Lovers

Meet Chris and Jesse: Newlyweds who met 3 years ago on a ZogSports Football team.

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Here’s their story:

Jesse and I got married last Saturday.  We met back in 2011 when she joined our football team (cell block 4).  I was on the team since fall of 2009.  After she joined the team, a mutual friend brought her to ninth ward before the season started to introduce her to everyone.  It was a Friday and I was hungover from Thursday kickball, but for some reason I knew I had to go.  That’s the night I met her, and it was love at first sight.  She met all of my friends (we have several teams in several leagues, including kickball, dodgeball, etc. – which she also played intermittently over the past few years).  So here we are – married for 5 days, and all of our friends from Zog were at the wedding too!  In fact, Shaun Saunders (who I met when our team first formed in 2009) was one of my groomsman and gave the toast.  He’s my best friend to this day, and I was the best man in his wedding in April – so as you can tell, ZogSports has had a huge impact on my life!

ZogSports is not just about playing sports, it’s about bringing together teammates and soulmates.

Thanks for sharing your story with us.  We wish you the best!

#SPOTaZOG

 What are the odds of spotting a fellow Zogger in NYC? Pretty high. The odds of spotting one in Argentina? Very low. Unless, of course, you’re Emily, an Atlanta Zogger.  Read on to find out how Emily was Spotted by a fellow Zogger in Argentina! 

When I was visiting Argentina a few weeks back I went to Iguazu National Park one day.  I’d happened to pack my Zog shirt and knew a day of trekking around the park in the heat would be the perfect t-shirt day. I donned my Zog shirt that Saturday also as a nod to my football team, Touch Down My Pants, playing back in Atlanta.

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Inside the park they have narrow bridges over the river that lead out to where the falls are.  It’s just wide enough for two people to pass going each direction.  After checking out the falls I was heading back to land.

A guy walking towards me, clearly an American in his Red Sox cap and speaking English, spotted me in the Zog shirt and says, “Hey!  ZogSports, awesome!”  Not having much room to stop and make small talk on the narrow walk ways I yelled over my shoulder, “Yeah buddy!” and kept on my way.

 

It was a brief, but fun exchange between Zoggers thousands of miles from home!

Though we aren’t in Argentina (yet), be sure to wear your Zog shirts around your city. You might run into a ZogSports staff member and receive one of these bad boys, good for a discount off of your next registration:

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My Team In Ten

These fun and interesting ten questions will give you some insight into some teams you might encounter throughout your Zog career.

Today, we are highlighting the 3 on 3 Coed Basketball team, US of Shakin & Bacon.

US of Shakin & Bacon In Ten 

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1) How long has your team been Zogging together for?

A year, we just completed our fourth season Zog seasons.

2) How did you settle on your team name?

Several team members work in television. Our name derives from the title of a series one of us was working on– The United States of Bacon.

3) What’s your favorite team memory?

In a season riddled by injury, Nicole was often the only girl able to make the games. One night, she forgot her shoes, and had to play in one our guy’s low-top Vans, that were at least four sizes too big for her. So Nicole played four games with oversized sneaks…and still led us to a 3-1 record.

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4) What movie title best describes your team’s skills?

Hustle and Flow. We’re a small team, so we depend on hustle, movement and passing to be competitive.

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5) What song title best describes your team’s relationship?

“99 problems” We can be shooting horrible, we can be physically banged up, we can be getting killed on the boards…but we never have a problem with the ladies on our team. They carry us and were the biggest reason we won the championship this season.

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6) What celebrity do you think would best fit as a teammate on your team?

Michael Shannon. He’s an amazingly talented character actor (Boardwalk Empire, Revolutionary Road, Man of Steel). He’s not the leading man, but he always contributes a strong performance.

We’re a not a team of superstars. We’re a team of role players. Everyone knows their assignment and sacrifices their own game for the good of the team.

Michael would fit right in with our squad.

7) Beer Pong or Flip Cup?

C. None of the above. We’re an older team, our Beer Ping/Flip Cup days ended with the Bush administration. (For some of us, Bush 41…for others Bush 43.)

8) Which of your teammates is the most entertaining during your games? Why?

Tough call here. We play with some real characters. You never know what Nicole is going to say or do on the court, or which item of clothing she has forgotten that we will have to track down last minute so we can play, always a surprise with that one! And then there is Kori. She’s constantly talking, coaching, and cheerleading. She’s our Energizer bunny.

9) Which of your teammates is the most entertaining after a couple of drinks? Why?

Nicole.

10) Describe your team’s Zog experience in one word.

Rewarding.

Not only have we ‘ve won some games, but through playing together we’ve become good friends.

 

Thanks, US of Shakin & Bacon, for giving us the inside scoop. Keep those championships coming!

Keep Zoggin’ – your team could be featured next!