Advice for Athletics

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Graduation2016, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. Graduation2016

    Graduation2016 Member

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    I am a high school sophomore who is looking into ROTC scholarships. I am interested in all of the branches but my top choice is currently Army. I know it is early to be worrying about college but I want to be as competitve as possible. Regarding my question, how exactly can I show athleticism in the time I have left before applications? I have a 4.0 unweighted GPA and a 5.0 weighted GPA (through various honors and AP courses), and I am on track to score 2000+ on the SAT based on my PSAT scores. My school does not rank underclassmen, but I think I am easily within the top 10%.
    I also have or am on track to earn high leadership positions in AFJROTC, Science Olympiad, Debate team, and NHS. I am involved in a lot more clubs, but those are the ones that I will likely have high leadership positions in (some I already do).
    Athletics are by far the weakest side of my application. I have very limited athletic activities. I did jujitsu for two years until I stopped in order to raise my grades and do more clubs. I stopped at the end of my freshman year.
    I am currently looking into sports that I could participate in that would still allow me to do my other extra-curriculars. Right now I am looking into swimming. But would it be worth it? Assuming I made my school's swimming team (JV most likely, but who knows) Junior and Senior years, woud I be competitive at all for an ROTC scholarship in any branch? Would it help at all? What can I do to improve my chances of getting a scholarship, in general and specifically in regards to athletics? Thank you for any advice
     
  2. Trackswagggg

    Trackswagggg Member

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    Army (as most do) look for the "whole package" (i.e. Leadership, academics, service, military, and athletics). They are really looking for at least two varsity letters. However, your academics sound pretty good so it might off set that a little. However, you will have to do a PT test for the army scholarship before you can submit your application. It consists of push-ups, sit ups, and a mile run.


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  3. Bakslash

    Bakslash Member

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    My advice is to pick up Cross Country. One, it's not extremely difficult to letter in, and two, it'll improve your run time. Plus, it'll help transfer over to something like Track which you can letter in as well if you keep up your running.
     
  4. Bert

    Bert New Member

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    Having been a competitive swimmer for some 12 years, I can say with assurance that swimming is not an easy sport to "pick up." It requires a lot of determination and time, especially if you aren't accustomed to swimming long distances. I had friends who wanted to pick up swimming in high school and believed they were adequate swimmers but had never been on a swim team before. They could swim from one end of the pool to the other just fine, but when asked to swim 500 yards continuously, they just about drowned. Unless you have some God-given natural ability in the sport, I wouldn't expect to letter in it.

    As Bakslash said, XC would be fairly easy to pick up and would get you in good running shape. I'd also advise lacrosse as a spring sport if your school has it, it's not too difficult to learn the ropes to and ROTC likes to see participation in team sports.
     
  5. Dzall

    Dzall Member

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    So I got offers to George Washington, Penn State, and Case Western this year without any high school sports, but I am assuming I am a minority. I have a 3.8 GPA with an IB diploma with corresponding AP classes, plus a 2160 SAT. My ECs are Boy Scouts (Eagle Scout), Tang Soo Do (black belt), Marching Band over 4 years, and a couple of other things. My candidate fitness test scores were 47 sit ups, 48 push ups, and a 6:23 mile. It is possible to get offers without high school sports, but they will help, especially if you aren't fit. I recommend you take up a sport or athletic discipline. It will prepare you for the candidate fitness test and PT. They may look more favorably on high school sports, but I imagine jiu-jitsu could work too. Whatever you do, keep on track with the excellent academics and ECs and seriously commit yourself to some academic discipline. If it's jiu-jitsu, make sure you do tournaments and cross-train.

    You probably have a serious shot at a scholarship if you fix the athletics issue.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
  6. Trackswagggg

    Trackswagggg Member

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    Cross country isn't an easy sport to "pick up" at my school. Only 7 out of 31 boys lettered and we all (7) had an average mile time of 5:27



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  7. Thunderbolt462

    Thunderbolt462 Member

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    I applied for and received my AFROTC scholarship without any Varsity letters, although I did JV swimming for two years. I did my first year of cross country senior year and was on Varsity and earned a Varsity letter. Assuming you've got a runners body type and are serious about working hard, a sub 5:30 mile time and 5k times in the 17s are certainly possible your first year. Even if you don't letter, no matter which branch of ROTC you choose you're going to be doing a lot of running. Cross Country will help a lot with that.
     
  8. Graduation2016

    Graduation2016 Member

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    I want to thank everyone for all your input, I really appreciate it. Now that I can drive and have a handle on my academics and clubs, I plan to rejoin my jiu-jitsu gym. So on my application I should have that as a sport from 9-12th grade. I did consider cross-country for the obvious reason that it would directly help me with the running portion of the PFT. However, my school is very competitive with cross-country so I am very unlikely to letter. Also, the practices are directly after school, which prevents me from doing a lot of the clubs that I have leadership positions in. That is why I am looking at swimming, since the practices are at later times. I have no intention to "pick up" a varsity letter with little effort, but I think that I have a reasonable chance at making the JV team. So how do my chances for an Army ROTC scholarship stand if I have Jiu-Jitsu (4 years with various disciplines) and possibly JV Swimming (2 years)?
     
  9. Thunderbolt462

    Thunderbolt462 Member

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    You should be fine as long as you do extremely well on the physical fitness test and have a good interview. Ultimately, it's up to the selection board to decide. Everything else is just a prediction. You could probably visit a local ROTC unit and talk to the cadre there. They'll have some good info.
     
  10. Graduation2016

    Graduation2016 Member

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    Thanks again for all of your input, everyone. I have spent a lot of time last week contemplating about college, ROTC, and options. Now I have another question concerning athletics. I have fully resolved to continue my Martial Arts training (Jiu Jitsu) and start exercising with a more dedicated regimen. So I plan to have that as my main athletic activity for the duration of high school (should have it down from 9-12 on the application). My question is in regards to swimming/cross country.

    My school is extremely competitive with those teams, and after further inquiring, I am 99% sure that the most I could possibly progress in either sport is JV (if I even make the team). This is due to the high level of talent and competition that already exists on the teams. As such, is doing either of those sports even worth it? I understand that a central part of the WCS is the scholar-athlete-leader criteria. And from the research I have done, there are three ways to meet the Athlete portion (unless this only applies to the interview, in which case clarification for the separate SAL component would be helpful):
    a) Varsity Letter from High School team,
    b) Membership of regional/city/competitive league, or
    c) Either active involvement in organized competitive (club, church league) team, sports or active involvement in individual athletic, competitions (triathlon, mountain biking, running, etc.).

    First, what exactly is a regional/city/competitive league? An example would be very helpful. Second, my Jiu Jitsu training/competing would fill in the third box. Which means that the JV sport would not fill any additional boxes, right? So if I was truly seeking to maximize my WCS, would it be wiser to not do the JV sport and instead focus on maximizing my Scholar/Leader attributes with the time that I would be spending on the JV sport? I could continue all my regular activities uninterrupted, and still train independently for the PFT. Any advice on whether that would be a good way to maximize my chances of getting an Army ROTC scholarship would be much appreciated. Thanks again.
     

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