No sport?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by jeffreykj7, Oct 15, 2016.

  1. jeffreykj7

    jeffreykj7 Member

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    I'm a junior now and interested in USAFA. I don't do a sport in school because I have no time(I work out on my own time though, so I'm not worried as much about the CFA). I have a 3.5 unweighted, 3.92 weighted from my freshman and sophomore years at a competitive high school. I'm VP of speech and debate, recently part of Civil Air Patrol, NHS, Guitar band, teaching theology at local parish, and Indian club treasurer. I mostly don't have time for a sport because of my EC's and also because I have a year old brother who I have to babysit while my parents are at work. I'm not sure if that is something I can put on my application, since I think it would be more of a house chore rather than a job. Does this really bring my chances down by a lot? Thank you for your help.
     
  2. 1337BeachedWhale1337

    1337BeachedWhale1337 Member

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    Yes, 81% of the class of 2019 earned a varsity letter, and probably even more played a sport. The average GPA for the class of 2019 was a 3.84 unweighted. If you elect to never play a sport, you are then below average in both extracurricular activities as well as academics. That doesn't mean you won't get in, but it doesn't bode well for your chances.

    If you are participating in 5 non-sport extracurricular activities, it seems as if you do have time for a sport, you just chose to do non-sport extracurricular activities instead. I'm not an admissions officer or anything, but if I were you I would drop some of the non-sport extracurricular activities and play a sport.
     
  3. AFBrat21

    AFBrat21 New Member

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    I'm just a mom, but in going through this with my son, but I'm seeing numerous opportunities where he is asked about his family situation. My DS has a lot of extra responsibility since I'm a single-mom, and he's been asked about that at length. However, I agree that sports are important and something you should consider as you go forward. Look at your school and see if there are activities where you can participate even if you aren't going to be that competitive. Do you have track, golf, tennis, etc where even the beginners have a chance to be a part of the team? You have time to join your spring sports, so look into that now in case you need try-outs or physicals. My DS is Captain of his varsity golf team, but he's almost a "one-man" team, too. Some of the boys are beginners, but they still are teammates and will be able to list that. Same with some of the track events, so he joined. He can work on his training while also getting the chance to letter in two sports. Look at your time commitments and determine your priorities, but I would recommend getting on a spring team if you can. Good luck!
     
  4. jeffreykj7

    jeffreykj7 Member

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    Does it have to be a high school sport? Would doing something on my own like boxing at a local gym count as well, or are they more favorable towards varsity sports?
     
  5. jeffreykj7

    jeffreykj7 Member

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    Thank you!
     
  6. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    No, that would not count. If it were an accredited boxing club and you were engaged in sanctioned events and were ranked nationally it would be better, but would still not count as much as a varsity team sport at school. They are looking for long-term dedication to a sport that shows teamwork and perseverance. They are also looking for the ability to time-manage different activities and be accomplished in all of them.

    Stealth_81
     
  7. jeffreykj7

    jeffreykj7 Member

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    Ok thank you.
     
  8. rkv

    rkv Member

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    While I too would encourage you to consider adding a sport, I also would recommend that you not be discouraged from applying. My DS had not participated in any organized sports through his freshman and sophomore years of high school. In the spring of his sophomore year he was investigating the service academies and similarly concerned about his lack of sports given the profiles of those who had been accepted by the academies. During his investigations he had the opportunity to speak with an active USAF General. As an encouragement the General pointed out to him that he "would bet that the applicants who are football team captains don't have ....".

    Subsequent to that conversation my son did participate in some organized sports during his junior and senior years. However, he was not a starter nor a team captain in those sports. My DS did well on the CFA although he didn't max many but was able to demonstrate his fitness. While he appears to be in the top half of the candidate pool in terms of SAT's and grades he was not someone with a 4.0 average or double 800s.

    Note I'm leaving out the "..." because I believe it can be anything that differentiates you as a candidate. Also in my DS' case, the thing we believed was the differentiating factor probably wasn't as important to USAFA as we thought. The reason I now say this is that once the USAFA assigned his classes, it became clear that they seemed to have ignored that attribute. This was to my DS' disappointment but an early lesson in the needs of the USAF not necessarily being aligned with one's own interests.

    While one of the ALOs on these forums might be able to provide better insights, my own suspicion is that the plethora of team captains and the like is because that is a readily available means for most applicants to demonstrate leadership skills and teamwork. However, there are other ways of demonstrating leadership and teamwork. If you have one of those you are probably fine. Similarly, I suspect that how one carries oneself in interviews with your ALO and nominating committee may also be an important factor in differentiating many of the candidates.

    There are many variables and many paths to gaining acceptance. While some of the statistics might encourage one to think that certain factors are absolute requirements those that are accepted are a diverse group and there are no guarantees. You need to put forward as strong as an application as possible and to some extent also be lucky. That is factors completely outside your control also have an impact on whether you ultimately will be offered an appointment.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
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  9. jeffreykj7

    jeffreykj7 Member

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    That makes me feel so much better. Thank you!
     
  10. socalfan

    socalfan Member

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    One of the biggest challenges when you get to the academy is time management. Saying I don't participate in a sport because I don't have the time when most other applicants have found the time won't help. That said I believe those in band (as you mentioned) at the academies do that in lieu of a sport. Something I would ask about? Maybe drop one activity to add a sport for the spring. Track would be a great idea, will help you toward all the running that you will be doing if you get in.
     
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  11. KTMDad

    KTMDad Member

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    For what it is worth, our DS was very involved in Speech and Debate, and did not participate in a Varsity Sport. He held leadership positions in Speech and Debate and competed in both state/national tournaments. He earned his Black Belt in karate, and was very involved in a local kids program where in volunteered each week and had increasing leadership roles (did it all 4 years of HS). While it is possible to make it without a Varsity sport, it isn't what the majority that are accepted do. Our DS has commented that he is in the minority in this area but is thriving there nonetheless. Good luck.
     
  12. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Indian club? If you're an American citizen of Indian heritage, with a hardship, you're checking off some boxes that the academies love.

    If you're fit, I think they will find you attractive.
     
  13. socalfan

    socalfan Member

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    I would think the black belt is equivalent to a varsity sport though.
     
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