Sport or band?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by amc, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. amc

    amc Member

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    I am a freshmen in high school and I am very set on going to a service academy. I am in band and I may even have a leadership position (pit leader) in there next year. I also am the only female goalkeeper in my town. I made the girls varsity soccer team and would be starting goalie. I love both of the activities very much. However, the two schedules are kind of conflicting and I am not sure if I would be able to continue with both. Which extracurricular activity would be best for being competitive for the academy?
    Thank you for any advice
     
  2. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    Varsity sports.
     
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  3. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Varsity Soccer. Go for captain
     
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  4. fnatic fanatic

    fnatic fanatic Member

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    Current MIDN 4/c. I did band for four years in high school, and also played a varsity sport (rugby) for my last two years in high school.

    Definitely varsity sports are weighed heavier than band for admission purposes. If you had to chose, chose sports. Varsity team sports develop character traits that are simply not developed elsewhere.

    Band is fun and all but it doesn't keep you a) as physically prepared as a varsity sport does, and arguably, b) doesn't develop the same teamwork mentality that sports do.
     
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  5. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    I have a daughter who is at USMA and a high school junior who is in band. People do not understand the time commitment and team work associated with band. My daughter is a DIV I athlete and I promise my son spends more time practicing for band. The leadership traits are similar.

    You should do what you are passionate about not what “may” make your application look better.
     
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  6. TechFlier7

    TechFlier7 Member

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    A lot of people will say to do sports, because that is the main focus of USNA. But it really doesn't matter what you do, it matters how you do it. Whatever it may be, become a leader in it and influence it well. Do what you love to do because it is high school and you don't want to regret doing this when you really wanted to do that. If you can try to find a way, do both soccer and band.

    All I know is that there are some people who are captain of this and that sport, and have whole alphabet of all these so-called letters, whatever a "letter" may be (as you can tell I have never done much with sports) and they end up unfortunately not getting in, while those who have zero sports get a spot. Doesn't mean that sports isn't important, it really is. And I advise you do sports as well, but if you love band, then try to find a way to do it and excel in it, and as long as you can show the Academies the passion and persistence you put into whatever it is you choose to end up pursuing, from the little that I know, you shouldn't worry too much about anything.
     
  7. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO 10-Year Member

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    Below stats are pulled directly from the class profile -- these are stats, not conjecture or anyone's opinions. 8% of the class didn't play varsity sports (not sure what it is without junior varsity)...so there is some wiggle room if one isn't a stellar athlete, but on the flip side, 92% played a varsity sport. Musical experience is slightly over a quarter of each class. If there is a way to do both, then that is the best of both worlds. The CFA will, most likely, get more scrutiny without any sporting background. Is it possible to do only band and receive an appointment? Absolutely, but for the average candidate, the odds/stats are not in one's favor. If you go "the band only" route for H.S. activities, I would HIGHLY recommend some other type of athletics -- i.e. out of school sport, running local road races to demonstrate you are in shape, etc.

    Edit: Remember, the USNA's mission is to: "Develop midshipmen morally, mentally, and physically..."

     
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  8. time2

    time2 10-Year Member

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    ^^ I agree. Top candidates you will be competing against for an appointment find a way to excel in MULITPLE areas. The fact one activity takes up a lot of your time, doesn't necessarily make it valuable to USNA. You need to prioritize how you spend your available time while in h.s. No one goes to USNA to major in music, but you will be expected to keep up with your classmates during the daily physical activities of Plebe summer, regardless of your h.s. background.
     
  9. bopper

    bopper Member

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    Stick with being a goalie and talk to your band director about if you can fit band in too.
     
  10. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    You can also play goalie and then pick up an extra curricular music program (jazz band, community orchestra etc.)
     
  11. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    Your question went to being more competitive for a SA. For USNA admissions purposes, no question varsity sports is better. However, USNA is also far from a certain thing for anyone. As a freshman, you still have a LONG way to go and lots of things can happen along the way, not the least of which is 2+ more years to do sports and activities.

    You gotta do what you love and love what you do. If you love soccer and band equally and want to improve your USNA chances, do soccer. If your true love is band, then do that this year. You can always reconsider next year and beyond.
     
  12. dakine

    dakine Member

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    ^^Great feedback here. Varsity/club level sports leadership is huge and should be have a special priority. Athletics is an integral part of USNA.

    Music is also very well represented at USNA. According to the Class of 2020 snapshot, 30% of the class has "Musical Activities (Band, Chorus, Etc.)". There are many talented musicians at the academy involved in everything from D&B to Glee.

    I encourage you to find a way to manage your time and do an excellent job at both music and athletics as well as other leadership activities. Talk to your coaches and teachers and explain your goals. I think you will find them encouraging and helpful.
     
  13. billyb

    billyb 5-Year Member

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    It would be an interesting stat if you could see, but probably have no way to, the % that have band, but no varsity sports. I am sure lots of those with band also have varsity sports.
     
  14. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

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    Do both!
     
  15. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Do you know why an oboe is better than a clarinet?
    An oboe burns longer!

    How do you know a drummer is at the door?
    The knock speeds up!

    How do you know a bass-player is at the door?
    He asks; "Did you order the pepperoni?"

    (Do sports)
     
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  16. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    ^^^^^ First time I have truly laughed on SAF..
    Well done THParent!

    The truth is here is certainly a correlation between people who learn an instrument well and the self discipline necessary to excel at a service academy or any other endeavor, and I suspect that there are leadership opportunities in a band. (I don't know...my efforts on the trumpet loooong ago were dismal !). That being said, sports certainly carries more weight at USNA (and presumably other service academies). Starting goalie on the HS soccer team is impressive, and if you play the cards right, you could be the Captain of the team by Senior year...that would have far more impact than oboe section leader. (But oboes burn better than soccer balls too).
     
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  17. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB 10-Year Member

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    I recommend trying to find a way to do both, but backing down the band commitment to give you enough time to excel at soccer. What that looks like for you, I can't say. Perhaps it means staying in band, but not marching band. Or, if you have a flexible band director, work out a way to miss some marching band rehearsals. If you are in the pit, this is a little easier because you aren't a hole in drill on the field. This is exactly what I did.

    I looked at the tennis and band calendars and made it so I'd be present for all major band performances, then I skipped almost half of marching band practice to go to tennis.

    Another option to keep a high level of band involvement would be to do concert band and possibly jazz band if your school has one (you could play vibes/misc percussion). Often that is a less rigorous performance schedule. Or in a similar vein, join a community group that has a smaller time commitment.

    The point of all this is, don't totally quit band if you can help it because music is awesome (I still play multiple instruments in a community orchestra) but the sport will be more valuable and should be prioritized
     
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  18. Cdkd

    Cdkd Member

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    Since you are freshman, you have plenty of time to prepare for service academies. We did not even think about it until 10/2016 when my son received CWV invitation. Luckily while preparing him for Congress-Bundestag Student Exchange program, those activities are also important for the academies besides rigorous course loads. Only one student was selected in our region and my son was the first alternative. But he got a lot of experience from doing YMCA Youth Legislative and Mock Trial in 9th and 10th grades. Whatever you do, you have to shine from your peers. My son gave up basketball because he could not do those 2 activities if he played in the team. However, he does Varsity golf in the Spring and usually games are during the class time so he missed a lot of classes. Since he is always studying ahead of time, he did not have to do make up test or classes. He also gave up youth symphony but he continues to do ensemble in the community and competing annually. In the spare time, he volunteer at the public library and serve lunch for veterans at the VA in the week end. He also revitalizes the school chess team go on to win 3rd place at regional competition last year. From our experience: you should manage your time wisely, ask your parents for help and guidance so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
     
  19. time2

    time2 10-Year Member

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    If you wait until your junior/senior year of h.s. to learn about SA's, chances are you will already be behind your peers who you are competing against for an appointment. No one joins the Track team (for example) in senior year and suddenly has the best times. Typically, top athletes work on their sport all through h.s. to improve, get better athletically and develop leadership skills.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  20. Landy91

    Landy91 Member

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    I'd recommend accurately assessing which one you like best. Not just now, but think about 4 or 5 years from now, then make that your priority, while coordinating participation in the other activity, if possible.
    If I were to choose, I'd say soccer over band, but nobody can make this decision for you. Either way, keep the Oboe away from the fire!
     
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