Will not playing sports hurt me?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by freydnbaked, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. freydnbaked

    freydnbaked Member

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    Hello, over the summer I got a job at a local restaurant. Recently i was promoted to the head cook in the kitchen and was placed in charge of training the new kids. Being in charge i work 5 days a week along with getting 3 hours of homework a night at least. I'm a junior in Highschool, I'm advanced in every subject with 3 AP (advanced placement) classes along with Honors Spanish 3. Along with a strong class schedule I am also working on my eagle scout. So i have two question; 1. Would I be considered an aggressive candidate for USNA in terms of Academics and activities, and 2. If I didn't play tennis this year for school would I be a less attractive candidate (I would only play on JV this year most likely). Also i am in the top 10% of my class as of last semester.

    Thanks for the Help,
    A. Frey

    P.S. What would the chances be roughly of me getting into SLS.
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Most successful USNA candidates are active in sports. However, it's not required. Strong work experience is a good thing.

    Consider whether there is some way you might be able to participate in some form of organized sports, even if not at school. If not, be sure do discuss with your BGO why you aren't active in sports and be sure to do very well on the CFA.
     
  3. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Why are you working? This will probably be one of the first questions the BGO will ask you.
     
  4. angiern

    angiern Member

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    I think it's preferred, but not required. My plebe never participated in any sports.
     
  5. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Sports is a substitute for four things:

    1. Physical fitness and coordination
    2. Long term commitment to a goal
    3. Leadership
    4. Playing well in the sandbox

    You do have JV experience, so that helps a lot. Assuming you work to pay your way through life, that is a plus and more important than #2 above.

    That leaves Leadership. What can you show there? Were you the Captain of your JV team? If not, then play up the training aspect of your work

    Last thing is fitness, #1 item above. If you aren't going to be a Varsity letter winner, you'll be outside the 85% that are, and you'd be well advised to score very highly on the Fitness Test.
     
  6. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Statistically, you'd be the rare bird. Virtually everyone ... 90%+ ... participates in sports. Are you exceptional ... better than virtually everyone of those 90% ... in other areas that would compensate?

    Realizing those 90% are pretty darn good and better in most other areas should put some perspective on the challenge you face. Your bad news: Statistically, you'd be the fairly rare exception. Your good news: Statistically, there are some rare exceptions. Your choice makes the doable ever more difficult and challenging. There is a non-random reason that each and every year, beyond academics and test scores that athletics is the #1 EC noted among many.

    I'd add an essential #5 to dunninla's good list that is subtley more than the first four: Teamwork and successfully learning to follow and play a specific role for the sake of the team. While being the chief cook and bottle washer has similarities, it's different. As Jesus portrayed, serving others, taking one for the team is the essence of "service" and "leadership."
     
  7. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    FWIW, my DD (who has her USNA appointment in hand) only did JV track her Junior yr, thats it for sports. She is planning on doing track again in the spring, but most likely won't run in any varsity meets, the area is just too competitive. Now, she works out everyday, and did fairly well on the cfa, maxing a few areas and at least average on the ones she didn't max, so that may have made a difference.
     
  8. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Yes very different but do not imply that the "chief cook and bottle washer" does not "take one for the team". Many of these kids that work have more responsibility, team work and service experience than the most exceptional athletes. We know what the service academies like from the published profiles and much of what they like is the easily quantifiable. That is fine and is the way it is for a reason.
    Unless I mis-interpreted your statement, I think it is an unfortunate view.

    And to the OP; not playing sports will hurt you but does not eliminate your chances. Any sports will help your chances.
     
  9. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Neither implied, nor stated, is it.:confused::rolleyes: Indeed, I've no idea how you misinterpreted.
     
  10. Packer

    Packer Member

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    This seems to be stated with reference to sports, implying that participation in sports demonstrates these qualities while working does not.
     
  11. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    As I posted previously, USNA has stated that they are now giving more credit (as in more than they used to) to individuals who work. They are sensitive to the fact that some candidates may need to work in order to help support their family. And, there are certain things one learns working in a job.

    That does not mean that sports is not still very important. However, if someone does very well on the CFA and, especially (as discussed above) if they can show some evidence that they enjoy sports), not being a varsity athlete is not "death" to an application.

    Candidates who work during the school year should discuss their situation with their BGO. You may also want to ask your teachers in their recs to mention this as well in that it helps explain why you may not be as active in sports/ECAs as your colleagues.

    With the above said, the overwhelming majority of candidates remain those who are active in varsity sports (or non-school competitive leagues), ECAs, and demonstrate leadership in one or both.
     

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