How important is it to participate in a school sport?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by iz314, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. iz314

    iz314 New Member

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    I am a freshman, and am considering USMA. I have been told on numerous occasions that you have to start young to have a competitive chance, and that is what I am doing.
    By the time I am a senior, I will have taken 12 AP courses, and all honors courses. I have previously taken the PSAT as an eighth grader, and scored in the top 10%. There will be no problem academically. I also actively participate in two clubs, and am planning on starting a Red Cross Club come September.
    But there is a problem-I do not currently play a sport. I am in marching band, if that counts. I am in good shape, but I have some serious ball-hand coordination issues, as well as stamina issues. This has prevented me from playing a sport. However, I have the option to play softball or do spring track. I know for a fact that I will not be a star player, or anything of the sort. I can also start martial arts at a local studio, but I would also be starting from scratch.
    Do I need to play a sport to have a chance at going to West Point, or is marching band enough? If I do need to play a sport, which one should I pursue? Thanks a lot.
     
  2. runorrun

    runorrun Member

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    You still have nearly all your high school career to figure out everything, so it's good that you're starting early! YES YES YES, get involved with at least one sport! I don't remember the exact percentage, but something like 90% of admits played a varsity sport in high school. Try out for a team sport if possible; it looks like the SA's prefer those. But make sure you do actually like the sport(s) you are doing. If you're participating in a team sport solely for college apps, you will probably hate it. You say you have some coordination and stamina issues, but these won't solve themselves. Just keep working on it and practicing. "Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect." That's some really good advice I got from a hockey coach. Work your butt off every practice, and get to know your teammates! Even if you're not the best player, put heart and effort into everything you're doing. Keep a positive attitude and encourage your teammates no matter how tough the situation gets. Hope this helps!


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  3. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    I'll be honest this statement is what I'd be most concerned about. I'm not sure what your definition of "Good shape' is but to me that MUST include having stamina. If you can squat 1000 pounds but cannot run 2 miles it will mean nothing. To be successful at any Academy, stamina is an absolute must. You also need to remember that in order to be accepted to the Academy you must pass the CFA. This takes stamina to be able to do. Having a 36 ACT and tons of EC's really doesn't matter if you can't pass the CFA.

    My suggestion is to find a rigorous sport/activity that you enjoy and get involved. You are still a Freshman and have time to work on this. Baseball or softball will do nothing for your stamina. I'd suggest sports like Cross Country or track or wrestling. Anything that will push you physically to help develop your stamina. Looking to play a sport for a check mark on your application would be a mistake. Choosing a sport that will help develop you physically and that you enjoy would be a much wiser decision.

    Remember your goal should not be to "Get into" an Academy. Your goal needs to be to prepare yourself to thrive at an Academy. Getting there is just the first step. I wish you the best of luck. Work hard and you can succeed.
     
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  4. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    When I was a freshman I couldn't even run a full mile on the CFA run I ran a much faster time than the average He will get in shape if he really wants to go to the academy, he has 2.5 years before he starts up the process so it's no big deal as long a he gets started now. I cut my mile time in half and then some since my freshman year by simply running 2-3 times a week but picked up to 5 times a week 6 months before the CFA.


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  5. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    If you want a sport that will get you into the best all around shape do wrestling or swimming.


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  6. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Swimming, wrestling, and track require no hand-eye-ball coordination. My son has the same problem. If it involves a ball of any sort he is just no good at it. He wrestled all through middle school and high school. Any one of the sports mentioned here will improve your stamina. Personally I think this is especially true of wrestling. The longest and hardest 6 minutes of my life occurred whenever I was in the ring wrestling.
     
  8. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    kinnem: I am picturing a bear...
     
  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Perhaps now, but when I wrestled I was a skinny kid. Wrestled 128 or something like that.

    BTW - The Bears is the team at my old college alma mater. Maybe that's what's driving the pictures in your mind?
     
  10. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Nope. Just you and a bear in the ring!

    By the way... kind of back on topic: if I was to pick from all the sports available to a young man as he progresses through school, I would single out wrestling as the most beneficial. Civilian or military, the focus, discipline, mental agility and true man v man nature make it tops in my mind. There will be those who feel differently - that's fine, of course. But having had two sons who excelled at the "typical" sports of basketball, football, and track who both got into wrestling half way through high school I have to admit: it is a great preparation sport for the military and life.

    Doesn't much matter to anyone else, but to me I have a whole new respect for the sport. Kind of wish I had pursued it in my youth.
     
  11. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    There is a reason that so many navy seals wrestled or swam in high school or college


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  12. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    I would recommend track. You already know how to run. The more you do it, the more stamina you will have and your times will improve.
    You will have to run at West Point anyway so you might as well get use to it. You will also need stamina, which track will build.
    You will also have to play a sport at West Point.
    You might consider dropping band and add a Fall team sport. I am going to assume that you are female since you mentioned softball, not baseball. Consider volleyball or basketball. You might be better at sports than you think but you won't know if you don't try.
    Bottom line, playing a sport will help your application more than band. If band if very important to you, then at least do a Spring sport. If softball sounds more appealing to you than track, then at least start running on your own.
    Good thing is that you are asking these questions now as a Freshman and you have time on your side.
     
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  13. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    I would add Soccer to the list of possible sports that stress fitness. Preparing for and playing 40 minute halfs in constant motion (combination of sprinting, running, jumping, and body-on-body pushing) without timeouts will get you in shape.... promise.

    DS played soccer for love... and ran Track in the spring for a more relaxed "break" and to stay in shape off-season. Sure it varies by school, but at our high school Soccer was pretty hard core with summer double sessions, hell week, and the whole deal.
     
  14. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    Same here, DD plays soccer, and if she isn't playing or working out for her high school team, she is playing on her club team. Its year round playing and conditioning! They play HS soccer in the Spring here, and her tryouts are today!
     
  15. tntele

    tntele Member

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    Another parent with a comment about wrestling. When my son met with RC, several comments were made about my sons wrestling experience. Apparently they really like the physical fitness and mental toughness of wrestlers.
     
  16. BSN1985

    BSN1985 Member

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    My son played football, did weights and conditioning and gave up lacrosse his last two years to run track to make sure he could run longer distances. He has said it really helped and he has done well.
     
  17. blue_murr4

    blue_murr4 Member

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    Running every day or as much as you can will help your stamina and your overall fitness. I know it's early, but start prepping for the CFA now. Try to do at least 1 set of push-ups, sit ups, and pull-ups everyday! By the time you take the CFA, you should pass with flying colors!
    Team sports also aren't about how good you are, but they are like a family. Being in one would be a great experience - track or softball it doesn't matter. Do whichever one you want to do.
    ( I'm a freshman to! hope you make it)
     
  18. hooah21

    hooah21 Member

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    Take leadership positions. Theyd rather have 2 activities of leadership than 20 regular memberships.


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