How USMA Prep Helped Army Improve in Football

conrack

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almost half of those attending service academy prep schools are recruited athletes, a clear indication they are a waste of taxpayer dollars. On some academy sports teams 80% of the athletes attended the prep school for a year, its also frequently used as a backdoor redshirt year so teams can stockpile players.
 

Wishful

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& as the article mentions, young men & women who need the benefit from a year of academic rigor.
 

UHBlackhawk

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almost half of those attending service academy prep schools are recruited athletes, a clear indication they are a waste of taxpayer dollars. On some academy sports teams 80% of the athletes attended the prep school for a year, its also frequently used as a backdoor redshirt year so teams can stockpile players.
You’re going off the false assumption that athletics and the primary goal of service academies- producing officers in the military who are successful at eliminating enemies of the constitution- are mutually exclusive goals. This is not the case.
Much of what is learned on a field of sports, working with the person next to you even if you hate them; learning how to deal with adversity; learning how to deal with harsh conditions. These are things that can’t be taught in a classroom.
The best officers I ever served with were successful athletes.
 

justdoit19

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You’re going off the false assumption that athletics and the primary goal of service academies- producing officers in the military who are successful at eliminating enemies of the constitution- are mutually exclusive goals. This is not the case.
Much of what is learned on a field of sports, working with the person next to you even if you hate them; learning how to deal with adversity; learning how to deal with harsh conditions. These are things that can’t be taught in a classroom.
The best officers I ever served with were successful athletes.
Well said!! And there really is no way to measure this on paper in quantitative terms, either. IOW, when I have this discussion with people who aren’t involved in team sports, I can never really get the point made well.

It’s grit. Physical and mental. And it cannot be taught. It’s in the DNA of what makes you. That’s why athletes are desired. Not because they were Johnny Quarterback. In fact, someone on the scout team perseveres more that a starter. Making their teammates better with little self reward.
 
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I think your “scout team” point, which I agree with, hurts the argument for striving for a high-powered D1 football program. Almost everyone on this forum has kids who have a similar level of “grit” as D1 football players. What most of our kids lack is equivalent size and speed. Maybe top 1% athleticism makes you a better solider, but I would imagine in modern warfare that probably isn’t too big a factor.
If Army wants a great football team for recruiting, fundraising, prestige and most importantly, to stick it to Navy, that’s fine. But the guys on the football team probably don’t have much more grit than anyone who plays competitive team sports. They just have a much higher level of athleticism and size.
And please don’t jump into how much time it takes to play a D1 sport. That isn’t the point. It’s before they got to USMA, they were putting in the same amount of time as the kids who busted their butts to start on a team because they DON’T have the natural God-given gifts.
 

justdoit19

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I was making the point as to one reason academies like a sports competitor. And an athlete who doesn’t quit just because they don’t start has that “grit” factor just like one who is the star. Maybe even more so because they don’t quit, despite not playing. Sacrifice to make the team better, with little reward (of play time).

I wasn’t commenting at all about D1 competition. I was adding my opinion/observations to UHBlackhawk’s post.
 
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I definitely agree that sports makes appealing cadets (and people). I literally think the best decision my DS has made was to play football.
It’s so disappointing that high school sports is declining.
I was just making the point that D1 level football seems less aligned with the mission of WP than the broader goal of recruiting cadets who have the benefit of being devoted to a team sport.
 

Old Navy BGO

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You’re going off the false assumption that athletics and the primary goal of service academies- producing officers in the military who are successful at eliminating enemies of the constitution- are mutually exclusive goals. This is not the case.
Much of what is learned on a field of sports, working with the person next to you even if you hate them; learning how to deal with adversity; learning how to deal with harsh conditions. These are things that can’t be taught in a classroom.
The best officers I ever served with were successful athletes.
^ This ! Several of my NAPS classmates went on to very successful military careers, including on of the top SEALS right now. There has long been a direct correlation between college athletics and success in the military -- “On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that on other days, on other fields will bear the fruits of victory.” Douglas McArthur.
 
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