How important are Varsity sports?

36falcon36

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Sep 17, 2017
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Hello everyone, my name is Megan and I am currently a Junior in High School. It has always been my dream to attend the Air Force Academy. I know that varsity sports are somewhat important to your application, and I'm kind of concerned. A few weeks ago, I quit my high school soccer team due to some serious issues I was having with my coaches and also a few players. To sum it up, I had to quit in order to protect my own emotional and metal sanity. Continuing would've caused too much emotional stress which wasn't healthy for me. I do not currently play any other sports at my school, but am involved in a few rec soccer leagues (which I plan on sticking with). I was thinking of maybe joining either my schools tennis or softball team. I have never played tennis, and haven't played softball since middles school, so there's no guarantee I'd make varsity (my school is not that great at sports in general, and they don't cut people on those teams due to low numbers of players, so I would probably make JV as a junior. My question is, how much would it impact my application if I don't have a varsity sport on it, or if I don't make varsity until senior year? Could I improve my application by showing my physical strengths on my CFA? What else can I do to help? I have other qualities which I feel would help out, such as being an IB diploma program student, having a 3.875 GPA, being in Marching band, pep band, and concert band, being an NHS member, and being on my schools Science Olympiad team. But is this not enough without variety sports?
I am just a little nervous that this will have a negative impact on my application.
Any advice is greatly appreciated! :)
 

HuskyPilot

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Why are you having issues which your coaches and other players? What are the "serious" issues? Its extremely important that you be able to take direction, correction, criticism and get along with others at the USAFA. Stress is something you will be required to deal with on a daily basis as well. I would be more concerned with why you need to quit a team. Is your mental/emotional stability fragile?
 

36falcon36

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Why are you having issues which your coaches and other players? What are the "serious" issues? Its extremely important that you be able to take direction, correction, criticism and get along with others at the USAFA. Stress is something you will be required to deal with on a daily basis as well. I would be more concerned with why you need to quit a team. Is your mental/emotional stability fragile?

I apologize for not being clear on that part. Basically, there was a LOT of negativity and unnecessary criticism, as well as flat out rudeness. It is not because I am fragile, it's because my coach has said many things to me and to my team which have crossed way too many personal lines, lines that should've never been crossed. I don't want to get into too many details because it's not something I'd feel very comfortable sharing. However, know there was a lot involved that led to my decision. Many of my teammates were the same way, and too many lines had been crossed. I tried countless times to resolve these issues with my team but in the end, it didn't work. It was not a healthy environment for anyone. Usually, I would be able to deal with CONSTRUCTIVE criticism in any other circumstance, and am able to handle stress very well. I love working in a team environment and pushing myself and others to meet our goals. If it was something I could fix myself, then trust me I would have. However, this was a type of environment where I did not feel any kind of support at all from my coaches or teammates and where I was not being pushed to achieved my goals and to succeed. I decided that I needed to take a different path, and to do things that would push me to achieve my goals. Considering my circumstances, I believe that my decision took a lot of confidence and courage to make.
I hope I was able to clear it up for you.
 

kinnem

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First, plenty of folks have gotten into an academy without Varsity sports, so it's possible.... perhaps a bit tougher, but possible.

I'm sure the situation you were in was pretty intolerable. Nevertheless, you'll find yourself in similar positions in the military when you cannot walk away. You need to learn to deal with these while still being "in" them. If the topic comes up in an interview, and I'm sure it will, emphasize the last part of your post above...

Considering my circumstances, I believe that my decision took a lot of confidence and courage to make.
 

AROTC-dad

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Nevertheless, you'll find yourself in similar positions in the military when you cannot walk away

Agree with Kinnem...

You also need to ask yourself how will you tolerate the situation in a military or even combat environment. The stress may be even ten times greater. This is what you are asking to do.
 

DesertCaliMom

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I'm gonna add a bit here others haven't covered.

If this situation required you to leave the sport, can you put that into words that define your character?

I have a post in my history abiit my DS. This is now part of his application essay. It was a tremendous thing to stand up to authority and call out the harm.

It sounds like you're dealing with something similar. Really take the time to think of how this moment is defining your character and if you can not only handle proper criticism, but handle impropern too.
 

HuskyPilot

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Im not on the admissions committee and I can't answer your question. I can only give you an opinion based on the information provided. What I definitely know is that decisions/choices have consequences. I also know that service academy appointments are very competitive. Without making a judgement on your situation, I can only say that its my opinion that everyone (kids and adults) these days are way too easily offended and have been conditioned to allow words to excessively impact emotion and emotion to over come critical thinking. I think too many people are too often looking at situations from the wrong perspective. "Im not getting what I need", "Im not supported", 'Im not feeling needed", etc, etc. I think it serves a much better purpose and puts us in a stronger, positive attitude when we take the approach of, "what can I give?", "how can I make this better?", "how can I contribute?". Again, Im not making any specific judgement on your situation, I'm only offering advice and sharing some wisdom that I have gained over 53 yrs of life.
One last thought -how powerful would it be to have the experience of having taken the view that this is important to me and that I know this needs to be corrected and Im going to stay and be the person to set the example. Im going to build people up. Im going to be the team member that shows what a leader can accomplish and Im not letting ANYONE stand in my way of providing what I know this team needs to be successful. I will sacrifice my needs for others because I know iron sharpens iron and I will grow stronger as a result of the fight. That's an approach and attitude that will serve you well through out life. If you let rudeness, excessive or unwarranted criticism and WORDS impact your mental/emotional health to the point you would risk an opportunity of a life time over then I would say you need to re-evaluate your priorities. I wish you the best of luck.
 
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Hoodlum15

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I know a lot of people are saying you should've stuck it out. Personally, I think you're at a point in life where you shouldn't put up with something intolerable if you don't have too. The time will come for that soon enough, so make yourself happy. That being said, see if you can fill that void with a different sport or activity that you enjoy more and try to turn this experience into a positive.
 

moak

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Everyone seem to be missing the elephant in the room. Berkeley would seem a more logical approach. Don't shoot the messenger.
 

36falcon36

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Sep 17, 2017
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I appreciate everyone's advice, and I do greatly appreciate everyone being honest with me. The criticism was definitely understood on my end. From this point, my decision is in the past and overall, I do not regret it. I know that I made the right choice when I needed to. Moving forward I am going to try to become more involved in some things that will strengthen and show my ability to be a leader and to be able to rise over my past. I think I will join some new sports and give it my all, while becoming happier with myself in the process. I'm going to work to develop my character where it's needed. This goal of mine is something I'm willing to work very hard for. I am not going to let this weigh me down.
Thanks for all the advice once again.
 

AROTC-dad

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The criticism was definitely understood on my end

^ This is the right attitude!

My DD's husband who recently left the army after service in the middle east, confided that his experience there in combat put his previous younger years into perspective.

All of his most stressful years in high school and as a volunteer fire fighter were "small potatoes" compared to what he dealt with in a bona fide war zone. (his pre-med curriculum now is no big deal in comparison)

And food for thought...consider if THIS guy had been your soccer coach? :eek:

upload_2017-9-19_8-11-22.jpeg


Seriously, good luck to you and thank you for wanting to serve our country.
 
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