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To do or not to do varsity swimming

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by jakesterhawaii, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. jakesterhawaii

    jakesterhawaii Member

    Nov 26, 2014
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    I am a senior seeking an appointment to West Point. Recently I have been really trying to focus on my grades and increasing my scores. I was on the varsity swim team last year and earned my letter. Should I continue to focus on academics/scores and not do varsity swimming this year or should I do swimming at the risk of my grades falling? Would another varsity letter be extremely beneficial?

    Edit: I should add that when I did swimming last year, my grades fell sharply.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
  2. MedB

    MedB Parent

    Dec 26, 2012
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    At this point in your senior year, the die is already cast so to speak in terms of grades submitted to a SA. Yes they will/may ask for your final semester grades to be forwarded to them; but that's typically to confirm their decision after the fact.

    If you are taking about setting yourself up for next year (ie reapplying in case you don't get in this year), then yes academics are the biggest part of the WCS. But the "whole" part of WCS means they wan't officer candidates that can somehow find ways to balance it all... including athletics. The SA's are a pressure cooker and time management against competing priorities is going to be a daily survival skill you will need to succeed.

    In any case, congrats on your desire to serve. Keep setting the bar high for yourself and success will follow. Good luck.
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Oct 21, 2010
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    This is something you'll need to wrestle with. Certainly an additional varsity letter at this point isn't of much, if any, use. Certainly the grades stuff is over as well unless you think they will totally tank. Of course the academy would say "Do both! Keep the grades up and swim!". In the end though, even at an academy, the grades are always the most important thing.
  4. civic29

    civic29 Member

    Aug 15, 2014
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    Something to keep in mind is that sometimes playing sports increases your academic prowess. I'm not sure why, but when I am in season I improve in my grades event though I was at school until 5:30.
  5. TotheTop

    TotheTop Member

    Dec 20, 2014
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    I may not have an exact answer for you, but just another consideration. I'm an '09 USMA grad and am still serving as an officer, so my cadet days are pretty far behind me. But I will tell you that if you are serious about the academy, you need to do swimming your senior year. Here's two reasons:
    1) A HUGE discriminator during selection is your participation in sports and whether you had a leadership role on any teams. Something like 90% of cadets were a team captain at some point. It will definitely benefit you to do swimming again senior year and be a team captain.
    2)Your grades are important, absolutely, but when you get to the academy, you're not going to get the option to take it easy physically just to focus on your grades. You will be expected to do your academics, play a sport (even if you're not on a varsity team you have to play intramurals), and maintain your military lifestyle. I worry that if you take it easy physically now, you wont be ready come go time at Beast. During your first summer, your physical condition will matter much more than your academics.

    I'm excited for your adventure, my time at USMA was amazing (very tough though). If you make it check out the skydiving team, it's the best gig USMA has to offer!

    If you have any other questions please let me know. Also, there is a cadet training website that has a great article on it about studying and time management, its cadettraining.net. It may help you with keeping things going senior year!

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