Sports vs Extracurricular during Covid


New Member
Sep 4, 2021
I have posted before about sports being affected by Covid, but being in a big city in California, it is hard to participate in sports. It is especially hard for me as if I get it, then my mom could have a possibility of being affected immensely as her immune system is weak due to her medications. Instead, I've been doing a lot of extracurriculars that I could do remotely. (Sidenote: I'm currently 11th grade and new to this platform. Any advice or critique is greatly appreciated.) I've been coding since 6th grade, so I've been actively doing coding competitions such as American Computer Science League (ACSL) and have been placed among the top 3 for Junior and Intermediate division in team and individual ever since I started (won't say which position for privacy reasons). I competed in Code Quest as well in the Novice division and got 3rd place. I've also reached USACO Silver but still working on getting to Gold. I've also been an active and founding member of our student-led organization that originated from the after-school tutor where I learn coding. I gave the idea of 3D printing face shields for frontline workers and used the 3D printer we won from ACSL to print over 300 face shields. I printed them at home and learned to add our organization logo and the aspects of 3D printing. Our organization also teaches coding for free from scratch to Python, I taught scratch to elementary kids for almost 3 seasons. I've also worked in a paid internship at AEOP that was focused on machine learning and learned a lot from it. I'm also part of the Boy Scouts and am a Life Scout. I've been completing many merit badges over quarantine in order to reach Eagle before admissions start, but my leadership position in the Troop is obscure as all the senior patrol leaders graduated over quarantine and we got a new Scout Master. For school clubs, I was part of the school newspaper and wrote articles mainly focusing on elections and politics. I was also elected to become Editor in Chief (highest leadership role in the club) by the board members and the teacher of the club. For sports, however, I've been trying to stay in shape whether that is doing a lot of jump ropes, walking as much as I can instead of getting a car ride, or doing push-ups. For school, I would say I am number 1 in my grade as being a transfer student, I was allowed to take a lot of AP's compared to my peers. Sports is starting up again in winter for my school, and I am probably going to join basketball. Any advice on which direction to take next, and advice or critique? Sorry if this seems like I'm bragging, I'm genuinely curious as people asked how I adapted to this unique situation like doing sports or physical activities social-distanced, but not really anything about extracurriculars. I'll also link to my first post about sports during Covid as well just in case.

A reasonable person would assume the selection boards are aware of the challenges presented by the 'rona, and are not kicking applications to the curb due to no sports in the last couple of years.

Eagle Scout requirements need to be finished NOW - one of my favorite scouts turns 18 Saturday, and I was helping him finish up a few things as late as this past Monday. He certainly isn't the only one in that situation. But finish for the sake of finishing something you started. Eagle Scout rank is kind of losing some of its prestige due to a lot of "things going on", but still is a good thing to have in your resume.

Sounds like your good in academics, and have some very good community service under your belt.

Barring sports, how would you do on an AFPT (physical fitness test), and how's your BMI? Google Army AFPT score card, and see where you fall. ROTC requires a 180 (60 in each of the 3 areas) as a minimum. Guessing SAs might have similar or higher requirements. As for your BMI, you want to be probably 80% or less of your max.

I see no mention of US Navy in your post, yet you posted in the USNA section. Must it be Navy Academy only? Why? There are 5 (6 if you count Space Force) branches of military. Anything wrong with looking at all of them? And must it be an SA? What's wrong with ROTC? Or OCS for that matter - a brainiac like you could probably bag a full ride scholarship or two without a military commitment.

Only advice I can give you is to ask yourself a lot of questions, then go looking for answers to those particular questions.
Yes, USNA Admissions is aware there is a pandemic going on, and it is affecting things that Candidates do , and do not do, That said, these times are an opportunity to demonstrate resiliency and creativity, not make excuses about what you can and can't do. It is up to you to make the most of the opportunities that are available.

I've been completing many merit badges over quarantine in order to reach Eagle before admissions start, but my leadership position in the Troop is obscure as all the senior patrol leaders graduated over quarantine and we got a new Scout Master.
I don't understand what you are saying.. your leadership position is not "obscure" -- you are either Senior Patrol Leader or not. That is a good thing to have on your record, but isn't in itself make or break. However, earning your Eagle is ...plenty of young men and women have earned their Eagle Scout award during COVID (I attend a dinner and recognized all of our Council's Eagles in April , and just attended and presented an Eagle Scout Award at a Court of Honor two weeks ago). Do not let COVID get in the way of completing your Eagle... as I have told many -- nobody is going to care 30 years from now that you were a Life Scout.

A final comment -- since I've seen it several times on SAF in the last few weeks. Yes, CFA is important if you don't have any sports background, but physical prowess is not the only reason that Service Academies encourage sports participation. Participation in sports develops teamwork, competitiveness, and leadership , all traits critical to success at a Service Academy.

Bottom line, while I understand the concern because of your Mother's vulnerability, don't let COVID control your life or future. Do your own risk analysis, and find ways to demonstrate those characteristics that Service Academies are looking for -- ie.. well rounded excellence in Academics, Leadership, Athletics and commitment to Service.. Oh, and earn that Eagle Scout ! Good Luck !