Importance of sports for application


Jan 21, 2017
I want to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, but I don't play any varsity sports. I saw that 92% of the Class of 2020 was on some varsity sports team and was wondering how important sports are towards getting in? I've played ultimate Frisbee every year of high school and plan to continue, but it is only a club at school. I understand how important physical ability is to doing well at USNA. How hurt are my chances if I do not do any varsity sports?
Lot of views but no reply so I'll try.
- Search the forum
- Sports is important; in USAFA it's part of the 20% extracurricular activities composite. If 92% were on varsity sports team, that leaves 8% without it.
- Try out for any HS sports team and if you don't cut it, do exercises to stay fit and exceed the means for the CFA (search the forum); your chances to get in are low if you don't have varsity sports and low CFA score.
Good luck.
BTW, there are two issues here -- both the lack of "varsity" sports and the sport you've chosen.

USNA likes varsity athletes for several reasons. First, most varsity sports consist of teams in some form and USNA likes to see teamwork. Second, they like to see competition/"combat" on the athletic field (or in the pool, etc.), because that tends to produce the type of person who will do well in the military. Third, someone who likes and excels at sports is probably physically in good shape and that bodes well for USNA, where athletics is a huge part of the program.

You might consider a team sport over the summer -- some sort of youth league (city, Catholic, police, etc.) -- in a sport that requires running, such as soccer. You need not be terrific, but will be able to add athletic teamwork, etc. to your experiences.

You need to do REALLY well on the CFA. Train for it. Consult a school coach or a personal trainer and figure out what you need to do to max out (or get close in) every event. If you don't participate in varsity sports, USNA at least looks VERY HARD at the CFA.

Finally, be prepared to explain to your BGO and your MOC nominating committees why you didn't do other sports at school. There are at least three sports seasons (fall/winter/summer) which allows most athletes to play multiple sports. You didn't and the sport you chose is one that some may not consider a "real" sport -- BTW, I'm not making value judgments, merely stating what you might face. You should be prepared to explain Frisbee -- how that keeps you in shape, builds teamwork, etc. b/c to many people it seems like something you do at the beach. You need to disabuse folks of that idea.

The reasons for not doing other sports are also important. Do you not like team sports? Does your school not have many varsity sports and thus none at which you were good? Is your personal/family situation such that you weren't able to participate in after-school activities (i.e., parent(s) working and no after school transportation)?

You need NOT explain your reasons here but reflect on them and consider whether, in light of them, you will be happy at a school where organized sports are both mandatory and incredibly important.
It's true that most people accepted into the Naval Academy do play a varsity sport, but it's definitely not necessary. I received an LOA and now an appointment to the academy, despite having not played a sport since freshman year. You have to stand out in other ways with outstanding community service (like becoming a certified firefighter or EMT), music accomplishments, high grades (high SAT's), leadership, etc. Often times sports provide a "short-hand" to easily demonstrate leadership and fitness. However, if you can find leadership opportunities, be it in your ultimate Frisbee club or other extracurriculars, then you still can be competitive. Good luck!
Thank you for your input usna1985. What exercises do you recommend to prepare for the CFA?
OP. The advice I've heard is to consider participating in a no-cut sport at your school such as track or swimming. I believe both are spring sports so you should have time to sign up now.