Preparing for the plebe year?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by CA_USNA_Dad, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. CA_USNA_Dad

    CA_USNA_Dad Member

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    I would like to get some advice so that I can help my DD better prepare for her plebe year. In terms of academics, she has 4.0 gpa, but I personally don't think that 8th semester grades are as important as preparing for the future. Here is what she is currently planning or doing.

    She is planning to take the AP calculus exam. I'm not sure whether it would be useful at the academy but it's something that she wants to do. I advised her to forego some of the non-math/science AP exams. She is also taking an online physics course since she didn't take it in school. She also swims an average of 2.5 hours a day.

    What else should she prioritize between now and the plebe summer?
     
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  2. rjb

    rjb 5-Year Member

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    run, run & run!
     
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  3. CA_USNA_Dad

    CA_USNA_Dad Member

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    I have also heard that's important. She plans on doing that as soon as her high school swim season is over in May. Should she train for distance or for speed?
     
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  4. wannabeplebe

    wannabeplebe Member

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    A current midshipman that went to my high school car back to speak to some of us current applicants a few weeks back. He explained to us that USNA does not accept any AP credits for exempting classes, however, he was able to take placements tests at the academy to either exempt or start at a higher level course. For this reason, if taking the AP Calc exam will only add extra stress, I wouldn't worry about it, especially if she has committed to USNA. If she was still considering plans B-D, I'd advise orherwise.
     
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  5. Naval Architect Wannabe

    Naval Architect Wannabe Member

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    This is false. Some AP credits are taken, like a 5 on AP Lang or Lit will validate English I and there are many other AP validations as well. The information should be on the website.
     
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  6. brewer90

    brewer90 Member

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    DS is currently a plebe, so much of this is still fresh to me/us. Here's what I know;
    • Everything you want to know about AP and validating USNA classes is here. It's 73% comprehensible to me, but I suspect anyone else will get it with no problem.
    • Our plebe HATES running, and was a [expletive deleted] mule about putting in any distance prior to plebe summer. Became a source of some tension prior to I-Day. He survived plebe summer without too much physical difficulty (save for a pretty epic case of plebe hack.) So here's where I come out on this: these are highly motivated people, driven to succeed. They know what they can and should do to be successful, even if that path looks different from the one everyone else expects.
    • But, with even with the above in mind: Run. Push ups. Planks. Crunches. DS did admit to wishing he'd done more core strengthening.
    • Oh, and start drinking water now. Seriously.
     
  7. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

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    Looks like she has great academics. She can validate with some high AP scores in certain classes. I think placement tests are taken during Plebe Summer for all starting classes? DD had no problem with academics but she also said RUN, RUN, RUN. Annapolis humidity can be brutal especially if you come from a low humidity area. You think you can run and then the wet towel hits you in the face. I think "Plebe Hack" happens to almost all of them. Good Luck.
     
  8. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Take a look at the site that Brewer posted. That can help guide if an AP test could impact validation or not. If it won't impact a validation, I honestly wouldn't take it, but that has to be her decision. Honestly, she needs to get in shape and have some fun. Look she is going to have a long 10 months as a Plebe. Go have fun with her friends and family too. Its senior year, enjoy it along the way. She will look back at Plebe Summer as being easier than Plebe Year in many ways. You can't make your kid run, do push ups and sit ups. They have to want to do it. If she wants to do it she needs to be comfortable running up to 5-6 miles along with all the basics like push ups, sit ups, pullups. Core strength is critical for it all. If they don't want to do these things now, it will make their life much more miserable. But it is them that has get yelled at daily and be miserable all summer long. Plebe Hack is normal. Humidity sucks. So ensure to hydrate as much as possible the week of I Day. You mentioned she is a swimmer. If she doesn't do much land training or puts in lots of mileage now, ensure she researches a shin split program. The cross country coach as school or your local running store will have suggestions. Get fitted for good running shoes at a running store. Get in shape and have fun.
     
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  9. CA_USNA_Dad

    CA_USNA_Dad Member

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    As a competitive summer, DD hydrates all the time and has worked on core strength. She also does a decent job of running for a swimmer (her mile run in the CFA was just about 7 minutes). However, we also live in NorCal where humidity is almost nonexistent. How can she train for running in humidity? Also, many have said run, run, & run. Is running for endurance or for speed? Any help from runners would be appreciated.
     
  10. brewer90

    brewer90 Member

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    Ha! We're in NorCal as well. No way to prep for the humidity, other than just knowing it's going to be rough. We went back to Annapolis about 5 days early to acclimate a bit and adjust to a new time zone. Think it helped. As for running, IMHO it's more distance related than speed related.

    Please feel free to message me directly, and I can offer up whatever other NorCal-based advice I can think of.
     
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  11. Sydney C.

    Sydney C. 5-Year Member

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    The operative word here is "some" and...there are not "many" e.g. an English, Psychology, one or two more. Math is not one of them. It IS on the web site will show what requirements are necessary to attempt validation of classes.
     
  12. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    DD should enjoy her senior year. It's pretty clear what they need to do to get ready for Plebe Summer - those that train especially that run 2-3 miles more than once a day will have it a little easier than those that wish they had.

    Please don't waste any cycles stressing if they did or didn't work out enough prior - some will some won't. Enjoy your time with her - you won't have a lot of it going forward. (They will almost all tell you they wish they had trained at a least a little better)

    Plebe Summer sucks while at the same time being a wonderful experience. Apparently, no one avoids Plebe Hack.

    USNA will do their best to not allow anyone to validate a class they don't think is ready for the next one. The program is 47 months regardless of how many classes are validated. Everyone that is going is smart - not all will maintain a super high GPA - the goal is to graduate.

    If there is one thing to stress to your Plebe 2 B - be a good teammate - put that first and foremost. Part of being a good teammate is not being a drag, but everyone has strengths and weaknesses as well as good days and bad.

    You only get to be a senior in high school once - enjoy it. No matter what preparation is done for Plebe Summer - it will still be a shock to the system.

    The hardest thing about this entire process is getting the appointment.
     
  13. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    She will mostly run for distance during Plebe Summer. They build them up to around 5-6 miles. Most days are more in the 3-4 range. They will also some sprints, but nothing she shouldn't be able to handle if she has solid cardio. The PRT at USNA is only 1.5 miles long. If she can sustain a 5-6 mile run between 8-9 minutes she will be fine for Plebe Summer. You can't train for humidity. The better in shape she is and showing up hydrated will help. They do a fantastic job making Plebes drink tons of water and gatorade. Heat injuries are pretty low. Attrition is very low Plebe Summer, so most figure it out, I am sure your daughter will too.
     
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  14. 2020PrdPop

    2020PrdPop Member

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    Sounds like your DD is a sound academically (like most Candidates) so would suggest taking the AP exams, but she should not get too stressed over them. They get the chance validate several courses during the first week or so of Plebe Summer. It will work out, she will be fine.

    She should work out often. If she is not in shape (running, push ups and sit ups) its causes a lot of stress/mental fatigue which is the real challenge here. There are lots of "broken Plebes" (shin splints, twisted ankles, stress fractures, etc.) throughout the summer, if she is in good shape this reduces the chances of injury. My DS is a varsity swimmer and was in great shape in the pool, but running is a different story (shin splints).

    She will be told what to do and when to do it for the next year, so getting the "right" mindset is the biggest hurdle. Not being noticed is a goal. My DS said the Detailers did not even know his name till about week 3, he got through just fine. He thought reform (Hell-o night) and the weeks following were tougher due to the added academics and military training. Just tell your DD to take it one moment, one hour, one day at a time; days go slow-weeks go fast.

    Enjoy this time. The kid that walks into Alumni Hall on I-day will never be seen again (except in photos). I really love the Midshipman we have now, but the transformation can be challenging for some parents (ya, we had a little helicopter action going on in my house). Unlike other schools, you will be able to identify the moment your kid "leaves the nest".

    GO NAVY beat ARMY
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
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  15. hthp37

    hthp37 5-Year Member

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    MY mid validated over 20 credits, all from AP scores. They will take academic tests first week of Plebe summer also to see where they are.
    I've lived on the east coast most of my life and I'm still not acclimated to the humidity so I don't think there's much you can do to prepare for that. It's just part of the experience and you know, that whole misery loves company thing might help you through it. Bancroft has AC and the plebes are encouraged to stay hydrated. On the most blistering days, activities are limited to indoors.
    Running is good. Break in a couple pairs of running shoes as you get closer to IDay and bring them with you. It seems every summer there are Plebes who are hampered by shinsplints or stress fracture syndrome. You don't want to be a chit surfer so advise your daughter, who sounds like she has no cardio conditioning issues, to run, if for no other reason than getting the legs ready.
     
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  16. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Hardening up the legs is key - lots of running on hard surfaces, and chopping inside Bancroft. Good advice on getting shin-splint avoidance advice from a coach.

    Random sets of sit-ups, push-ups, planks throughout the day will mimic PS for all-around endurance. It's not just AM PEP, yay, done with those for the day.

    Before I went off to OCS, I received much of the same advice. One of my coaches recommended jumping rope as an added cardio for leg strength. I started out on the gym matted floor, at no particular pace, working my time up. I moved to the wooden floor, then the tiled corridor and outdoor concrete, increasing time and intensity gradually. Gradual increases are the key. Never had a problem with shin splints, very portable and weather-friendly addition.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
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  17. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    And my comment about running 2-3 miles/day more than once a day is not a reflection of how far they will run (I think they do work up to 5-6 mile runs) but more of a reflection of being on your feet all day and as Capt MJ stated chopping as well as running.
     
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  18. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

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    Chopping in Bancroft must have been rough on shin splints.
     
  19. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    For lurkers and the new crop of 2022's starting their visits, chopping is what plebes do inside of Bancroft Hall when moving around the passageways (corridors) outside their rooms. It's an indoor jog. Done in athletic shoes, dress shoes or boots. Up and down ladders (stairs) too... after a long day that started with PEP, various installments of other exercises throughout the day, a formation run of x miles - well, the calves are speaking up, and your shins, well, if this is a surprise to them, they will let you know it. And if you are on the top deck (floor), your quads and hammies will join in.

    There's a reason boxers jump rope. Legs are crucial. Big muscles get big tired.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  20. Just Dad

    Just Dad Member

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    I will probably post this again closer to I-day, but you asked. have your daughter read this https://jorules.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/some-words-for-the-cadre/

    The author was in the same class as hoops. He offers up a different perspective on Plebe Summer drawn from his Exp as a Detailer. I'd hold on to it until I-day minus a week or two before giving it to her. It helped my daughter (I found it and sent it during Plebe summer) to remember/understand that they weren't just jerking her around. That Detailers take what they do seriously (for the most part); the navy takes plebe summer seriously and that Detailers are learning from the Exp too. It was a good reminder to her that Plebe Summer is not a hazing exercise----- (she knew that going in but no sleep, constant exercise, big doses of apparent stupidity and occasional blind rage--had clouded her memory).

    The advice re running is dead on. My DD is an athlete and as tuff as they come when it comes to phys suffering. She was in great shape, but her joints became inflamed from the constant running. Distance didn't get her, the constant chopping (short stride) did. I'd have your daughter doing stairs (lots), but build up slowly.

    CA --California? lets hope she is still a US National come June 30. East Coast summer Humidity can suck the life from a West Coaster. There is a Humidity acclimation tech we used for our DD. Basically you run as usual--but you get into a hot bath for 30mins as your "cool down". You don't have to do it for more than a week before heading East. My DD said it seemed to help relative to others---- could have just been "in her head" but who cares it worked.

    Congrats------- BTW you are going to be blown away by the kids in her class, and the parents you'll meet on I-Day
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
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