Club leadership vs Team Captain

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by alparent, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. alparent

    alparent Member

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    My DS is starting a club at his school. He also participates in an academic bowl team at school where he has been a team lead for certain events. The latter is in direct conflict with his ability to earn a letter in a second sport and earn the role of captain in another sport since the after school involvement from the bowl team prohibits him from making all the sports practices. He enjoys all of it and would rather not have to sacrifice any of these activities, but also wants to put forth his most competitive package. Does anyone have any idea how leadership in a club, and starting a new club weighs against captain of a sport and a letter in a 2nd sport? Are there certain "points" on the WCS that one can ONLY earn from being a team captain?
     
  2. Rage_14

    Rage_14 Member

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    I would think that starting a new organization would be looked on very highly considering all of the effort that would have to be put into it, but that is just pure speculation.

    Question for OP, do you happen to be from Alabama?
     
  3. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Which is he more interested in?
     
  4. alparent

    alparent Member

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    That seems to be his problem...he wants to "do it all". He really enjoys competing on a bowl type team, and would never dream of giving up soccer. His only problem is that if he stays on the academic team he will never make captain since the after school commitment overlaps. He asked us our opinion as to what the academies would think he if he only lettered in 1 sport and didn't make captain (which is what would happen if he stayed with the bowl team) and we had no clue. We thought we would ask those of you who have much more experience in this. I thought I read somewhere that making captain could "max out" your leadership points, but for the life of me I can't find or reference that. His new club that he is starting should not conflict since they are planning on meeting before school, as far as I know - (I just wanted to mention it in the context of another leadership activity that he is involved in) It comes down to basically bowl team vs possibly making captain and a possibility of lettering in another sport. Is all leadership involvement created equal.... ie. New club vs lead on bowl team vs sport team captain? He realizes there is no guarantee he would even make captain, but knows he certainly won't if he stays on the bowl team. Sorry this is so lengthy, just wanted you to see the whole picture.
    Rage- we are from Alabama.
     
  5. AFAYahoo

    AFAYahoo Member

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    alparent, my son lettered in cross country and track, but never was captain, as the coach chose the top runner or 2 to be captain, not necessarily those with leadership abilities. But my son got his leadership "points" for the academy in other areas--scouts, NHS, etc. He's currently doing his basic training at the AFA, so it must have worked out point-wise! I agree with Rage, that starting a club could be a big plus. When he does his ALO interview, he'll have great opportunity to really spell out all that was involved, any obstacles to starting a club and how he overcame them, etc. I don't know a %, but I know the ALO interview is part of the WCS scoring also.
     
  6. Rage_14

    Rage_14 Member

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    It seems to me that he should just talk to his ALO about it. Sorry I couldn't help much. Where does he go to school? I am from the great state of Alabama as well.
     
  7. alparent

    alparent Member

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    Afayahoo, great point about the interview! I would imagine with all the different requirements from all the different high schools that the interview could explain a lot. For instance, he had to sit out of sports his freshman year because he transferred in to the school from a public school. Explaining this in the interview will explain the lack of a school sport freshman year. Thanks for the input!!
    Rage, sent you a PM
     
  8. FightingFalcon

    FightingFalcon Parent

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    I'm with Raimius. Go with what you son loves most. No sense having him live a miserable life in HS, just to beef up his resume.

    As you have read many times, 'the complete package' is what USAFA is after, and they consider all activities. If your son's grades and/or test scores are not up to snuff, I kind of doubt club/sports leadership will make up for it.

    My now Basic Cadet lettered only in track 2 seasons. He was one of the slow ones, but was on the team. His real interest was in band, where he was a section leader.
     
  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    While 85-90% of all cadets have played a high-school sport, and lettered in it; only a small percentage were "Captains" of those teams. Most people need to find leadership experience in other areas. President/leader of a club, class officer, boy/girl state, drum major, section leader in band, etc... There are plenty of places to get leadership positions. The academy also wants volunteer time too. There's a lot of room to demonstrate leadership in volunteer activities. Coordinating and running a volunteer activity.

    Bottom line is: People need to learn how to assess their own accomplishments and abilities. Most people have a lot more accolades than they realize. People have a lot more achievements than they realize. Unfortunately, many are looking for a magic checklist that gets them an appointment. It doesn't exist. Neither can anyone here spoon-feed anyone the right answers to your concerns.

    On the same note, there are a lot of people who have no leadership accomplishments. They don't naturally excel in their activities. They are traditionally "Followers". Sorry, but you can't just become a leader over night. You can't look at some list and try to fill in the blocks.

    Here's my suggestion for the activities you want to include in your application.
    1. Do ALL of the things you enjoy doing; and excel at those things to be the best.
    2. Those activities you are involved in; try and be in charge of some/part of it.
    3. Make your life as challenging as possible. Most challenging classes, activities, sports, spare time, etc...
    4. Be as well rounded as possible.

    Unfortunately, there's a lot of people who don't like this type of life. They don't want to be so "Multi-Tasked". Then don't think they have enough time in a day. Then, when they get to the academy, they realize that the military really does want this type of person. Just people who have quit, there are already more than 25 in the current class of basics. This isn't including injuries. This is just those who want out. And the list we grow even more. Too many people don't know what they're getting into. Just because a 16-17 year old says they WANT to go to the academy, doesn't mean they should go to the academy. If TEAM sports/activities interest you more than individual sports/activities, then the academy/military is probably for you. If you understand the need for rank; for people to tell you what to do; for doing what you're told, and not doing it necessarily your way; then the academy/military is probably for you. This isn't to say the military wants robots. On the contrary. They want individuals who can think for themselves. But they need to realize that they are just a PART of something much bigger. They need to lead their part, but must be able to follow those in the parts higher than them.

    That's what the whole leadership thing is about. The academies/military is not meant for the "ME-Generation". It's meant for the person who considers the education, benefits, pay, travel, medical, etc... to all be secondary to the primary purpose. Which is to be part of something bigger than yourself; in the combined defense of our constitution and to maintain peace. Which could include risking your life. Not saying that you should be willing to join the military without any type of pay or compensation. That's foolish. But you have to look beyond what's good for you, and look at what's good for the military and our country.

    So don't try comparing club leadership with being a captain of a sports team. You're trying to fill a square on a checklist. Such a checklist doesn't exist. And no one here can spoon feed anyone else what they should be doing. "Be TRUE to Yourselves". If what you are doing and wanting to do is in line with what the military wants, then it will become clear. If what you want isn't in line with the military, then that too will become apparent, and maybe the military isn't what you were meant to do. "BE TRUE TO YOURSELF". That's more important than ANYTHING ELSE.
     
  10. alparent

    alparent Member

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    Thank you both! This forum is full of thoughtful people with great advice. We are constantly learing from it.
     

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