Spring sports- play or skip

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by Whatisnext2017, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Whatisnext2017

    Whatisnext2017 Member

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    I have read a lot about "bubble wrapping" DSs and DDs who have secured admission. With spring sports come the risk of injuries. Any advice on the pros and cons of playing versus skipping the spring sports season? Leave it to the athlete to decide?
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Hard to say. First, it might depend on the sport as some are obviously more violent/injury-prone than others. Second, at some level kids can get injured anywhere and anytime. They have to live and while folks talk about "bubble wrap," at some level that's unrealistic. Third, MOST injuries won't be severe enough to affect someone by I-Day - you're talking broken legs, ACL tears, etc, not the random sprained ankle.

    I would defer to your child. If he/she really wants to play, I say go ahead.

    What USUALLY gets kids isn't organized sports but "stupid" stuff like skateboarding -- things that aren't necessary for fitness, are fun, and have a high propensity to cause serious injuries. And the totally unexpected, which no one can prevent.
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    You pretty much already know the answer. You know the pros and cons. Pros: Your son has had a team relationship probably in the past with many of his teammates. These are his friends. It's part of his life. Especially if it's a spring sport that he's been playing for many years. As adults, we sometimes forget what our lives really are. For us, it's primarily work, with a few hours a day attending our kid's activities, time with our friends, etc... For our kids, their lives are school, extra curricular activities with their friends, etc... So don't right off your son's spring sport as simply some "Extra" thing to occupy his time with. It's a "PART" of his "LIFE".

    Having said that, you also know the Con of doing ANY activity with an appointment to the academy in your hand. He could get hurt and lose the appointment. Something as simply as a broken bone could lose the appointment.

    You already stated the right answer. Let your son make the choice for himself. Your job, is to make sure he is aware of the pros and cons. You shouldn't advise either way. But he needs to know that this will be his first major decision whereby he is 100% responsible for the outcome. "Good or Bad". Support him either way, but the decision has to be his. And he has to be willing to live with that decision.

    For what it's worth, in our schools, because of such a low population and the weather, Football is in the Fall and Soccer is in the spring. (They'd never have enough players to field either sport if they were competing for players). My son played both sports for almost 10 years. State champ. All state. All his friends were on both football and soccer teams with him. He received his appointment early; "Oct/Nov" of 2007. He received the official appointment the same day as the state championship football game. "Which they won". After the game, and he found out he got the appointment, he decided in the next couple weeks NOT to play winter basketball or spring soccer. He had many disappointed friends who hoped they could finish their senior year with another excellent soccer season. He decided he didn't want to risk an injury and losing his appointment. We supported him.

    Point is; the decision has to be his, 100%. There is no right or wrong decision. The only thing is that it has to be his, and he has to be responsible and live with the outcome no matter what that is.
     
  4. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Agreed that it is up to the candidate. Our son chose to continue playing because sports were such a large part of who he is. As Christcorp said, there is no universal right or wrong answer.

    Stealth_81
     
  5. dohdean

    dohdean Member

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    Four years ago our daughter, now a Firstie at USAFA, decided not to play her spring sport. For her it was less because of the injury issue -- she played varsity tennis -- but more the issue of whether the time would be better spent in a conditioning program that would get her ready for Basic. She decided to join a gym and work out with a trainer rather than play tennis. For her that was a good decision as it allowed her to work on endurance and upper body strength in a way that the tennis program at her high school would not have. For us, the bubble wrap came in other areas -- no skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, etc. once she had her appointment. But it really is an individual decision, depending on the son or daughter and the sport.
     
  6. Hazqueen

    Hazqueen Member

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    We had a thoughtful discussion with our son of the pros and cons of playing rugby this year and he decided it would be better to think ahead to the possibility of playing at USNA rather than risk injury. :wink: He had been playing varsity rugby since his freshman year and loves it but in the end it was an easy decision.

    He did run cross country and will participate in track & field along with hitting the gym. He also won't be snowboarding ~ just not worth the risk.
     
  7. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER Member

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    Good move - my son broke his collarbone the day after receiving his USNA appointment letter.
     
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I think the overall message is that there is no way anyone can ever totally prevent injury - unless one sits in his/her room for the next six months and that obviously won't work. So, the possibility exists.

    The recommendation is to avoid doing "stupid" things -- high risk activities that aren't beneficial or really necessary and have a high propensity to result in serious injury. These activities may be fun but typically don't benefit a team or promote physical fitness in a way that can't be replicated by other, less "risky" activities.

    The above said, I'm sure many, many candidates every year rollerblade, snowboard, play contact sports, mountain bike, etc. in the spring and are just fine.
     
  9. USNA13DAD

    USNA13DAD Member

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    Things I didnt know

    In reading these boards I realize now that ignorance is bliss. We skied in Colorado for a week during the spring break after our son had received his appointment and before reporting for I day. It may seem foolish in retrospect but it was a great vacation, a reward for attaining a goal, and an opportunity to have our family together and enjoy ourselves before that life changing event that occurs on I Day. I would be more worried about my kid getting in a car accident a week before reporting than discontinuing the activities that they enjoy and look forward to doing. Just my two cents. But if your kid gets hurt skiing or snowboarding during spring break and cant report for I Day, well the rest of the board told you so. :wink:
     
  10. USNA2016Dad

    USNA2016Dad Member

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    Life Goes On

    If you don't mind, one more anecdotal story. My son received his appointment to USNA late January 2012, the heart of wrestling season. He was co-captain and one of the leaders on the team. He never gave it any thought about sitting out once his appointment was in hand. He kept on wrestling to the very end of the season, early March. He got some knicks and dings along the way but nothing to medically DQ him. I asked him about it later and he told me life couldn't stop because of an appointment, got to keep doing your thing. But I was there to remind him to wear a helmet and safety glasses when he went mountain bike riding. He kept his routine of running and strength training in the gym right up to I-Day. We did layoff from snow boarding and parachute lessons though. If your child is concerned, talk it over with him/her. The decision should be theirs. I'm sure you know, an athlete with thoughts bouncing around in their mind other than competing is not an athlete performing optimally. Just be there to provide some parental backup advice, such as put on the helmet. So you know, it was more stressful for me than him. Good luck.
     
  11. Team Mom

    Team Mom Member

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    I agree with other posters that your DS or DD will be able to decide if he/she should play Spring sports or not. My DS (now a Plebe) did not even think about skipping his sports (Football and Lacrosse), btw he was not recruited, but for him it was so important to play with his team mates. Also he had been playing football and lacrosse for a long time and he needed to be conditioned to be ready for the Plebe summer. So I did not even question him if he was going to play or not, because I knew he wanted to play and I wanted to support him. I told him "well then take it easy" and he said,"No Mom, I cannot take it easy. I must play hard. If you don't play hard, you will get injured". I was so worried and prayed that he would not get injured until I got the first phone call from him during the Plebe summer and heard his healthy voice. (Someone told me that after the first call, Mids would not be sent home even if he/she gets injured, but I might be wrong)

    Like other posters did, I did not let my DS go snow boarding, water skiing, and do some activities that he was not used to do all the time.

    I still worry about him, but I worry less now since he is under the good hands of USNA. I worry more when he is home for the holidays and driving at night!
     
  12. onee

    onee Member

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    We let our DS decide if he wanted to play his spring season of select soccer. It really was a no brainer...400,000 dollar scholarship for 12 more soccer games...not worth the risk.
    He was glad he took the spring season off of soccer as he got to spend more time just hanging out with friends and preparing for I day with specific work outs. He knew that he would not see a lot of his friends as they moved off into their own military careers and colleges. It was a blessing.
    The whole month of May and graduation was a whirlwind anyway. It was nice to have some more time to spend with him before he became "Mother B's"
     
  13. CrazyHorse

    CrazyHorse Member

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    State Ranked Wrestler

    I believe our DS's words were.
    "I rather look back and say maybe I should of wrestled"
    Than look back and say
    "I never should of wrestled"
     

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