Sad mom moment - DS & baseball


5-Year Member
Feb 4, 2015
I'm posting here on the forum because it's about the only place where people understand the repercussions of all of the high school decisions when your DS wants to apply to a SA.

Here's my story:
Twin DS boys, high school freshman, both want to serve as military officers and are strong STEM students. DS1 working toward USMA. DS2 working toward USNA. Both are honors students, athletes, student council.

DS1 loves baseball - it's his #1 sport - tryouts were today - he made it.

DS2 loves baseball - but is not as strong of a player. He is a runner - ran varsity cross country, only freshman to earn a varsity letter, and selected All District cross country - he did NOT make baseball.

I'm having one of those moments where I'm just really sad for him. I can tell he's worried because he knows the importance of team sports to USNA (we went to an application forum last year where they talked about it). He's an awesome runner - but he wants to focus on football/baseball because of the team aspect. Unfortunately, that option (for baseball) is closed to him.

I hurt for him, but he's trying to bounce back. He said that he's going to talk to the coach and Monday and say that he's going to improve his skills and try out next year, that he still would like to be a part of the team (to support DS1 & teammates) and ask if he could be Team Manager.

My questions: Should he put this behind him and throw everything he's got into the upcoming track season instead?

Should he run track, but still try managing the baseball team, to show his dedication, work on his skills, and tryout again next year?

17 boys tried out, and the 8 freshmen who made JV are year- round select baseball players (DS1 is one of these). DS2 doesn't play Fall baseball, because it interferes with cross country. He is worried that cross country wouldn't make him as strong of a candidate for USNA as baseball would - but baseball is no longer an option for him this year. :(

Frustrated, sad, and overwhelmed that what happens so early in high school can impact how strong a candidate a student is as a senior. Argh.
If DS2 is a strong runner, track would seem to be a no brainier. He would likely have a better experience in track than to manage a team he was cut from, my son managed a basketball team that he was cut from with the intention to play later in the season. It was not a good experience for him.
Hell, high school freshman? 14-15 years old? Relax........lots of years ahead to do things, succeed at some, fail at others. Life experiences.

Whether he wants to be ta rack athlete or baseball team manager is up to him. Whatever his passion tells him to do.

Keep getting good grades, doing all that other good stuff to get into college and be a potential officer, be a good kid, etc.

Chill. There's kids his age his with cancer, or with abusive drunken parents, drugs, crime-ridden neighborhoods, lotsa really bad stuff.

Life is good.

Work your hardest and good things will happen.

And, remember, most Naval officers are not ring-knockers from Annapolis.
I'm posting here on the forum because it's about the only place where people understand the repercussions of all of the high school decisions when your DS wants to apply to a SA.

IMHO, You have the answer, " put this behind him and throw everything he's got into the upcoming track season instead"

I have always followed this profound bit of advice (which is an extension of your answer, above) :

"Find out what it is in life you don't do well....and then..don't do that thing.."
As a mom, I feel your pain. I have five kids, close in age (all born in less than 8 years), no twins though. But what I do know is that no two of my kids are alike. They may share some similar interests but they all have different thoughts on their futures, just like your twins aiming for Army and Navy. They also have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Congratulations to your son who made the team! And condolences for the son who did not. While sports are important to a SA, I don't think "what" sport matters as much as how well he does and if he is able to gain improvement and/or captain or leadership. It might be that he followed his brother into baseball but his strength lies in track instead. (Maybe even another sport altogether!) I would encourage your son to find his own unique "niche" that he can excel at. There is plenty of time over the next 3 1/2 years for him to make progress, take chances and excel. Especially with track, where succeeding is based on times and numbers.

Give your son time to grieve and mope, he tried and didn't make it and that is hard. But then tell him to pick himself back up and figure out what his end goal is - a SA or baseball? If it's not dreams of MLB that he has but it's a SA instead, then get him to recognize that part of being a leader is learning to understand his own strengths and weaknesses. Find his strengths, and capitalize on them!

Good luck to you and both your sons!
I do need to relax! And I do think I need to encourage him to go 100% toward track. I know this is part of life and that learning to regroup and move on will ultimately make him a stronger person. I feel guilty that we're not out celebrating for DS1 - it's just kind of awkward.
I do need to relax! And I do think I need to encourage him to go 100% toward track. I know this is part of life and that learning to regroup and move on will ultimately make him a stronger person. I feel guilty that we're not out celebrating for DS1 - it's just kind of awkward.
I would not feel guilty, I'm sure he's proud of his brother! And I'm thinking of the killer essay this experience could make for DS2. :)
You make it sound like playing baseball is the only sport that will get him into USNA, that is incorrect. I wouldn't obsess about that and it already sounds like running is where he can excel (which is also a 'team' sport). Don't turn it into some kind of competition with his brother, they may each be successful in different ways. Encourage both of them to do the things they like, can excel at and see where it leads. There are many different paths that can lead to a SA appointment.

They are only h.s. freshman and should enjoy h.s. and see where it may lead them.
Your right about one thing, the guys may not like it much but this is one place where we understand how much it hurts when our kids suffer. As I have mentioned numerous times on this blog, I have one that is a Mid at USNA and one that we thought was even more qualified who failed to secure a single appointment out of 3 nominations to different SA's. Talk about Ouch. So yes I do feel your pain.

Ok, Now shake it off. After many corrections form my fellow posters, I am learning to quantify my answers so I will say, I have come to believe.... that the academies are not looking so much for Sports Participation. Almost anyone can participate if they are diligent.

They are looking for Team/Club/Actives Leadership. So your son who is not so gifted at Baseball may very well have been wasting a lot(Baseball is very time intensive) of time playing mediocre ball, We all know those are not the types that get to be team Captain. The Coach probably did him a favor. Now his time is freed up to pursue something he can excel in.

So re-look this thing as a blessing, figure out a team something he could do, maybe just compete on track and Lead the Debate Team. You have a great jump start time wise. He could even start something to Lead. Doesn't have to be top slot, can be vice, or treasurer etc..
But Leadership, leadership leadership.

Oh on that vein several of the clubs and Class president type things require one year as Vice before you can run as Pres. so get spun up on those, and when different elections are.
We have sponsored many midshipmen over the years - 4/5 new plebes/year since 1996 - and many have been non football/baseball. In fact, I would say most. Many track, some volleyball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, swimming, diving, crew, softball, tennis, rugby. A good sprinkling of unusual sports, such as elite figure skating, martial arts, triathlete, equestrian.

Well-rounded comes in many flavors. Participating in a sport demonstrates fitness and understanding of discipline and routine, as well as time management. Working as part of a team can be shown in other ways, as can leadership.

There is elasticity in the Whole Candidate model.
I think you are right, and that I need to see it as a blessing in disguise. DS2 would be a baseball participant - not a starter or a leader. He needs to go in the direction where he is a great competitor & leader. I need to be thankful that he has the ability to do that.

LDH - How have things turned out for your younger one?
For what it's worth my DS wanted to play baseball. Didn't make it. Never looked back. 12 season track/cross country kid. Captain of CC. Ran a 5:29 for his CFA. For an LOA. It's not the end of the world. Tell him to listen to what the universe is telling him.
IMHO your DS should do the sport(s) he enjoys. My DS did 4 yrs of Varsity swimming - not a "team" sport like football & definitely not a contact sport. Didn't do any other sport in HS. So many factors in the WCS.
Laurantwins, I DS begin his HS years just having moved in from another state and the one thing his dad and I told him..we didn't care which sport (outside of football..didn't have the body type for it) he just needed to be in one. We wanted him to learn about comittment. The afternoon we registered him he was in the HS pool learning a new sport called Waterpolo....that night he came home and we ask him what he thought and he said a bit sore but he loved the sport and said it was a great way to get in shape....he went Varisty and played all 4 yrs of HS. In the off season he was on the swim team all 4yrs as well. Yes, team sport is something looked at, however, I like to think that the indication of "commitment" is something that is looked at as well. Your son needs to pick the sport that suits him best and "commit" to it..own it.. and do the utmost best that he can in that sport or sports. My son was never a team captain however he played with everything he had in both waterpolo and swim. PS...if his HS has it..waterpolo is a great team sport...builds character in lots of ways
It would be more important to varsity letter and captain cross country and track then to be a member of the baseball team. Focus on track and CC. Try out for baseball again if the passion still exist. But, either path can lead to that appointment.
Tryout for other sports. Also, remember that volunteering is also great on his resume for USMA. Anything he does he needs to write down so he can show he can handle everything. Good luck!!!
Relax. Some people make it into SAs without high school sports.
The particular sport your son chooses has relatively little to do with selection. The SAs like sports because athletics is important. If they can show leadership and teamwork, that is an added bonus.

Your son will be happy he excelled in running as he progresses through all the different training he will encounter. The importance of endurance is often underestimated by many new cadets.

I agree, your son will get just as much attention with Varsity XC and Track, Captain of either or both would be a much larger plus then just a member of the Baseball team.

Best of luck to both your sons.