How to dump a varsity team at an SA?

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by Kanye's Dad's Sock Puppet, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. Kanye's Dad's Sock Puppet

    Kanye's Dad's Sock Puppet Banned

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    Do any parents or others have some insights to this question?

    We have a first year student at a Service Academy who was recruited but not blue chipped in multiple sports. The individual is on a varsity sport, thinking its time to quit, but facing significant pressure from coaches, and even within the company (some on same team) to stay.

    The student's view is:
    "I came here to serve my country, learn to be good officer and get a good education so I am prepared for a time my country might not need my service. Varsity sports however takes so much time away from my ability to keep up with my studies (and when we travel we often don't have internet access and most of my homework is done on-line) and its not a good work out that helps me with my PRT... I need to find other free time to work-out to be able to max out. This also takes time away from my company, my leadership roles and it really does not help me accomplish anything I care about relative to why I came here. I may be good at it and I kinda like this sport but I don't love it so much that its a sanity break. But there is so much pressure from all sides to not quit. To quit is to be viewed as being a failure."

    As parent's our counsel is to quit. Go do a club sport you love, that fits better with your schedule, helps you with the PRT, and allows you to focus on the leadership roles and really challenging academics (tough engineering major). Even if you have to take a hit for quitting , take the short term hit ASAP (even mid-semester) for the long term gain.

    Basically, if you don't love it - leave it. Fast.

    Is this good or bad counsel?
     
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  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    We have seen many of our sponsor family members go through this - recruited athletes stepping away from basketball for club rugby, from swimming for the tri team, from volleyball for marathon team, from baseball for intramural softball, etc.

    This is a great opportunity to learn how to demonstrate a mature approach with the coaches, deliver a thoughtful and respectful rationale, set boundaries if being pestered, take a stand and move on with determination. The goal is commissioning, and sampling other opportunities along the way contributes to personal growth. Learning how to make and execute a decision and communicate that in the face of pressure and negativity is a great life skill.
     
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  3. Kanye's Dad's Sock Puppet

    Kanye's Dad's Sock Puppet Banned

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    Yes but 4th class is generally told they are supposed to learn to follow. Those that are leading are sending a strong message to not quit.

    Is this area - varsity sports - an accepted area for 4th class to push back instead of following and start leading down their own path? In other words, is the answer different for a 4th class, versus say a 2nd class, varsity athlete?
     
  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Have them sit down with the team captain first. Away from Bancroft, away from the coaches/lockeroom. Have them talk about why they want to quit. After that, have them schedule time with the coaches. If the team captain is as good a leader as they should be, then have them come too. A well presented plan, thoughts, dialogue are what he needs to have. He won't be the first or last Mid to quit. I have routinely stated on these forums that in reality probably 1/3 of those who start or come into USNA with the vision of playing a sport last 4 years. That is a huge attrition rate. Good luck to them, its a hard conversation, but he has to do what is right for him. Really the only option is to play the year out and then quit the team. There are pros and cons to that also.
     
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  5. Kanye's Dad's Sock Puppet

    Kanye's Dad's Sock Puppet Banned

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    Could you share more about this: "[...] option [...] play the year out and then quit the team. There are pros and cons to that also."

    I am sure we do not understand the pros and cons of that.

    BTW, we are talking about a 4th class here of that makes any difference.
     
  6. nigel

    nigel Member

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    My vote is to finish this season, then be done with the varsity sport.

    He is at a service academy primarily to learn to be a leader. Leaders don't quit on others in the middle an effort - at least not because it is effecting other areas of their life. If he bails, he learns that HIS needs and wants take priority. No. If his grades take a hit, so be it.

    Leaders Eat Last.

    Nicole

    Edited to clarify - I am assuming his grades could be Cs instead of As. If he is failing then he should quit. He can't be a learn to be a leader if he flunks out.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  7. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    These are just my opinions, but I think there are pros to sticking it out one season. I have no idea what sport they are playing or how long their season is. Giving it at least this season allows them to say they went the entire season and at least a semester as a D1 athlete. It allows them to say that they stuck it out, didn't quit, gave being an athlete, Mid and student a full assessment of what it is like before making the decision to walk away. It is no easy task. I have no idea what their grades are like right now. If they are failing, then absolutely they need to really consider hanging it up now. If they are doing ok, then they need to talk with upperclass and the coaches about Internet access. Is there a way to do this work offline (can it be downloaded, worked on, the uploaded)? Can NAAA get an Internet card for them? Its NAAA's job to support the athletes. I went to USNA prior to laptops being something everyone had. NAAA had a few for each team that we took on the road so we can write papers. Each team has an Officer Representative and Academic Adviser to help with these issues. Also, not sure who their O Rep is, but if they are a solid officer and they have had some interaction that is also not a bad person to talk to about this situation.

    I have no idea who this Midshipmen is... I am sure they are a great kid and Mid. The reality is, they are probably overwhelmed right now as they face 6 week exams. They probably realize that D1 sports are a whole new world. They are brutal. They are a blast too. But many adults make a living on how well a bunch of 17-22 year olds compete. D1 sports are a business and it is a different level of intensity and atmosphere. Navy also brings in alot of recruits. They might be realizing there skills aren't going to get them on the field/in the pool/on the court/etc anytime soon. This also has a defeating effect on many. He hasn't hit 6 weeks yet, although its coming, they feel this pressure. Also, right now he is still figuring out the groove of life at USNA as a Plebe. Things do get easier for a Plebe. The beginning of Ac year, the upperclass are fired up in their new roles. Plebes adapt and get a groove that works for them.
     
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  8. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Please take this advice as intended. Why are you involved? Let the kid work this out. You're there for support, but all of the repercussions will fall on the kid.

    As a long time educator, I have seen scenarios like this on a regular basis. Your son has to figure this out on his own.
     
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  9. Wilco

    Wilco Member

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    "[...] option [...] play the year out and then quit the team. There are pros and cons to that also."

    NavyHoops made valid points, as usual. I also just want to say Hoops comments on this forum are most often straight on. With experiences in the academy , D1 hoops, and as USMC officer, Hoops brings a unique insight.
     
  10. Kanye's Dad's Sock Puppet

    Kanye's Dad's Sock Puppet Banned

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    No offense taken and its easy to answer.

    Because our child asked our counsel.

    No child needs to "figure this out on their own." That is absurd. Even at a Service Academy there are people they can talk to and ask for counsel.

    Sometimes Mom and Dad get asked and sometimes we don't. This time we got asked. Obviously we want to give the best answer we can. Some useful insight on this thread and the PMs. Thanks to all for that.
     
  11. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    The only thing I will add is if the kid is in danger of failing classes (i.e. getting Fs), better to quit now than trying to stick it out. Should know or can ask, how much graded requirements are remaining in the semester. So say, if the kid got a F on a test that account for 20% of the course grade and he or she doesn't think he or she will do well on the next test that also accounts or 20%, and possibly more team commitment during the final exam time, a decent chance this kid will fail the course.
     
  12. MombaBomba

    MombaBomba Member

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    There are numerous cadets who leave their sport C4C year due to the rigors of academics. Their priority is to graduate and serve.

    Also, some cadets find that they are not a right fit for the team. As a result, they are miserable and this misery impacts their ability to thrive and do well. These cadets also leave their teams. They want to be at the academy, graduate and serve their country. While participating in a sport they love may be attractive, sometimes it is not worth the "cost." There are so many other opportunities for them. These opportunities may provide a better environment for leadership development. Sometimes doing something unfamiliar and/or new is far more of a learning opportunity than staying with the "status quo".
     
  13. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Remember that unlike scholarship students at a civilian college, the cadets don't lose their "free ride" by quitting the team.
     

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