Sports versus Clubs in High School

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by xray328, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Hi guys, noob here. Our son is currently a freshman in hs and wants nothing more than to go to the USAFA. His mom and I are both prior enlisted AF so of course we fully support that decision. We haven't contact his ALO yet, planning on doing that in the fall. He's currently sitting at 3/661, has a 4.711/4 GPA and 27 on his ACT as a freshman (30 in math). He's very athletic and played JV soccer this fall (should be varsity in the fall) as well as being captain of his travel soccer club. He also runs track and should letter in that as well before its over. The only club he's been involved with so far is an engineering club that he tried to fit in between fall and spring sports. He also hopes to make National Honor Society. Volunteering so far has been limited to coaching a local youth soccer team. As of right now he would like to major in Aeronautical Engineering.

    Now on to my question...since he's already so busy with sports, he really doesn't have much time to do anything else in regards to clubs at school. Will the fact that he'll letter in two sports make up for that? He's literally running from one practice to another and eating dinner in the car on the way, there's just no time for much else.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    I'm just an appointee here, so I am not a huge authority or anything, but I would say that the sports should be just fine. I know USAFA highly values athletics, and lettering is awesome. However, your DS should be sure to gain some leadership experience between now and Junior year. If he can get that through sports, fantastic! If not, there are several other leadership organizations he could join. (I am partial to the Civil Air Patrol but that's just me :) )
     
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  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    It's about quality vs quantity. Focus on what he does and look for leadership opportunities within those clubs and sports. Just because he isn't a Captain yet doesn't mean he can't lead volunteering for the team, setting up team activities, etc. Sounds like a great kid and he is on the right track. You will see some folks with tons and tons of stuff. High level sports take up an incredible amount of time. He should focus on what he enjoys and look for leadership, volunteering and other things within those sports, teams and clubs. Youth clinics are a great way to show leadership by setting them up and volunteering at once. Boys state is also a great way in a few years to attend.
     
  4. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    If he gets leadership experience in sports, that should be fine. Generally, it is better to be highly involved in a couple things, rather than just a member in a much of activities.
     
  5. RedDragon

    RedDragon Member

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    He should be just fine with the sports especially if he can become captain. Our DS wasn't involved in any school clubs other than NHS. He was a three sport athlete, however, with 9 letters and was captain of 2 of these. His SATs were good but not stellar so we believe the sports/leadership put him over the top.
     
  6. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Thanks for everyone's help/advice.

    I was in Civil Air Patrol (C/Capt) as well as AF JROTC in high school and considered that option as well. There isn't an ROTC at his school and CAP would take up one night during the week. I saw that only 11% of admitted students/cadets had that on their application so I wasn't sure if it was worth pursuing or if at this point it would add enough to help since he wouldn't be starting it until he's almost 16 (versus 12/13). I mean I'm sure it couldn't hurt but just wondering on the time/benefit aspect.
     
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  7. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Son is 14ish? Don't push too hard now. But by the time he is a junior, hopefully he will have developed some good time management skills which will enable son to play a high-level sport, have a job, be deeply involved in a club or other activity which interests HIM (not his resume), and still have a life.

    It can be done, but everyone has to be on board.

    For now, please, let him be a kid.
     
  8. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    I understand your concern. I myself joined CAP at age 16 and ran varsity cross country and then played varsity basketball at the same time. I have been in for over 2 years and was able to secure lots of leadership positions. Depending on the size and makeup of your CAP squadron, it is possible to get leadership positions pretty quickly. Within 6 months of joining, because I promoted quickly, I was able to become a flight sgt, then 6 months later, first sgt, and am now a flight commander. There are also several support staff positions he can hold after he achieves Curry, in areas like safety, DDR, AE, etc. My experience at CAP has been that if you try really hard, you stand a great chance of becoming a leader. For myself, even though I didn't join until age 16, it was a HUGE benefit for me, and I doubt that I would have gotten appointed without it, because that is where most of my leadership experience came from.
    Of coarse you don't HAVE to join CAP to get leadership experience; I just found that it was the best route for me.
    If you are considering having him join CAP, I would recommend calling some of the squadrons in your area. Ask how many cadets are on their roster. Generally, a squadron with around 30 cadets is great, as there enough members to keep it running and make it worthwhile, but there aren't so many people that it's tough to gain a leadership position.
    Also, when I was doing sports, if I had practice on a CAP night, I would just leave sports a bit early and show up to CAP a bit late, meaning I was present for the majority of the practice and the meeting. This worked pretty well for me, but it was exhausting.
    (My apologies if you already knew all of this info, sir. I know you were in CAP already and may know some of this, just thought I would enlighten you as to my own personal experience :) )
     
  9. TexasSoccerMom

    TexasSoccerMom Member

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    Your son sounds exactly like my son! My son is a sophomore and has a nearly identical resume as yours...even down to the aeronautical engineering! I would recommend his sophomore year looking into Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Seminar and junior year Boys State. Those are great leadership experiences. Also consider having your son referee soccer. My son has been doing it the last year. It has really developed his confidence and has more of a commanding presence. My son red carded someone's daughter for aggressive play and the girls' father and team sideline just exploded at him. It definitely developed some leadership skills for him to calmly and assertively control the parent sideline and control the game. Sounds like a wonderful son you have! Best of luck!
     
  10. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Thanks. I forgot to mention that he's doing the referee thing as well. I agree it provides a huge boost in confidence. I'll definitely look into those leadership conferences, thanks.

    Has your son participated in the USAFA soccer camp? We really wanted our son to go but it's the same week as the ODP state combine tournament. Still waiting to hear if he's been selected for that before we can sign him up.
     
  11. TexasSoccerMom

    TexasSoccerMom Member

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    Our son is attending the soccer camp this summer.
     

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