Is marching band considered a sport?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by QLintz, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. QLintz

    QLintz Member

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    I am in marching band, and when I'm not in marching band I'm in varsity singers band. I was wondering if marching band will compensate for a sport when applying for the USAFA (I'm a sophomore by the way). I am also in something called the YLA, Youth Leadership Academy, it's run by my school's assistant principal. I am volunteering in my church in any ways I can (my extracurricular make me busy, but they're mostly all band related) and my academics are fine, or at least that's what I'm told. I'm taking dual-credit astronomy and I think 2 AP classes as well as trig next year. It will be a challenge, but what is life without challenges?
    Anyways, thanks.
    Looking forward to shooting for this school one day
    ~Quentin
     
  2. AFAYahoo

    AFAYahoo Member

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    I don't think band will be considered a sport, but it will be considered as one of your extra-curriculars. Since band is obviously a big part of what you're involved in, make sure during your jr./sr. years that you shoot for a leadership position in band--line leader, section leader, whatever else may be available. The academy wants to see growth in involvement in an activity, including being in a leadership position. You may also want to consider another activity or two, unrelated to band, but something you are interested in, not just a resume filler. Maybe a summer job? The AFA likes to see that a person can handle a full schedule.

    Sports are impt. to the academy since physical fitness is such a huge part of a cadet's 4 years there. Even if a cadet doesn't play an inter-collegiate sport, he/she will be required to play intramurals every semester and will take physical fitness classes each year also. You'll also have to pass a physical fitness test (situps, pushups, pullups, standing long jump, 600 meter run--I think those are the 5) every semester as well as an aerobic fitness test (mile and a half run). Besides all that, sports in high school help teach teamwork, reaching for a goal, leadership, etc. plus the physical benefits. All things the AFA will be looking for as they decide whether to offer an appointment to someone. If you don't play a high school sport, are you involved in a community/club sport? Summer baseball league, soccer, run 5K races in your area, karate? Anything? That's something to think about since you have a bit of time only being a sophomore.
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    yahoo couldn't have said it any better.
     
  4. QLintz

    QLintz Member

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    Right, yes, my band directors are the ones who recommended me for the YLA in the first place, and they said I could be a section leader next year possibly. I'm definitely working for that! And hopefully being drum major my senior year if they let me.

    I am going to get involved in my church's competitive basketball team they just set up beginning this year. The only think I'm afraid of is the fact I'm not going to get any type of "varsity letter" that will put my at a disadvantage.

    Thank you so much for your reply!

    By the way.. I did soccer once my freshman year for my school, but that's it for my school-sports.
     
  5. AFAYahoo

    AFAYahoo Member

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    Playing competitive basketball (meaning--on a team, even if its a church league, vs. playing pickup ball in the neighborhood) will be better than not having a sport at all. You'll still be learning many impt things (teamwork, etc,) will develop some physical fitness, and possibly could have a leadership position if your team has captains.

    And to expand on the whole issue of extra-curriculars, just as a hint to all of you that will be applying in a future year (knowing this year's applicants should be done already), make sure to really think about all that you do. If you coordinate a food drive for the under-privileged at your school, include that. If you've volunteered at a nursing home every month for 2 years to play cards with the residents, include that. Not everything that shows initiative and leadership is necessarily a school-sponsored activity. If its something you've done that you're passionate about, don't forget to include it in your resume. On the other hand, if you join a club and only show up at the first meeting thinking you've got something to put on your resume, don't bother. You'll go through an interview with your ALO and he/she will see right through that. They've done this long enough to know what is real and what is a filler. Its better to have 4 or 5 things that you've really gotten involved with, had a leadership position in, etc. than have 8 or 9 things where you haven't contributed anything meaningful.
     
  6. FightingFalcon

    FightingFalcon Parent

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    If getting in the Academy is that important to you, then get in a varsity sport. Track is one of the easiest for non-athletes to participate in. You don't have to be "top", just "good enough", and participate.

    Varsity sports does several things for you, that will help you succeed at any of the service academies:
    • daily rigorous exercise
    • physical stress
    • mental stress (coaches yelling at you)
    • time management (you're tired all the time, but still keep homework & grades up)
    • long term stress (season lasts several months)

    If you detect a theme, there is one. Life at any of the academies is not easy, especially for freshmen. The stress lasts a very long time, and hits you in several areas.
     
  7. FightingFalcon

    FightingFalcon Parent

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    BTW, you are the perfect age to be asking serious questions about the academies. You have lots of time to adjust your schedules, activities, priorities. If USAFA is your goal, then made adjustments now, to shore up any areas you might be weak in. For example, look at the CFA requirements and see how well you can do now. You can start working on those exercises now, and be at the top of the charts in 1.5 years when the CFA test comes around.

    My DS was very heavily involved in band in H.S. He participated on a varsity sport for 2 seasons, specifically because USAFA was his goal.
     
  8. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Good info falcon. Here is a list that was provided by one of our posters (Mongo). It is a list developed by the NCAA on why they consider athletics so important. Especially in the stereotype that many have for athletes. (Dumb Jocks). Some think that their 4.0gpa with no sports outweighs a 3.8gpa with sports. It doesn't. Especially in the military. And this list of attributes that the NCAA came up with is EXACTLY why:
     
  9. FightingFalcon

    FightingFalcon Parent

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    what a great list, Christcorp !!!

    I hope every potential candidate reads that list, over and over again. This is not just a fluff list. Every word in there has real meaning for a potential USAFA candidate.

    I think this list is so important, I'm going to quote it again.

    Sorry for going on. I'm just amazed at how relevant every word in that list is to surviving or even excelling at any of our service academies.
     
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I find so interesting, is that the list was not quoted by the military. It was quoted by the NCAA and adopted by many high schools and colleges. So many people see athletics simply about the money that it generates. That most athletes are dumb jocks. But when you read the list of attributes, you can see how athletics actually do combine all of those traits. Whether you're eventually going into the military or a business executive, or a self employed business person.

    Now; not belittling band, chorus, cheerleading, or any other activities. I was in many of those other things too. I was in band and chorus, as well as in 3 varsity sports. And many of those other activities can definitely achieve SOME of the same attributes/traits that are in the list I provided. But organized, team, athletic, include and combine ALL of those traits and qualities. So whether you are going into the military or civilian market, I think these traits are so important. And it really makes me P.O'd when I see/hear all the touchy feely people/schools where they "Don't keep score", "Everyone gets a trophy for participating", and they discourage winning and losing. They have no idea how much they are crippling young people. Not everyone can be a star athlete or even a starting varsity player. But if I had my way, ALL STUDENTS from K-12 would have mandatory PE classes, and they would all have to be involved in at least 1 team sport/activity per school year. Even if it was substituted with city league soccer or similar. It doesn't have to be at the school. But I truly believe that part of our nation's decline socially is because of the lack of Physical Fitness, competition, teamwork, confidence, and the other traits on that list.

    Anyway; sorry for taking the topic on a tangent. mike...
     
  11. ncmom26

    ncmom26 Member

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    I agree completely. However, all schools are not equal and every child doesn't get an equal opportunity at many schools. For instance, DS played rec. league baseball beginning with T-Ball up unitl he aged out. He tried out, along with the same kids from rec. league, for the middle school team twice and didn't make it. He tried out in 9th grade and made the JV team but was only allowed 1/2 inning of play during that season. He showed up early every day, worked just as hard as everybody else, practiced hard, everything.

    In a private conversation with the athletic director, I asked about the lack of opportunity to prove himself on the field on game day. The AD said that most of the other kids had played AAU baseball too so they deserved it more. They never gave DS a shot to prove himself because he wasn't part of the AAU club. (We went to church on Sunday instead of playing AAU baseball).

    Most of the other team sports at our small school have these same biases which exclude most kids from the teams. DS joined the swim team his sophomore year and found his home there. He continued with the swim team improving each year and swam in regional competition this year.:topic:

    DS chose to pursue swim team so that he COULD have a varsity sport on his application.
     
  12. ncmom26

    ncmom26 Member

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    I don't consider band a sport but I am interested in what others opinions are in regards to competition bands.

    Band in itself may be just a class in most schools but many high school bands now go beyond the classroom and beyond the Friday night football game. Our high school's marching season begins 6 weeks before school starts in August which also includes 2 full weeks of band camp to learn the marching routine. Marching season includes both Friday night football games as well as Saturday (all day) marching band comptetitions which run through mid November.

    DS was a member of the competitive marching band for 4 years. Each fall was a challenge dividing our time between band competition, jrotc drill competitions and swim meets. During November, they all overlapped and on several occasions we left drill competition and drove to band competition all in the same day. It made for many long days but I feel that it was worth all the effort.

    I wonder, do others feel that participating in a competitve marching band could be another avenue for learning skills such as team work, competition, leadership, teaching, etc?

    I am not downplaying athletics in no way and feel that all are necessary.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  13. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Being in the military for 21 years, I moved around a lot. My kids went to a few schools. One thing I found was that just about every community has some form of athletics for kids. Not always in high school or middle school; granted; but something is available. In our dinky town here, we have city league soccer and baseball. The YMCA has basketball leagues. I also found that most kids, when they are really young, e.g. 5-9, are willing to try/play anything. So yes, maybe your school doesn't offer much; home schooled are offered less obviously. But you can always find something. And don't do it just for an academy application. Do it because it's going to make you a better person; a healthier person; better socially; etc...
     
  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Yes, competitive band and similar activities do definitely provide another avenue for learning many skills. But no matter how you look at it, it will never replace athletics. Strictly from a military academy viewpoint, they want the individual who does it ALL. Not all as in every activity, but as in well rounded. Sports? Yes. Groups/Clubs? Yes. Volunteering? Yes. Working? Yes. Some people say they don't have enough time to do all of this. Somehow, some people are able to do all of this.... AND maintain high grades.

    Many here, including me, have said that you have to really do all these activities because you WANT TO. Because that's the type of person you are. You don't do these things to pad your resume or make an academy application look good. But some have said: "Well, I don't WANT to do sports or some other activities". That's fine. Maybe the academy/military isn't really what a person wants either. Put it this way. Pretend that the military academies NEVER EXISTED. Pretend that 2012 was the first year the academy started, and it's the first year that they started accepting applications. The applicants they'd be looking for are the well rounded individuals who were involved in sports, clubs, teams, volunteering, working, excellent grades, etc... They'd want these people because they are doing these activities, because it's who they are. It's the type of person they are. And those are the types of people he academy and military are looking for. Not someone who is doing any of these activities simply to make their resume/application look good.
     
  15. ncmom26

    ncmom26 Member

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    Thank you for your response and insight.

    I couldn't agree with you more. DS played rec. league baseball until he aged out then in high school decided on swim team; all his choice and because he wanted to.

    I'm happy that he found multiple activities/sports to participate in and he did it all because he wanted to. Everything he got involved in he stuck with as well. He had 4 areas that he was interested in and he stuck with them, improving each year and gaining leadership experiece.
     

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