Varsity Athletics: Are they worth it?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Lydia, May 16, 2016.

  1. Lydia

    Lydia New Member

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    Hi everyone!

    I am being recruited for a varsity sport at USNA (I am interested in attending regardless of sports).

    My question is:
    Are varsity athletics worth the great time commitment?

    and

    Is it possible to maintain a very good class rank when involved with a varsity sport?

    lastly

    Does participating in them not allow time for any other ECs?

    Thank y'all for your time! Any advice is greatly appreciated :):)
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    While awaiting NavyHoops' sage comments as a former bballer:

    Worth the time?
    Only you will know the answer to that as you play your sport. For some, who were 100% in for their sport, they choose to walk away and do something else after a year or so. Over the years, our sponsor family mids have gone from their recruited sport of basketball to softball, soccer to club rugby, volleyball to track, lacrosse to tri team, etc., all for different reasons. The good news is, you don't lose your "scholarship." The coaches know this happens, and attrition is expected. On the other hand, you may find your teammates' friendship and the physical and mental catharsis of playing your sport are what gets you through the Academy. I watched this happen as a USNA Battalion Officer, as officer rep for Navy basketball (w) and as a sponsor family.


    Class rank?
    Again, this will vary with your academic skills, time management, focus and effort. Varsity athletes are usually very good at prioritization and time management, and I have known many with very high class standing. The team faculty rep and your academic adviser will watch this very closely. If you start struggling at all, you will get lots of guidance, with the goal being your academic health and eventual graduation. Some do have to
    or choose to quit, to maintain sat grades.

    ECs?
    Depends on your sport, season, travel schedule, courseload. There was just another thread on this same question recently but can't lay hands on it at the moment. Navy Hoops provided excellent insight.
     
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  3. 2020aspirant

    2020aspirant Member

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    While your question seems to suggest that you may be waffling on your commitment to your sport - which is fine, many college aged athletes do and everyone retires eventually - I would suggest that Navy is actually a great place to stay committed to varsity athletics. I suggest this because nearly everyone participates in significant extracurricular activities of one type or another and time allowances for those activities are knitted into the fabric of all midshipmens' days. That doesn't mean that a sport travel trip isn't going to be disruptive to your academics, but professors won't be phased by the need to keep you current in class at all. Conversely at traditional colleges professors may have some vague notion that a few of their students are varsity athletes, but they are unlikely to tailor their class structure or workload to accommodate those few students. At Navy, nearly everyone is juggling multiple commitments, and academics - while still terrifically challenging - are in fact structured in recognition of this fact. So if you are committed to your sport, I think Navy is a great place to pursue it.
     
  4. Zandercott

    Zandercott USAFA

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    During my candidate visit weekend my plebes told me as varsity athletes, they felt happy to get Cs in their classes- no time. Not sure if they were the exception, but I interacted with 5 different varsity athlete plebes. They said the positive side was that because if the early morning practices,they dodged repetitive tasks that the NARPS are left to do
     
  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Capt MJ is spot on as usual!

    This honestly comes down to what your priorities are. USNA brings in larger recruiting classes than most school. Example... My class had 9 basketball recruits... We finished senior year with 3. Attrition of this level is very common. A few reasons why... Large recruit classes means a lot of competition just to make the travel squad. The football team can easily bring in 60-80 Plebes between NAPS and direct admits. Senior year they have usually 15-25. I think this year they had close to 30 which is rare. Remember only 60ish travel. The roster is often over 100. So for many who don't make a travel roster they start to realize that maybe this is a ton of work to not even travel or suit up for games/competitions. Also many realize that they just simply aren't good enough.

    Academics and sports can be challenging. Again, this can vary by sport too. In reality football has the best travel. They play maybe 5-7 games a year on the road and they have a charter flight that leaves Friday in the morning and returns immediately after a game. Cross country and track may only have 5-10 meets on the road with most of them on a Saturday. For basketball we play 30+ games a year. That is a lot of travel. Baseball plays around 50, but they tend to bunch 3-4 games in a weekend. O Reps help administer tests and things like that. Also with email you can submit work on time. Bus trips you can get a lot of sleep and homework done. It's all about communicating with a professor, planning ahead and learn balance. Academic advisors help to block certain times in our schedules to allow us to minimize missing classes on days we tend to travel a lot.

    Depending on your sport will dictate ECAs. A sport will limit your participation. Your sport will take priority over an ECA.

    Also remember as an athlete you could miss leave. I missed Thanksgiving every year and Xmas a time or two. Plus our Xmas was only 3-4 days. We missed spring break 3 of 4 years. They try to make it better by giving civilian clothing and car privledges while others are gone.

    It is completely possible to be an athlete, Mid and student. I wore stripes as a Mid and did well enough academically. It gets easier after Plebe year to balance it all. It's what are your priorities and what you want out of your college and USNA experience.
     
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  6. Lydia

    Lydia New Member

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    Thank you for your responses!

    I realize that part of the outcome is strictly dependent upon the person and his or her priorities. :)

    Navy Hoops--thank you too for your insight regarding your experience. It seems like there is quite an attrition in some sports!

    Thanks again!!
     
  7. 14mccpa

    14mccpa Member

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    "During my candidate visit weekend my plebes told me as varsity athletes, they felt happy to get Cs in their classes- no time. Not sure if they were the exception, but I interacted with 5 different varsity athlete plebes. They said the positive side was that because if the early morning practices,they dodged repetitive tasks that the NARPS are left to do Zandercott, Yesterday at 8:25 PM Report"

    Wow, Zander. That is difficult to believe, albeit an n of 5. As you are female, were these female plebes? "Happy to get Cs"! There are a few sports that have a large proportion of their rosters full of Napsters that may be struggling a bit more academically initially, but I do not think that many Mids are shooting for 2.0s, athletes or not. They may be "happy to get Cs" in certain classes. Take a look at the All-Academic Patriot League teams and you will see that Navy is VERY well represented in almost every sport. Football is in the American Conference and I don't know the academic stats for that team.

    My son is a varsity athlete. Yes, it takes up A LOT of his time. But his goal is to make the Dants or the Sup list every semester. He and all of his teammates work hard on and off the field. They are definitely NOT "happy with Cs". They do have time for ECAs... because they make time. USNA is like any other college in that you will get out of it what you put into it. I could not be prouder of my son for what he has accomplished as a plebe academically, participating in ECAs, and with his leadership development... AWAY from his varsity team.
     
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  8. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I chalk up Zander's experience more to Plebes running their mouth and being exhausted at the end of Plebe year more than anything. Experiences can vary greatly on sports. One of my seasons at USNA we missed 25 more days of class than any other team. There are teams who barely miss 5 days because of their schedules. Heck we could easily miss 3 days in a week routinely. When you combine that, sometimes not Even getting to travel and suit up as a Plebe, the physical toll on the body, and missing leave as a Plebe, it can be a grind. It really does get easier to balance it all after Plebe Year. Some thrive as Plebes with all this. Bottom line... If you want to be a Naval officer, it's a great option. The great part as an athlete is if you decide to hang it up as a Mid, you don't lose a scholarship and have to figure out how to finance your education.
     
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  9. hthp37

    hthp37 Member

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    My mid is a varsity athlete. He loves the camaraderie on the team, the training, the competition. He also loves that it gets him out of parades, for the most part. Sorry if that comes across as snarky-I guess not all midshipmen like to march. He chose a fairly rigorous major and he does think his gpa suffers because of his commitment to his sport, as well as his athletic performance suffers due to academic requirements. He has also mentioned there are athletes on the team who specifically chose majors that were considered less demanding so there was more time they could devote to training and competition.
    Of course there are mids who quit for various reasons- heck, mine may even decide to bag it in the future. For what it's worth, he keeps in regular touch with teammates from high school who have gone on to be student athletes at various division 1 and 2 schools. Approximately 50% of them are no longer on their teams by their own choosing.
     
  10. time2

    time2 Member

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    Only you will know if you can handle all of the various time commitments placed on mids once you start at USNA. This is NOT your regular college and since no one pays tuition, the incentive to play a sport as a recruited athlete isn't there like it would be at a civilian college. If you decide to drop a sport, nothing in that regard would change when attending an SA. It is certainly better to see if you CAN handle all that is thrown at you and still have top grades which in the long run makes a bigger difference in such things as service selection.
     
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  11. mb1395

    mb1395 Member

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    Most everyone has hit the nail on the head, so I don't have too much to add.

    Yes, varsity athletics are worth the time commitment for me. They take up a lot of time which I might otherwise use for ECA's, but I'm okay with that.

    Yes, it's possible to maintain a good class rank with varsity athletics. I find that getting my energy out at practice forces me to focus and use my time economically when I come back to the hall. On days I don't have practice, I usually waste my time on Facebook or YouTube.

    It's all about priorities. The resources are available if you have trouble in any area of the mission. If you find that you can't balance the two, you can always move on from your sport.
     
  12. Zandercott

    Zandercott USAFA

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    Also two of the plebes mentioned to me they were on academic probation
     
  13. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Actually the only Mids who like to march are the ones who join the Silent Drill team, the Jolly Rogers. Mids generally hate parades because it's hot, boring and the uniforms are really not comfortable.
     
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  14. socalfan

    socalfan Member

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    I'm sure there are also plebes on academic probation that aren't varsity athletes as well. I'm sure it's not easy to manage, then again I'm sure not much of this path is easy.
     

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