USNA Club Sports

Ravens

Member
Are the coaches of USNA Club teams permitted to actively recruit athletes or is this communication with athletes not allowed by Club coaches? My DD is being recruited and has attended several camps and spoken consistently with the coaching staff of a NCAA D1 sport at West Point for the last year or so. However, the sport she plays is NOT a D1 sport at USNA. As a recruited athlete, there is definitely some advantages in terms of admissions if a coach wants a particular athlete. For example, in speaking to several members of this NCAA D1 team, many of the girls state that they didn't even know about West Point until the coach contacted them at a tournament to gauge their interest. Several of these players were eventually admitted with baseline SAT scores around 1200, and since they never imagined a service academy life, they did not take the rigorous course load in high school or participate in all the EC's and leadership positions. It obvious that the coaching staffs were able to put their fingers on the scale and assist with these recruits being admitted since they are athletes. I am curious as to if the club coaches at the USNA carry any weight in the admissions process or does this privilege only pertain to the D1 sports.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
Others can respond to your direct questions with good specifics, I am sure.

No doubt your DD is focusing on non-sports related considerations too, and IMHO, what service she sees herself serving in is the key. USNA and USMA are, by their nature, widely divergent in officer career paths. She could figure that part out, work backwards to the commissioning source that fits her best, and enjoy playing her sport at either place. Same approach to possible ROTC Plan B.

She can contact the USNA club coaches to express interest. I think, not absolutely sure, they are not governed by NCAA rules. Her HS sports involvement, along with the other elements of the well-rounded candidate, will give her a fair shot.

Yes, Div 1 coaches can express interest, and yes, there can be "blue chip" candidates, but being recruited does not automatically equal an appointment. There are all kinds of opinions on this, but successful HS athletes are assumed to have skills as team leaders, followers and time managers, who know how to commit to something. They also have to bring enough other stuff to the table. "Enough" can look like more average grades and other elements.

I am only offering these thoughts because I, and many who are BGOs and USNA grads and former varsity athletes who post here, have seen too many SA varsity athletes focus on the sport, and not their fit at a school designed to produce warfare officers for a minimum of 5 years, whether Navy or Army.

It's not about where she can get in most easily with her sports skills, it's where she will find her best fit, her overall happiness and a shot at doing something she likes as an officer in the years after graduation.

The recruiting coaches, in general, do their best at giving candidates the whole picture. Every year, though, there are recruited athletes who seem surprised at the military nature of the school and the reality of immersion military life, and the sheer hard work. Some leave.

I suggest your DD pursue both equally, take advantage of invited visits (official D1 recruiting), CVWs, independent visits with you if she can, so she can get a feel for what it means to be a cadet or mid on the path to a service obligation as a warrior, who happens to also play a sport at the school. The more knowledge she gets, from a variety of sources, the better able she will be able to say, "US_A is where I am meant to be."
 
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Ravens

Member
Captain MJ, thank you for the advice. I agree with what you are saying about some recruited athletes not understanding the rigors of attending an academy and all that it truly entails. My DD is planning to apply to both USNA and USMA and from our conversations, I believe her heart may be leaning towards Annapolis. She has applied to NASS (crickets from admissions so far on that front), but she did receive and invite for a CVW the other day and has completed the paperwork to attend in the end of April. She would love to continue to play the sport she loves on a competive level but she is not sure she wants to do it at a D1 level. She has had multiple offers from Plan B, C, and D schools and just can't pull the trigger on accepting a verbal offer because she wants to continue to peruse the SA route. I am going to have her reach out to the USNA club coach just to show interest and establish a relationship just in case she happens to be fortunate enough to be selected for admittance.
 
If I can chime in? My DS has played Water Polo since he was 12. Varsity the last 2 years and Varsity swimming 4 years. [We live in CA...wp is HUGE here and his HS team is one of the best in the State.] Is he a recruited athlete? No. In fact, his coach (upon finding out that he had an Appointment) asked DS if he wanted he (the coach) to talk to the WP Coach at USNA (competitive). I never did NCAA "clearinghouse" stuff because I knew he wasn't going to get a scholarship to play (nor was that his desire/passion). He is a very good WP player, but not MVP by any stretch. He is also 5'7" which is SHORT for WP. (I know, I looked at the stats of the USNA WP team too!) He said "No". He wants to explore his other options and although he loves the sport, is not sure (a) - He's good enough to play on the competitive Team and (b) that THAT kind of a commitment might give him less time to focus on studies/service/all the demands of the Academy. He is thinking about playing club...but has some other interests as well. If your DD wants USNA over and above Plan B-D, I would encourage her to focus on getting the good grades, hard work and EC's. My DS's standardized scores were slightly under the mid point...but his GPA is great, great class standing and was fortunate enough to get a Principal Nom. Incidentally, he also has friends on full rides to D1 schools...but they wish they didn't "HAVE to play" in college. Best of luck to her.
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
No club sports won't have any sway with admissions in regards to a possible blue chip. They are rare on the varsity side. You can reach out to the coaches to ask questions and as mentioned, since it's club they don't have to follow NCAA contact guidelines. Apply to the SAs that she is interested in. Focus on the service she is interested in and drive backwards from there.
 

applejack12

New Member
Does your daughter play softball? I recently received my appointment to the Academy and I began contact with the coach two summers ago. The coach was very receptive, but made it clear that he does not actively recruit; however, he did say that if he ever came to my area he would try to come to some of my games. He was very helpful with my application process, answering questions and making sure I was staying on track. Once I got my appointment he even offered me the chance to visit and talk with some of his players if I had any questions about the program and such. So overall club coaches do not recruit, but are a helpful resource and contact at the Academy.
 

Ravens

Member
Applejack, thanks for the advice. Yes, she does play softball. She has been playing "A" and "Gold" since 10U. She loves the sport, but she doesn't want to necessarily "HAVE" to play at the next level in order to keep a scholarship. Hence, she has avoided the verbal commitments until she has given everything she can to the SA process. We have always stressed that sports are just tools to use to open a door or a window in this process. Nobody is going PRO so you one must have an education first and foremost. Annapolis is less than an hour from our home and we have started to look at possibly going to catch a few club games to see what the level of competition looks like. Her only concern was that she didn't want to bother the coach and become a distraction to the process. It is good to hear that the coach is very engaged and willing to assist and answer and questions.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
Applejack, thanks for the advice. Yes, she does play softball. She has been playing "A" and "Gold" since 10U. She loves the sport, but she doesn't want to necessarily "HAVE" to play at the next level in order to keep a scholarship. Hence, she has avoided the verbal commitments until she has given everything she can to the SA process. We have always stressed that sports are just tools to use to open a door or a window in this process. Nobody is going PRO so you one must have an education first and foremost. Annapolis is less than an hour from our home and we have started to look at possibly going to catch a few club games to see what the level of competition looks like. Her only concern was that she didn't want to bother the coach and become a distraction to the process. It is good to hear that the coach is very engaged and willing to assist and answer and questions.
Nothing wrong with emailing the coach to introduce herself, indicate interest in coming to a game to watch, perhaps name a specific one, and let further invitations flow from there. Lean in, with courtesy.
 

Ravens

Member
Navyhoops, can you clarify this statement, "Essentially he is an important dude in the admissions process".

I understand that this coach works at the Academy daily, but are you saying that the coach does have input on the admissions decision.
 
Navyhoops, can you clarify this statement, "Essentially he is an important dude in the admissions process".

I understand that this coach works at the Academy daily, but are you saying that the coach does have input on the admissions decision.
It depends on the sport. D2 and D1 sports require knowledge of the NCAA rules, so those recruiting coaches usually become the BGO for that student. Some Club sport coaches have work in departments that give them access to application knowledge.
 
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