Lacking Confidence!

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by rotcadet2021, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. rotcadet2021

    rotcadet2021 Member

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    I'll be an MS-1 in August, and as I am meeting my peers, it's beginning to become a realization that I am at the lower end of the physically fit scale. I have come a long way with my personal strength, as I have always been skinny.

    Just looking for some input from other cadets and parents in hopes that I can keep my head high even though I'm going to fall short compared to other's PT scores. Thank you!
     
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  2. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  3. DanGir

    DanGir 5-Year Member

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    Dedicate yourself to improving your fitness level. Set goals for yourself. Take the APFT now to get your baseline. You will probably take the APFT around four times this year. Push to improve your score every time. Your confidence will improve as your fitness level improves.
     
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  4. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    Train in all types of weather. If it is spitting rain, go and run. If it is 90 degrees with 90% humidity, go and practice. If you go to bed at 1 a.m., get up and do it at 6 a.m.
    ~ All of these issues can impact you when you get there. IE if you run only when it is nice outside and you have had plenty of rest than your time is going to probably be better than if you get up after 5 hrs of sleep and it is 90 degrees.

    Practice the form correctly. Believe it or not a lot of cadets have issues their freshmen. Some because they have not worked out all summer. Some because although when they did their PFT for the scholarship their scores seemed amazing, the reason why was because they did not practice the proper form, in turn, they will drop when they get there.

    My DS practiced for weeks prior, and he was skinny too. He not only did the PFT, but would than add in things like butterfly kicks and one arm push ups after completing the PFT to build up his stamina.
     
  5. brob

    brob Member

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    My DD has always been a good weight for her height and her fitness level was average, but she has been working out 4 to 5 times per week this summer to be ready for ROTC.
    She runs 2x a week, making sure to use hills, since her campus is on a steep hill. She also does strength training with weights several times a week, using free workouts from a program called https://www.fitnessblender.com At her job, she has a friend planning to join ROTC and hoping to win a campus scholarship - they have been doing sit-ups and pushups in their downtime and checking each others' form. She keeps comparing her scores to the APFT so she can see that she is steadily improving.
    You could put on some weight with strength training - this is usually even easier for men than women! My DD lost 10 pounds over the course of senior year due to not working out as much - a lot of muscle loss from no weight training. She now weighs more (but still well within range for her height) but looks and is stronger. You still have a month or so before school starts and might be surprised what a difference you could make in that amount of time - but don't overdo when you start out - you don't want injuries :)
     
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  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    You don't have to beat everyone else in PT. You just have to pass. If you think you're the first in this position, you are sadly mistaken. There was a guy in my son's NROTC unit in your shoes. He worked hard while in the unit. He's a SEAL today. You eat the elephant one bite at a time (where have I heard that lately?)
     
  7. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

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    As others have said you're not the first in this situation, they've given some good tips on how to prepare, here are just a couple tips on how to keep your head high.

    Having been in the Service and having two sons go through AROTC, I have seen and heard a few things.

    There are those that come in and can get a decent APFT score right away, some work to improve and some figure what they can do is just good enough and they don't do anymore then that to improve, the latter always earned my respect.

    The fact that you come into the program behind many of your peers physically doesn't matter, what matters is what you do once you're there. here are a few tips:

    Put maximum effort during every PT
    Your school will have a Gym, use it, PT will not be enough to improve your scores.
    Ask for help and tips from other cadets, get a work out buddy and some running partners.
    Put in the effort to improve.

    What I'm getting at is this, even if you start at the bottom, if you show the desire and commitment to improve, let them see you are working harder then most to improve and never quit, you'll earn the respect of your peers. Take that extra step when you feel like you're about to fall, go for that last push up when your arms say no. Push forward with more intensity then those that already score higher. I seem to have the chant "Rudy! Rudy!" in my head now. (Old movie reference, you should see it)

    Just never quit, show everyone that doing everything you can to improve, volunteer for remedial PT before the send you there. You do this, you won't have any problem keeping your head held high.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  8. bfrat93

    bfrat93 5-Year Member

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    I was in your exact situation my first year as a cadet. My first APFT during a summer visit was a disaster and I failed it a second time during our orientation week; I ended up passing it though two weeks later. In fact, my entire MS-I PT experience was a struggle; even though I had gotten myself to pass the rest of the APFTs that year. I fell out of almost all of the ability group runs and struggled to ruck at a good pace. Things began to click for me when I realized I had to hit the gym and run on my own a couple days each out of the school week. By the end of MS-II year, I had started making consistent progress.

    Understand that ROTC is your opportunity to get yourself in shape. And those first two and a half years are critical so you get high scores on the OML APFTs. No one is expecting you to be a PT stud out of the gate; that's a part of development. Also understand that battalion PT will probably not be enough; you need to make the time to workout on your own at school. You can do it if you motivate yourself. Remember, you won't be alone, be sure to find others who can work out with you and help keep you accountable. Be consistent, be diligent, and put in quality work. Things will get better if you do that.
     
  9. adt98

    adt98 Member

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    I feel the exact same way! Don't worry, just keep the faith and keep working hard to improve pft. Easier said than done keep eating! I have the same problem
     
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  10. GoArmy22

    GoArmy22 Member

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    @rotcadet2021 I'll also be an MS-1 in August. I got cleared in late April for my ACL, so I'm prepping harder to make up for it. I started working out the Monday after graduation and have made significant progress until now. I'm also trying to develop the habit of staying hydrated and stretching to prevent injuries (or re-injury for me). I think you'll find that you have more space than you think, meaning when you're watching TV, you can always do a few sit-ups here and there. You don't have to go hardcore from the start. Track your progress from day 1, stay consistent, and adjust your workout if you're not getting good enough results. You have 3 weeks from today which is enough time IMO. I still have a lot of anxiety/nerves to get rid of, but working out and seeing good results has given me some confidence, and I hope it will for you too. The others who have posted before me have provided amazing advice/tips on working out. We will get through it :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
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  11. co2020fb

    co2020fb 5-Year Member

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    I'm going to have to disagree a little here. If you really want to get good run scores on the PFT/APFT you really need to be running more than twice a week. Obviously if you have not been running a lot don't jump in and start a plan that requires 50 mpw, just be aware you are really doing yourself a disservice if you are running less than 20 mpw for the PFT and depending on quality of your runs, 15 mpw for the APFT.
     
  12. brob

    brob Member

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    Thanks for chiming in with your input. Certainly, everyone starts their fitness level at a different place and therefore each one's workout needs are different. DD has been a varsity swimmer so was always in pretty good shape. She could already pass the APFT with no specialized prior training, even though running isn't her workout of choice since she sometimes has a bit of a tendency towards shinsplints. I forgot exactly what she told me as far as her scores are right now but her run times have been improving quite a bit, even though she only does about twice a week. Its working for her.