Rowing and USAFA

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by kl2021, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. kl2021

    kl2021 New Member

    Mar 24, 2018
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    I am currently an underclassman in high school, and so far throughout this time, I have been pursuing crew as my main sport. I have read that there is no crew team at USAFA, which is unfortunate, because I am very interested in it. I just have a couple questions for anyone that can answer them.

    1) If I pursue crew for the rest of high school, will that affect my chances of getting accepted into USAFA , since it is not a sport they have a team for?
    2)If I can participate in it for the rest of high school and still have a good chance of getting into the academy, would I have to pick another sport to participate in?(I play soccer as well) Or could I continue training for It on the exercise equipment in the work out rooms?
    3) If I cannot get into the academy with crew as my main sport, should I switch to soccer to have a better chance of getting in?

    Any answers are appreciated.
  2. VelveteenR

    VelveteenR Just gathering dust in the nursery...

    Jul 24, 2014
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    Apply to Navy. ;)

    Our son is a rower and rowed competitively throughout high school with no other sport experience. It's a great team sport and results in incredible fitness. Certainly, rowing will not impair your chances for admission, and I would bet that the AF workout rooms have ergs even if they don't have a rowing team as erging is a great form of aerobic exercise, but someone from AF would have to weigh in here as our son is army. I don't see any need to pick up another sport, at least not with regard to your competitiveness for admission. Crew will check all those boxes as well as any other sport as you are not being recruited for any. Given the time commitment for crew, I'm not sure how it would be possible to pick up another sport to any level of proficiency. I say stick with rowing and give it your all.

    I've posted this before, but I believe all of the academies know the level of discipline and effort that is crew; it's a sport like no other and speaks volumes to your level of endurance and commitment:

    Eat, sleep, row, repeat. And good luck.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
  3. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

    Sep 27, 2008
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    Do you want to be an Air Force Officer? Apply to USAFA and AFROTC. Look for schools with crew teams, but know that doing ROTC and a varsity sport is hard in terms of conflict management.
    If you are open to Navy service, apply to USNA.
    Look at the navysports website to see if you are competitive for the Navy team. Depending on what year of HS you are in, attend Navy crew camp in the summer, get to meet coaches and get a feel for USNA.

    If you are interested in attending a service academy, there’s a whole raft of other stuff you should be researching, exploring and planning.

    While sports and athletic activity are an important part of the SA life, their goal is to produce warriors, with a minimum of 5 years obligated service after graduation.

    To take a shot at your questions:

    1) No. SAs look at a wide range of skills, experience, achievements in athletics and academics. They need to know you are physically fit, have learned leadership and teamwork through your sport (whatever it is), understand commitment to training, and ideally, achieved a leadership role on the team.
    2) You can play as many sports as you like, but see Note 1. Focusing on one sport, developing mastery and attaining a leadership role is a perfectly fine way to go.
    3) See Note 1.

    If you haven’t read every page, dropdown and link on SA websites, I recommend it. They tell you what they are looking for.

    Here on SAF, use the Search function in individual forums to search “chance me” and “stats” threads for SA candidates. Read the Nominations forum. Read the Acronym List Sticky in Community Information.

    More about Navy crew:

    Penn has a fine NROTC unit and yes, crew.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
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  4. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

    Oct 10, 2007
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    Nothing looks better on your resume than STARTING a crew club, which goes to competitions. There. Problem solved.
    JRS92078 likes this.
  5. VTA10

    VTA10 New Member

    Apr 21, 2018
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    I graduated USAFA back in ‘03, so my data is a little dated. I grew up in Philadelphia and rowed for a very competitive high school. Besides rowing, I grew up playing lacrosse and was also a very competitive ski racer. I was fortunate to row at a high level and had opportunities to continue to row in college, but chose to attend USAFA because I wanted to be in the AF and have best chance at getting a pilot slot upon graduation. When at USAFA, I too found myself missing being on the water rowing and researched that there was a rowing club in Cherry Creek (Suburb of Denver) who row on the Cherry Creek Reservoir. I found a lot of prior rowers at the zoo, with various abilities, and found Cherry Creek rowing club to be accommodating. I founded a rowing club (short lived), by successfully getting an Active Duty Officer to act as a mentor for the club and we rowed on the weekends. As other people have stated, USAFA is not close to adequate water for a competitive program, so rowing on the weekend would be the only realistic option.

    Recommendation is for you to decide what your goals are: be commissioned in the Air Force, get an elite education and opportunities associated with it or prioritize collegiate competition in rowing along with education.

    I hope that helps from someone who lived it. Good luck!
  6. falconchic88

    falconchic88 5-Year Member

    Aug 28, 2009
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    Unless you are a recruited athlete, the sport or sports you do in high school will have little to do with the sports you do for intramurals at USAFA. If you are not a varsity athlete, (or in a club sport, in some cases), you will have to choose a sport each semester, your choices will vary. If participating in crew at an intercollegiate level is important to you, and you want to attend a service academy, I would suggest looking in to USNA.

    If I were you, and you love crew, I would not "switch" to soccer to get in. You would have to be at a very high level of soccer to be recruited at USAFA for soccer. If you aren't looking to be recruited, just playing one sport over another won't increase your chances of being accepted. The admissions panel won't look at whether or not USAFA offers your sport or not. Excelling and being a leader in whatever sport you love, whether USAFA offers it or not, will be more beneficial when it comes to your acceptance.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
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