So, how/where/when/why did your child...

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by fencersmother, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    OK, I'll start.

    So, I am called "fencersmother" for good reason: all four of my kids were fencers (as in sword fighting), some great at it, some good, all sound and enjoyed it.

    So, why did my kids start fencing? Because my crazy twins took apart the volleyball set and were jumping off my porch roof, "fencing" each other ala Darth Mal from STarWars. Really, I am no shrinking violet but that did seem a tad dangerous, ya know? Plus, as many of you know, we were a homeschooling family and we needed an "organized sport" to fulfill a fuzzy state requirement. The local SD wouldn't allow homeschoolers on their sports teams (or band), and this seemed like a sport they all could do at the same time, so no soccer for this one on Thur & Sat, with tennis for that one on MWF, and ... you get the idea. So, we drove 45 miles every day to fencing, then to tournaments, then .... well, you get the idea.

    So, your turn. We all have kids with amazing stories: how did your kid get that black belt? How did your child end up playing the tuba? How did your child sell his computer business at age 17 for $5 million? How did your 15 year old wind up swimming champ? How did your son keep from blowing up the house with his chem set? How did your daughter get into physics club and win the state prize?
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    First, before we leave fencing, I want folks here to understand it's actually a pretty grueling sport. No it's not football, but I did a semester of fencing in college and I always worked up a good sweat in that class. It's not as easy as Errol Flynn made it look.

    My kid was a wrestler. As a little boy he used to enjoy "wrestling" with the older kid next door. When he turned 10 the wife arranged a wrestling birthday party for him. She got one of the local wrestling coaches to come to the YMCA where she had rented a room and all the boys wrestled. They had a great time. He went on to wrestle in middle school a bit and really got into it in high school. He wasn't great but did a fair job. I think by senior year he was winning about 75% of his matches. Never made it to States though. However, I think its wrestling that best served him in NROTC and will continue to do so in the Corps. Of course wrestling keeps you fit and you learn something about fitness and competition in it.... but I think the biggest thing you learn from wrestling is getting back up again, and continuing to wrestle, after you've been knocked down. He was certainly knocked down a few times in NROTC and I'm confident he was knocked down many times during OCS. He'll continue to get knocked down in the future. But I know he'll always get back up and continue the effort with even more determination.

    Next?
     
  3. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Kinnem, I think one of the best things kids learn from any sport is that Knocked down-get up attitude. it really is helpful in their current jobs.
     
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  4. MombaBomba

    MombaBomba Member

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    It is also the most stressful sport on your heart!
     
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  5. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    This one is easy. DD is 2nd degree Taekwondo black belt. Why? Because when she was 5 years old, I asked her what she wanted to do with me this weekend. Expecting to hear, "the park", "shopping", etc., I heard "I wanna do Karate with you!"
     
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  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    My kids all did different sports.

    DS1 did TKD, eventually become a black belt, 2x state champion and Jr. Olympic Bronze medalist. He did this because his younger siblings were doing it. He was @11. He either sat and watched with me or he did the class.

    Later on because the AF moved us again, he quit TKD. The schools there were the collect a check type, not competitive like our old school. I turned to him and said you have to do something. He was coming up to his 16 bday. He decided to take lifeguard lessons. Why? Becuse he was a 16 yo boy and wanted to get a job! What better job is there for a 16 yo boy? Summer outside and the chance to meet a plethora of girls!
    ~ The funny thing is he forgot how hot NC is in the summer and that the 10 minutes off every hour was going to be used to jump in the pool to cool down and not meeting the girls! This was a kid that by the end of the summer would look up the weather report everyday. I knew if it was not going to rain that daiy by him saying CRAP!
    ~~ USAFA actually accepted him being a lifeguard because he had 23 saves on his employment records within 1 year. When you have to do a "true" save, the ambulance must be called and an official report must be submitted. I think when he becomes a parent, he will not be like parents he saw when he was a guard. They would go to the pool for social reasons and lose sight of their children or believe that their kids are better swimmers than they truly are. He moved up to become the Senior Lifeguard, and the only time he refused to work was when parents would rent out the Y pool for a party. Mainly because it was just too stressful keeping an eye out for 3 hours of 20-30 kids and inflateable pool toys everywhere! He would always say there is a 50-50 chance on a good day that there wouldn't be a save and he hated all of the paperwork that came with doing a save.

    OBTW, my DD is a big time equestrian. Western and barrel racing. She still rides to this day when she can, which is rare. She started riding at 8. We got tired of her complaining about having to do soccer.

    DS2 who started the whole TKD path is not built like his older brother. Older brother has that TKD/Swimmer body. DS2 is 6"4 and 240 lbs...take a guess what sport he played? FB! As Bullet would say...you can teach/train for FB, but you can not do anything about size! When we registered him for HS, the FB coach had walked into the guidance office by chance. The school is very small (300 per class). He took one look at our DS and asked him to join the FB team. We told him he has never played FB. The coach didn't care, he just saw the size of our DS and all he saw was someone that could just stand there and stop anyone....easy enough to teach!

    So, for me I can say I have sat watching my kids play, soccer, baseball, football, gymnastics, barrel racing and TKD. I miss them being young, but I don't miss the shivering at night for soccer and FB. I don't miss the sweltering heat for baseball. Nor do I miss closing my eyes watching my 100 lb DD racing at full speed on a 1400 lb animal around barrels, or my DS getting kicked at all over his body for TKD!
     
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  7. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    Ok, I'll play. DS was turned off of team sports at an early age by an extraordinarily crappy baseball coach. Instead, he spent 6 years in gymnastics, becoming state champ along the way.

    In 7th grade he turned his attention to triathlons. He was a great swimmer - he'd be first out of the water out of a few hundred racers, would get passed by most everyone on the bike leg, then pass about half back on the run to finish mid-field. After a season or two of this, he decided his cycling needed work.

    In 9th grade he started competitive cycling in order to help his triathlon performance. Turns out, he was quite good at it after all as a stand alone sport. He ended up 5x state champion in various disciplines during high school. He was selected by USA Cycling to train at the Olympic Training Center, and was consistently ranked in the top 10 nationally. At the same time, he raced for the USA Triathlon junior team for two years.

    He raced for a pro cyclocross team for a couple of years, but then college and ROTC got in the way. It's tough to compete when you're at CDQC, CULP and LDAC during race season. He ultimately decided to focus on his Army career instead of his pro cycling career. Turns out, he's pretty good at the Army stuff too.

    As a note to high schoolers reading this - my son never again played a team sport after 9yr old all-star baseball. He did swim and run cross country for 4 years in high school, plus the obviously high level sports outside of school. It did not hurt him at all in the scholarship process. Do what you do, and do it well, and the rest will take care of itself.
     
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  8. USNA 19 DAD

    USNA 19 DAD Member

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    DS started skating at 3 and playing hockey at 5. During the next 3 years, he did rec baseball, soccer, and basketball as well. At age 8 it became apparent that he was becoming quite a good hockey player. The next 7 years were spent playing mostly the highest level hockey available in the state/ region. This included travel to Canada on an all too frequent basis. Being a late bloomer, he returned to playing HS hockey and became an all-state player. Also suddenly had time to letter in 2 other sports too.
     
  9. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    Oh! We're supposed to list all sports? Ha! Oh gosh....

    pre-elementary school - Taekwondo (as mentioned above)
    middle school - DD got into gymnastics until she ALMOST had to have her arm amputated after a bad balance beam fall
    Highschool - she loves sports. Any sport. All sports:
    Varsity: Softball, Volleyball (sand & court), Basketball, Track & field (holds shot-put record at school)
    Club: Tennis, Taekwondo

    She'd sometimes play more than 1 sport in a season. Crazy girl.
    Worst time in her life wasn't BCT, it was when she tore her ACL and couldn't play.
     
  10. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    Music -- I played the clarinet, organ and English handbells growing up, so I wanted my kids to not only learn how to read music but to play an instrument. My DS1 wanted to play the violin as young as 5 but because of his ADHD I made him wait until age 7. He played through jr high and also played the tuba through high school. My DD played the violin from age 7-12 (because big brother did), the clarinet from 11-16, then decided singing was more her thing. My DS2 (cadet) played violin from age 5-12 (again, because older siblings did) and the trombone from 11-13. From age 11-16 he would ask me if he could play the bagpipes (I said no...for a variety of reasons). Fast forward to senior year of high school and receiving an appointment to WP -- they have a Pipes & Drums group. He said he was going to try out. I don't know what he said to the upperclassmen he talked to but he was 1 of 4 Plebes brought into the group. He spent most of last year learning how to play the bagpipes, traveling with the group, wearing the kilt (they wear the kilt every chance they get -- Christmas dinner, spirit dinners), and in the 2nd semester he proudly played/marched in his first NYC parade. He says the band is one of the best things about his WP experience to date (the small group, comaraderie, etc) and he's looking forward to a weekend in January at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC's pipes & drums were at WP this past January).
     
  11. Freda'sMom

    Freda'sMom Parent

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    I do not mean to pry, but you don't by any chance happen to have six fingers on your right hand?
     
  12. Wilco

    Wilco Member

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    Great movie! "Inconceivable; I don't think that means what you think it does." Inigo Montoya"

    As for the substantive parts of this thread, the stories of the achievers demonstrate why the U.S. officer programs get the best and the brightest.

    Mombabomba might be right, I think I feel the pain every time one of my sons ends up on the wrong side of a wrestling move. While listening to my wife say I can't watch!
     
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  13. MombaBomba

    MombaBomba Member

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    I was being literal for once! :D It is the sport which put's the most stress on the athlete's heart. My eldest has a heart defect and had to get clearance from his cardiologist when he was part of the wrestling team in high school.
     
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  14. Sampia

    Sampia Member

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    Fun thread! My DS started Hapkido lessons at age 7 but did not take it seriously because his teacher was mom. (Last year through ROTC, he got his black belt in the marine Corps martial arts program) Moved on to AYSO and did really good. I think he would have stayed with it if I had gotten him on a travel team. He got discouraged because he felt like he was the only one who took the game seriously. Then Mom got him involved with computers and gaming (MMOs) and he turned into a pudgeball. (Bad mommy!). Oh, we had some great fun together, raiding and all. Later progressed into football. I got him a personal trainer at the Y so he could learn healthy habits. That was how he got interested in weightlifting. Not bodybuilding, but The challenge of him going one on one with the weights. He won various competitions including his school taking home a trophy from the state powerlifting championships. His other love was football. Lineman. Team captain. Unfortunately he broke his leg (Fibula) the second game into his senior year. I believed that a broken bone can heal better than regrets so I found a way to get him into the last game of his senior year. He also loved discus and went to the finals a few times. Track and FB are over for him now. He still loves the weight lifting, though he has come to realize that getting more mass might not be the best thing in the military so he is more on a maintenance program.
     
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  15. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    DD1 started Ice Hockey at age 7. Then played for CT Polar Bears and Field Hockey, Ice Hockey and Lacrosse in middle School and High School. Now Captain USMC after USNA. DD2 Played soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and Ice Hockey (captain field hockey and ice hockey) for her high school and Ice Hockey for CT Polar Bears. She will be trying out for UConn field hockey next week. Son played Soccer, Ice Hockey and Lacrosse through lower grades and high school. Just got back from three month "cruise" through the Med and Middle East. MMA Graduate and Ensign USNR. I did get to play soccer, basketball and football in high school and college. Did a semester of fencing as a gym course. It was brutal and hot but I did get to "touch" Miss Connecticut a few times.
     
  16. VelveteenR

    VelveteenR Just gathering dust in the nursery...

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    I don’t think VelveteenKid had ever thrown a ball or run a yard before high school and was not fit; chess was his idea of a sport. However, he joined the novice crew team at his boarding school in ninth grade and never looked back. Four years and two completely wrecked hands later, he graduated at the top of the varsity roster. Crew has been transformational for him, not just physically (you don’t ever want to get kicked by a rower!), but emotionally and spiritually, too. Crew is a calling; there are no casual rowers. It is a relentless sport with no off season. Rowers will carry their shells to the water’s edge at daybreak even when there is ice along the banks. They will break it up with their bare feet, slip their frozen toes into shoes bolted to the footboard, and they will row until their lungs burn and they think they can’t take another stroke. But they will because no rower will ever let the boat or another rower down. I like what William Hundert (Kevin Kline) said in the opening lines of "The Emperor's Club:"
    Crew defined VelveteenCadet’s character and its values will serve him well at WP and in life.
     
  17. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Younger son started his running career by accident. When he was starting middle school he was playing soccer, I love him dearly but I'll be the first to say he was no Pele but he tried. On the first day of soccer practice at school the coach had them line up and told them to run the field three times, the coach said "Go" and then started talking with the other coaches. When the kids were starting the last lap around he looked up at the kids and then yelled out "Where is S**** and why isn't he running" My son walked up behind him, tapped him on his shoulder and said "I finished a couple minutes ago" The coach just looked at him and said "Kid, your in the wrong sport and sent him over to Cross Country Practice, the rest was history and he ran all through Middle and High School.

    Older son was nearly as fast but decided one day the summer before 9th grade that Tennis looked kinda cool. Joined a local tennis club and took a few lessons, made the team 9th grade and played all through high school.

    Like others here, both sons did a lot of sports and activities outside of school, avid skiers (Water and Snow), scuba diving, backpacking and trekking. I also agree, to all those that are applying for an AROTC Scholarship, outside of school sports can also help your application, and those that are not on scholarship, being active during high school will only help in ROTC.

    Best thing was that they enjoyed what they were doing.

    Both kids had looked at football, I did everything I could to steer them away (I know, bad parenting) I played, tore my knee apart during a college game, lasted 2 weeks at Patriots Training Camp when I realized my knee would never hold up at that level, plus the pay sucked in the late 70's. I think the kids seeing me go through a few surgeries helped my cause.
     
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  18. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    " I played, tore my knee apart during a college game, lasted 2 weeks at Patriots Training Camp when I realized my knee would never hold up at that level, plus the pay sucked in the late 70's. "

    Well that's cool! Always interesting to hear of some of the unique experiences of our posters!
     
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  19. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    DS was never passionate about sports, though he tried all of the locally-offered ones. He just wanted to be in the military. That was, and now IS his passion.
     
  20. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    I have been meaning to answer this thread, but time was always short. My son was an athlete from day 1 of life. He attended a K-8 Catholic Elementary school and played basketball through 8th grade and was the starting point guard in 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. When he got to high school he thought he would just continue playing basketball. However, the Catholic high school here is fed by about 12 Catholic grade schools, and in all of the competition from this new group of classmates my son found him self cut from the basketball team after one week. Not knowing what to do he sought out other opportunities, and after looking briefly at wrestling, he chose the school's powerlifting team. He felt that it would be a good complement to his football and track seasons. Freshman year was a learning time for him (and us, who had never heard of powerlifting before) but he dove into the training with the help of the coach. Son is competitive to a fault and I think he had something to prove after being cut for basketball. By sophomore year he was already the school's top lifter in his weight class, and qualified for State. Junior and senior year he won State and qualified and competed at High School Nationals, taking 2nd his senior year. He continued powerlifting at USAFA for one year, but decided to drop it after his GPA was not where he wanted it to be. We did get to go see him compete once at USNA in the Tri-Services Open as a Doolie. I have always thought that this experience of being cut in basketball was one of the best things that has happened to him since it opened up a whole new avenue for him and has kept his competitive drive going.

    Stealth_81
     

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