Varsity Sports

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Escapist, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Escapist

    Escapist Member

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    Hey everyone

    So this is what im most worried about when it comes to thinking about getting in to West Point. I don't play any varsity sports. The soccer and football teams in my school are extremely competitive. I know WP looks for leadership a lot and sports is a main thing they look for. I am in many clubs and will be taking leading positions in those. Also im doing Track in the spring and i wonder if it is a sport they are looking for. I might join swim team too next year if it will help my chances. I wonder if there are other things that could count as leadership. I volunteer a lot and I do plan on doing Boys State. Could you guys suggest other things i could do for leadership?

    Thank You
     
  2. jackiejyp7

    jackiejyp7 Jackie

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    Hi!
    Well, the bulk of every class has played a varsity sport but I wouldn't be discouraged.
    My sister applied and got all the way to the National Waiting list without Varsity sports (but she had stellar academics, test scores, other leadership, & Tae Kwon Do with numerous awards)
    Outside sports can count as varsity letters if you get your coach to send in a letter that it is.

    Leadership ECS depends on what you're interested in because I think you'll naturally excel at what you're good in or at least have interest in.

    Boys/Girls State, Boys Scouts, Civil Air Patrol, JROTC are all great activities. But yearbook, debate, UN, etc are just as good. If you really like something, go take initiative and lead. The academies want to see that you went after something on your own, not because it would just enhance your resume. I really think it personally helps you to develop your leadership abilities when you are out in a high position. That's what matters.
    Message me if you want to talk about ECS---I did a bunch. Good luck!
     
  3. Escapist

    Escapist Member

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    Thanks for the reply Jackie! For outside sports i do Tennis but thats not a team sport so i dont think it counts. But i am in many clubs that i will get leadership positions in next year.
     
  4. cadet85

    cadet85 Member

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    Just a tip, it is possible to go far without varsity athletics (like jackiejyp7 said), but it is very easy to go farther with them. Just saying. West Point places a TON of value on team sports, and leadership positions within those. So at least try it. Try out for the team or a club or something, it will help you out a lot more. Remember, they are looking for smart, athletic leaders to one day lead the nation's army and country.
     
  5. cadet85

    cadet85 Member

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    Also, you are competing with candidates from all over the country, and other parts of the world, for a position at West Point. You should want to try to do everything you can to give you a leg up on the competition. Just keep that in mind.
     
  6. CannotBeDisplayed

    CannotBeDisplayed Member

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    So I am still on an equal playing field with others if my school doesn't have any team sports, then?

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  7. cadet85

    cadet85 Member

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    You can be. Many people in your situation go out and join club sports in the community, or I have heard where some kids join sports at private schools that will let them play on their teams. That would be a good situation to talk to your FFR or somebody about. Ask them how you can work around that and play sports that will count for USMA.
     
  8. cadet85

    cadet85 Member

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    Also, ca2midwestmom just said this in the Leadership thread, "Also, look at the numbers from those admitted in 2017 -- 92% played varsity sports, but only 20% attended Boys/Girls State and 34% participated in Boy/Girl Scouts."

    So you should want to play varsity sports if possible. It would be hard to be part of the 8% and still make it in.
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Another way to look "varsity" letter is checking the block.

    The baseline is earning a varsity letter, multiple letters are better, being a team captain is better.

    A "Varsity" letter is not insignificant but not a major factor, so get a varsity letter at minimum and move on.
     
  10. jazjar

    jazjar Member

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    I don't know how the lettering system works, but theoretically, if you enroll in a sport like track for the spring and stay with it all season you will get one... I think. So I guess if you joined track in the spring that might be a varsity sport that might get you that varsity letter in time for the LOA. Try that, I'll definitely be trying it.
     
  11. Melitzank

    Melitzank Member

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    It varies by school. I run track, and at my school, so long as you participate in two track meets and run the whole season you get your letter. I know at other area schools, you have to do pretty well to get a letter.
     
  12. jazjar

    jazjar Member

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    Interesting. So it varies from school to school. Are they looking for only sport letters, or are academic letters and EC letters good too? I technically have a letter from orchestra and an academic letter if you count that, it is only a true "sport" letter that I lack. Orchestra though is an activity that involves a lot of teamwork, patience and leadership.
     
  13. My3Sons2017

    My3Sons2017 Member

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    Escapist, track and cross country are excellent sports in getting you in shape for West Point and the rigors of BEAST BARRACKS. I have a cadet at West Point and he excelled during BEAST, so join that varsity track and cross country team and get yourself a varsity letter. You have some great plans for club leadership positions, just make sure you follow through and you should be ok in the "leadership" area. You will need to take challenging courses and do well in them. Of course, you have heard to take college entrance exams multiple times. My advice would be to take the ACT and the SAT. Whichever you excel in, retake THAT one (some just seem to do better on one over the other). Best of luck to you in your quest for a West Point appointment!
     
  14. jackiejyp7

    jackiejyp7 Jackie

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    Cadet85 makes a really good point! It's a lot easier for you in the process and just prep if you do a varsity sports. If you can do it, do it. If you think about the application to and the point system every point counts and every point can help you become qualified. Good luck!
     
  15. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    As a track and cross country coach, that is truly sad for me to hear. It takes away any meaning to earning a letter. That would be like a physics teacher giving everyone on the class an "A" as long as they showed up every day and took two out of the 15 tests in a semester, regardless of how they did on those tests. Letters should indicate a top athlete who contributes to the team's wins.

    Stealth_81
     
  16. Melitzank

    Melitzank Member

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    I agree. A lot of people join just to get their letter, which is one of the reasons I think our coach has it set up that way--without that incentive, we simply wouldn't have near as many people joining (like 10 instead of the 50 we normally have). But with that comes a lot of people who hardly try.
     
  17. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    I don't know about the other sports in DS's school, but for swimming, in order to letter on the Varsity team, you have to have a State qualifying time in an individual event or swim on a relay at State. After 3 years on the team, if you haven't achieved the State times, you earn your Varsity letter senior year. DS goes to a 6A school for all sports, but the swim team is small compared to other schools in the league. Out of 20-25 swimmers, there are usually only 6-8 that are truly Varsity.
     
  18. CannotBeDisplayed

    CannotBeDisplayed Member

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    I was thinking of club sports, but I live in a very rural area (my high school only has 39 students, that should give you an idea) and there isn't a recreation center or any kind of sports facility nearby. The only three sports my school offers are cross country, golf, and track & field. I do all three. I have that written in one of my candidate statements, so I'm hoping that they'll view my active participation in a small community as a positive. I know that they love team sports, though. I have attempted to contact my MALO several times over the last couple of months, but I have not received any answers as of yet.
     
  19. jazjar

    jazjar Member

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    So an academic letter or an orchestra letter wouldn't count? I hope at least participating counts, and I would probably have to make up for the fact that I don't have a letter by showing leadership in other areas.
     
  20. napjim

    napjim Member

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    Anyone who does not think Cross Country is a team sport has never seen it run at the top level. Boys work together to form a "pack" and pull each other along and work together to succeed. I've seen a team of runners running as a pack of demoralize better runners running as individuals. Is there an individual component - -yes - no different than a batter facing a pitcher -- trying to do his best. But to see the camaraderie and teamwork to help lead a program of 150 runners and then see success as a team on the course will transform your view of Cross Country.
     

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