Wrestling vs. Swimming at the Naval Academy for the U.S. Navy SEALs

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by jimmyd93, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. jimmyd93

    jimmyd93 New Member

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    Between a Naval Academy Wrestler and a Naval Academy Swimmer, who would make a better U.S. Navy SEAL candidate? Also, assume both ran Cross Country in the fall and played Lacrosse in the spring during high school.
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Swimming is important to being a SEAL so you want to be sure you know how to swim and generally swim well. However, that doesn't mean you have to join the swim team. You should do the sport you most enjoy. One of my squad-mates went on to be a SEAL. He played Spring (then 150 lb) football as a sport. Really doesn't matter.
     
  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    As mentioned swimming is a huge part of being a SEAL, but as to what sport would benefit you... whatever one makes you happiest. If you look at the list of those selected for SEALs each year you will see a diverse group of folks from all kinds of athletic backgrounds and varsity sports. I knew alot of SEALs selected from my class who were intramural athletes and are amazing SEALs today. I knew top level swimmers who could out swim everyone, but didn't necessarily do well on land with running. I know cross country runners who sink in the pool. It is a balance of both. I had friends who were wrestlers and swimmers who on to be amazing SEALs. Both sports will have you in incredible shape, but preparing for the SEAL PT exam will require focus and extra work regardless of sport.
     
  4. AikiBudo

    AikiBudo Member

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    All the potential SEAL candidates are very good athletes whether they play a USNA varsity sport or not. Selection typically comes down to a person's mental strength and you won't know if you have what it takes until you get really tested. That being said all the sports you mentioned are good for getting and keeping in shape. Running, swimming and lacrosse are a great combo. Do what you enjoy but all other things being equal I'd go with the swimming.
     
  5. HCDS

    HCDS Member

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    Also, realistically, in order to be a USNA swimmer, an individual needs to be an elite club swimmer - one of the best in whatever state they are from. These athletes are specialists (training 11 months of the year, often twice per day) and it is unlikely that they competed in 3 or 4 different high school sports.
     
  6. gamernotwatcher

    gamernotwatcher Member

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  7. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Bingo. And try to work on holding your breath in very cold water for extended periods of time. The water always claims the most victims, and it has nothing to do with swimming technique.
     
  8. Salero

    Salero New Member

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    Why not do both at the same time? Play water polo!
     
  9. mademu

    mademu Member

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    Do not do that. This is absolutely awful, dangerous advice.

    Your sport will aide in selection to a degree, but what will matter the most is how you perform at the academy. Playing a specific sport won't make you a better SEAL candidate, just do well in whatever you choose to do.
     
  10. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I'm trying for the life of me to figure out how developing breath control in cold water is ... "dangerous". Do tell. If you mean I should have added "supervised", I'll grant you that. In the SE part of SEAL, breath control can be the difference between drowning and surviving... and the difference between washing out and graduating BUD/S.

    http://forums.deeperblue.com/genera...thing-techniques-recreational-freediving.html
     
  11. AikiBudo

    AikiBudo Member

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    Probably wise to have a disclaimer on any such advice in case some knucklehead fills his bathtub with ice water and has his buddy hold his head under until he passes out! But seriously practicing in the pool (under supervision) and working on developing underwater breath control is good for someone who may want to go the Spec War route.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  12. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

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    jimmyb: To earn a spot as a SEAL trainee out of USNA, you will need to win one of ~15 slots. To do that, you will need to be strong in all areas: academics, leadership, as well as physical fitness. Look for older threads from one-two years ago in this forum that detail the selection process.

    My point is simply that the choice of sport you want to play is way low on the list of things that would help or hinder your ability to earn that BUD/S spot. Also, due to the extremely tough competition, you would do well to consider what other service selection(s) you would want if you didn't get a BUD/S spot. A couple of years ago, three of my DD's company mates all REALLY wanted to be SEALs. Only the one who was overall #1 in the graduating class got the spot.
     
  13. basilrathbone

    basilrathbone Member

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    It's called Shallow Water Blackout. I recall a young man trying to get to BUD/S died of this a handful of years ago. It was tragic and senseless. There is no need to practice this before one gets to BUD/S and no SEAL in his right mind would encourage someone to practice this before he gets to BUD/S. It's extremely dangerous and when it's done at BUD/S it is supervised closely by both instructors and BUD/S medical (absolute top notch) who are trained to look for signs of SWB with facilities on site to handle it if it comes up. My husband, who has been a SEAL for more than 25 years, saw it happen to an extremely experienced SEAL Chief who never felt it coming on. Fortunately the Chief was surrounded by guys who knew how to handle it. I seriously doubt that some young man's buddy who is with him at the pool when he passes out under water will have the knowledge or facilities to prevent a tragedy. It's a foolish risk since it won't prepare anyone any better for BUD/S. I have never heard of a BUD/S student who was doing great but just couldn't pass the underwater swim and was dropped. There are many better ways to get prepared for BUD/S. Go to sealswcc.com or call 888-usn-seal for training tips.
     
  14. Salero

    Salero New Member

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    2 died practicing breath-holding in July

    Lifeguard in critical, swimmer drowned in breath-holding exercise gone wrong at Staten Island pool


    BY Daniel Prendergast, Bob Kappstatter and Joe Kemp
    DAILY NEWS WRITERS

    One man training to be a Navy SEAL was dead and a city lifeguard was in grave condition yesterday after they tried doing breath-holding exercises in a public pool in Staten Island.
    Bohdan Vitenko and Jonathan Proce, both 21, were found facedown in 3 feet of water in the Lyons Pool in Tompkinsville, where they were practicing techniques similar to those used in military training, authorities said.
    Both men were taken to Richmond University Medical Center after they were rescued about 8:25 a.m. from the crowded pool on Victory Blvd., near Hannah St., authorities said.
    Vitenko, a John Jay College student, died about 9:45 a.m., officials said. Proce, who works as a lifeguard for a pool in another borough, was still in critical condition last night.
    "He was really passionate about [becoming a Navy SEAL]," said Vitenko's father, Oleg Vitenko, 45. "This is a very dangerous kind of job. We were not very excited about it, but we did not want to discourage him from doing what he liked to do."
    His son kept a log book titled "Navy Seal Training," which detailed several grueling exercises, including running on logs and climbing walls and ropes.
    "He had a thing about pushing himself toward the limits," his father said.
    About 20 people were swimming in the pool, which opened at 7 a.m. and was staffed with lifeguards, when Proce and Vitenko were plucked from a far corner.
    Two friends of theirs were also in the water at the time, but were not partaking in the exercises, said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.
    "We're very surprised about what happened because Jonathan is a very accomplished swimmer," said Proce's uncle, Jerrier Atassi, adding that his nephew was training to become a pararescue jumper for the U.S. Air Force.
    "He's a young man with a bright future who was training to become one of tomorrow's heroes," he said of Proce, a student on a leave of absence from John Jay College.
    The pool was re-opened by late afternoon.

    [edit] Proce died a couple days later
     
  15. basilrathbone

    basilrathbone Member

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    So sad. I had not heard of this one. It also underscores the limits of supervision by those not trained specifically for this evolution.
     
  16. AikiBudo

    AikiBudo Member

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    Just to clarify my last post I was not advocating practicing extreme underwater techniques experienced in SEAL training but rather to get some swimming practice and training in the pool if you are not proficient. Breath control and underwater swimming are an important part of even the most basic swim lessons. You will get some swimming instruction at the academy but not enough to make a real difference.
     
  17. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Indeed. Now I see where you were coming from in your first post. It appears that these two guys were not supervised at all, or perhaps the lifeguard was supposed to be supervising but instead joined his friend in seeing how long they could hold their breath together... or even became a contest. Quite sad.
     

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