What to do... any advice..words of wisdom?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by TexasSoccerMom, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. TexasSoccerMom

    TexasSoccerMom Member

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    I don't post on here very often but I read a lot!! Hopefully all of the experts / experienced folks on here will have some insight advice or at least some feel good reassuring stories for darling son!

    Son is going to be applying for the class of 2021. Like everyone else I read about on here he has great grades, SAT scores and leadership activities. We have a problem though... He has played soccer since freshman year. Our school is a large school and there are NO multisport athletes. Soccer has been his only sport. Tryouts were last week and he was cut along with about 20 other juniors / seniors who had also been on team for 2-3 years. (We are at a 6A Texas school. Team was in state finals last year and coaches cut a LOT of juniors / seniors because for the benefit of the program they needed to let more freshman in.) My son is a high level club player who is being recruited by Division 1 colleges then gets cut from high school team! He will still be playing club but not high school. Initially we were just shocked but now we've accepted it and we are moving on.

    He is now getting over it, picking himself up and in process of dusting himself off and going out for track. We're contacting coach and looking into getting a tryout. His mile times on fitness assessments for club soccer were in the 5 minute range. He is quick and in good aerobic condition from his years of soccer so he stands a good chance of making team.

    How is this going to affect his application? I don't want him to dwell on the fact he was cut from soccer because that just appears to be making excuses / sour grapes but I do want anyone reviewing his application to know he was NOT cut for poor behavior, disrespect, being a bad teammate etc...

    Any advice? Feel good stories of others in similar circumstances who were still able to get an appointment?
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    The bones of this challenge will make for a good essay down the road - how he recovered, made a plan, went on. Just a tiny two cents. Others will have more to say on sports. Club may give him more time to add to leadership and community activity.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015
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  3. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    My 1st thought it get a letter of recommendation from his HIGH SCHOOL soccer coach that cut him.
     
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  4. TexasSoccerMom

    TexasSoccerMom Member

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    He can get that. The coach wrote his National Honor Society recommendation and is helping with his going to track team.
     
  5. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Yes, get the LOR from both the high school coach, and one from the club team as well. We're talking about a competitive club team here, right? Not a pay-to-play league?

    Make sure that he has all his other ducks in a row. Keep up with the club team, and now is the time to get in some real leadership experience. Club team president/captain, all kinds of volunteer work, even now, time for a JOB! Do not neglect the value of real paid work!
     
  6. TexasSoccerMom

    TexasSoccerMom Member

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    It is a true high level competitive club team. He has played the past few weekends at college showcases. The majority of boys on club team do NOT play high school also. Son played high school because he likes to represent his school. Son has a JOB. He is a youth sports official and youth sports leader at the local YMCA. He is a Boys State candidate and selected by NASA and our congressman as a Texas Aerospace Scholar. So the ducks are getting into a row. :)
     
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  7. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Agree this makes for a great discussion for his future interview and essays. Also, if he is that caliber of player have your reached out to the coaches at USAFA? I am sure the sports page for AFA has a recruit questionnaire he can fill out. Also, if funds and summer schedule support it, attend the soccer camp on get on the coaches radar. Great time to get know the coach, live at USAFA and show what he can do if he is that caliber of player. I would also make sure his liaison who helps him with his application and interview understands the level of soccer he playing and leadership he has on the club team. His club coach can write an LOR that might not go with his application, but would help to scope his level of sport, commitment and leadership. Good luck to your DS and I am sure all things will work out how they are supposed to!
     
  8. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    So, this seems to be common practice among TX soccer coaches, yes? If so, USAFA coaches are probably aware of such nonsense.

    Don't worry. Many great athletes at USAFA and elsewhere have never played on ANY school sports team.
     
  9. time2

    time2 Member

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    Not sure I follow the story in total (did he play h.s., club or both????), but assuming all you say is true, why make a big deal (for purposes of the SA application) out of getting cut from soccer? I really don't think the SA needs to know the reason he no longer plays. Many people switch sports for a variety of reasons. He can simply pick up another sport and do well there. Most h.s. I am aware of often have several athletes who play in many different varsity sports (i.e. fall sport such as football, then winter sport such as basketball, then some other spring sports), perhaps TX does that differently. I am not aware of any sport whose season lasts the entire year.

    What would show on his application is x yrs of soccer, y years of some other sport. They don't ask you WHY you no longer do sport a/b/c.......so I don't see the need to dwell on that.
     
  10. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Meh. Not the end of the world.

    If he participates in team sports (longer term is better), holds some sort of leadership positions (not necessarily in sports), and has good academics, he should be solidly competitive for admissions.
     
  11. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    No multisport athletes in the school? Hard to believe. Athletics has become specialized, but schools in my region utilize the top athletes. Playing two, three or more varsity sports is common.

    And... a recruited division one soccer player cut from his high school team? Extremely unusual. What high school coach wouldn't want a recruited D1 player? To cut a promising junior makes one wonder why wouldn't the coach want your son around? It will be difficult to convince the academies of his athletic prowess without sports his last two years.

    The 5 minute mile is a fantastic time. He should have no trouble making the track team. With training he may cut time and be a contender. That would look good.
     
  12. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 D-USAFA '15

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    Not to worry. There are lots of athletes at the academies that did not play high school sports. Either their sport wasn't offered at their high school or they elected to play club sports for better coaching and competition. My DS and DD did not play their sport in high school but played club sports and both received appointments.
     
  13. Buff-IP

    Buff-IP USAFA '88 Pilot

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    We know through decades of observation that people who are involved with competitive sports have characteristics desired by the military. Discipline, teamwork, drive, focus etc.

    That is why athletics look good on the application. Physical fitness is very important but does not necessarily come with athletics (those big football linemen struggle here).

    If someone has not been involved in a sport, or removed from a sport, the reason is more important than the outcome.

    That also applies to leadership opportunities, advanced schooling, after work jobs, etc.

    So in this case, simply explain why.
     
  14. Sam2018

    Sam2018 Member

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    Actually in the big Texas high schools its very common to do one sport and yes many do span the entire year. In our 6A high school, also in Texas, many sports are the students first period class. My ds is a swimmer and they start practice the first day of school. The state meet, if they are so lucky to make it, is in late Feb. Then they continue to practice for the rest of the year or can play water polo. It is a graded class. Very hard to do two sports unless they are complimentary like swimming and water polo or cross country and track. The coaches don't like to share and yes, lots of politics involved.

    But I agree, get the LOR, use it in his essay and don't dwell. My ds is having his own struggle with getting leadership positions. Very rare for any juniors to be officers at our school, its just so big with a lot of high achieving kids vying for very few spots. No captains on the club team. He might get some next year but he won't know for a few months. He was nominated for Boys State so hopefully he will be selected and that will help.
     
  15. thepetester

    thepetester Member

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    Not sure where you are from, but at my son's HS, most of the coaches (especially the bigger ones like football, basketball, baseball and soccer) actively discourage them from participating in other sports and want them in club sports year round. I could easily see sports drunk Texas being like this. My son is wrestling at the AFA and he has exclusively wrestled since 8th grade. He probably would have played football, but at the time the HS was always top 20 in the country and topping out at #4, and he was WAY too small. He also wouldn't have quit wrestling which would have led to some interesting 'discussions' with the fb coaching staff.
     
  16. ddiamond

    ddiamond Member

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    Agree-More of the larger schools have competitive coaches pushing for single sport athletes these days. Advice: Get the LOR; recommend it is both personal and to-the-point and interesting, if possible. Use it in completing the essay and continue to be as active in and out of school, while maintaining best possible grades.
     
  17. Brawny77

    Brawny77 Member

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    He could do track this spring and cross country in the fall. That's multi sport
     
  18. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Agreed..."most". No multisport athletes in a large school? I'd have to see it to believe it. And... I'd be willing to wager on it. ;-)
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  19. littlepatriot

    littlepatriot Member

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    Coming from a small school perspective, it's crazy to think that some people play only one sport. The majority of athletes at my school play three sports year round, with club teams over the summer and the winter. I couldn't imagine being discouraged from playing another sport.
     
  20. Norfolk63

    Norfolk63 privateer

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    Not sure what qualifies as a large school. DS attends class 7A (~2000 kids), plays football (State runner-up), wrestles, and runs track. The overlaps are tough, especially when he goes to states at the end of the season, but it's all good.
     

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