Varsity Sports for West Point

FlannelGuy621

New Member
Looking into the the acceptance rates and statistics for West Point, I noticed the number of Varsity athletes accepted was quite high. I don't participate in any athletics at my high school, but am a first degree black belt in Taekwondo, and a instructor for other students at my dojang. Is this a viable substitute for a varsity sport? Also, I read on a different forum that being an Eagle Scout is a relatively good alternative to varsity sports, and I anticipate getting my Eagle before applying to West Point, is that accurate?

Any replies are appreciated, thank you.
 
I'm no expert but the 'problem' with martial arts, if you will, is that it's not a team sport and they like to see participation in team sports. A West Point rep told me this, but I'm sure that there are exceptions. My son, like you, did martial arts for many years and also taught the lower level classes, but he also played hockey, so he did have a team sport.

My understanding is that the Eagle Scout award is applied to the leadership category and not the sports category.

All that said, you should still apply to WP. And also for an ROTC scholarship.
 

FlannelGuy621

New Member
I'm no expert but the 'problem' with martial arts, if you will, is that it's not a team sport and they like to see participation in team sports. A West Point rep told me this, but I'm sure that there are exceptions. My son, like you, did martial arts for many years and also taught the lower level classes, but he also played hockey, so he did have a team sport.

My understanding is that the Eagle Scout award is applied to the leadership category and not the sports category.

All that said, you should still apply to WP. And also for an ROTC scholarship.
In regards to martial arts being an individual sport, do you believe that if I were to enroll in my Dojang's "team" for competitive sparring, and be named captain of said team, that would qualify as a team sport? Looking at something similar to tennis, as it's an individual sport, but has a team with a captain.
 

USMA 1994

Member
The importance of sports is the teamwork that is developed by participation and working towards common goals. The Army is a team and all the things you learn form sports would help to make you a successful officer.

They admission process recognizes both team and individual sports and then also looks for leaders (Captains) of those sports. Being Captain of a sparing team would reflect well on your application. You would discuss in interviews and essays how you worked as a team to achieve common goals. The individual sports also have a team component. There are different weights to each activity, like captain of the football team is worth more than being captain of the tennis team but if you are captain of tennis and track, you would get close to the same amount of points. You shouldn't let that stop you from applying. Do your best at the things you are passionate about and let things work out as they may.
 

MidwestDad

Member
I agree with all above; absolutely make sure to emphasize your leadership role via instructing others and if you are named captain etc. of your sparring team / squad that is a good thing. Eagle Scout is a big plus to your overall candidate score but not a substitute for athletics.

I have no inside info but suspect candidates with team sports [especially multiple team sports] may have a perceived advantage due to the stated qualities involved. Athletics of any kind are important but the SAs aren't looking for individual achievers - they are looking for leaders who contribute to group success. But varsity swimming / wrestling / track etc are mostly individual events and aren't viewed as negatives.

BTW don't forget the CFA events; I cannot say how well martial arts prepares you for the basketball throw so be prepared . . .
 
I don't know much about West Point because I only applied to the USAFA, but I was in the same boat as you. 1st degree black belt in TKD, assistant instructor at my dojang, coached sparring as well. Didn't play any team sports in high school, wasn't an eagle scout, but last week I received my appointment to the Academy last week. I know these academies are different, but I just wanted to share my experience. Good luck!
 

Artillery

Member
Looking into the the acceptance rates and statistics for West Point, I noticed the number of Varsity athletes accepted was quite high. I don't participate in any athletics at my high school, but am a first degree black belt in Taekwondo, and a instructor for other students at my dojang. Is this a viable substitute for a varsity sport? Also, I read on a different forum that being an Eagle Scout is a relatively good alternative to varsity sports, and I anticipate getting my Eagle before applying to West Point, is that accurate?

Any replies are appreciated, thank you.
Everything is based on this point system, with leadership, service, academics, and athletics all factored in. I'm sure if you do special things with your taekwondo (i'm not sure if they do service stuff like eagle scouts or if you have some kind of leadership position), they'll factor that in which will be a unique plus on the point system. Also, it is athletic in a sense, so it may add points there, but because it's not the conventional route, you may have trouble there.

Based on the skill set (a bit of bias here, too ;)) i'd say join XC for the fall or track if it's not too late just to add in that you have a sport, and if you're athletic ability is translatable (which i think it may be), you could even quickly get varisty because a sport like track is based solely on how fast you go, not who the coach already has picked out.

You're an instructor, which is leadership and I guess could be service too if youre not paid, which helps a lot. Anyways, just keep on keeping on, but 1) reach out to your FF rep and ask him what he thinks and 2) just stack up as much as you can, your attitude shouldn't be "will this work?" but more along the lines of "what more can I do?". Because sure, you may be able to get away with it, but why take the risk when you can just do your best to add more stuff onto the resumé (obviously doing each to the best of your ability).

Thats just my two cents, I'm applying just like you, so good luck!
 

FlannelGuy621

New Member
Looking into the the acceptance rates and statistics for West Point, I noticed the number of Varsity athletes accepted was quite high. I don't participate in any athletics at my high school, but am a first degree black belt in Taekwondo, and a instructor for other students at my dojang. Is this a viable substitute for a varsity sport? Also, I read on a different forum that being an Eagle Scout is a relatively good alternative to varsity sports, and I anticipate getting my Eagle before applying to West Point, is that accurate?

Any replies are appreciated, thank you.
Everything is based on this point system, with leadership, service, academics, and athletics all factored in. I'm sure if you do special things with your taekwondo (i'm not sure if they do service stuff like eagle scouts or if you have some kind of leadership position), they'll factor that in which will be a unique plus on the point system. Also, it is athletic in a sense, so it may add points there, but because it's not the conventional route, you may have trouble there.

Based on the skill set (a bit of bias here, too ;)) i'd say join XC for the fall or track if it's not too late just to add in that you have a sport, and if you're athletic ability is translatable (which i think it may be), you could even quickly get varisty because a sport like track is based solely on how fast you go, not who the coach already has picked out.

You're an instructor, which is leadership and I guess could be service too if youre not paid, which helps a lot. Anyways, just keep on keeping on, but 1) reach out to your FF rep and ask him what he thinks and 2) just stack up as much as you can, your attitude shouldn't be "will this work?" but more along the lines of "what more can I do?". Because sure, you may be able to get away with it, but why take the risk when you can just do your best to add more stuff onto the resumé (obviously doing each to the best of your ability).

Thats just my two cents, I'm applying just like you, so good luck!
You mentioned "service" after leadership in reference to teaching martial arts, I haven't heard that used in conjunction with applications to West Point before. Could you elaborate?
 

Artillery

Member
Looking into the the acceptance rates and statistics for West Point, I noticed the number of Varsity athletes accepted was quite high. I don't participate in any athletics at my high school, but am a first degree black belt in Taekwondo, and a instructor for other students at my dojang. Is this a viable substitute for a varsity sport? Also, I read on a different forum that being an Eagle Scout is a relatively good alternative to varsity sports, and I anticipate getting my Eagle before applying to West Point, is that accurate?

Any replies are appreciated, thank you.
Everything is based on this point system, with leadership, service, academics, and athletics all factored in. I'm sure if you do special things with your taekwondo (i'm not sure if they do service stuff like eagle scouts or if you have some kind of leadership position), they'll factor that in which will be a unique plus on the point system. Also, it is athletic in a sense, so it may add points there, but because it's not the conventional route, you may have trouble there.

Based on the skill set (a bit of bias here, too ;)) i'd say join XC for the fall or track if it's not too late just to add in that you have a sport, and if you're athletic ability is translatable (which i think it may be), you could even quickly get varisty because a sport like track is based solely on how fast you go, not who the coach already has picked out.

You're an instructor, which is leadership and I guess could be service too if youre not paid, which helps a lot. Anyways, just keep on keeping on, but 1) reach out to your FF rep and ask him what he thinks and 2) just stack up as much as you can, your attitude shouldn't be "will this work?" but more along the lines of "what more can I do?". Because sure, you may be able to get away with it, but why take the risk when you can just do your best to add more stuff onto the resumé (obviously doing each to the best of your ability).

Thats just my two cents, I'm applying just like you, so good luck!
You mentioned "service" after leadership in reference to teaching martial arts, I haven't heard that used in conjunction with applications to West Point before. Could you elaborate?
I mean like, do you volunteer, help build things, do service related stuff with taekwondo? I know that with at least eagle scouts, you do projects. I do stuff with my track team.

If you aren't paid, then as an instructor, you're serving your community by teaching kids taekwondo. It's obviously a stretch, but if you market it right, it could suffice. As I said before, though, I would just do my best to add in more things, instead of making what you have work.
 

FlannelGuy621

New Member
I don't know much about West Point because I only applied to the USAFA, but I was in the same boat as you. 1st degree black belt in TKD, assistant instructor at my dojang, coached sparring as well. Didn't play any team sports in high school, wasn't an eagle scout, but last week I received my appointment to the Academy last week. I know these academies are different, but I just wanted to share my experience. Good luck!
I feel like the requirements and standards for admittance to most of the service academies are similar, would you be okay with sharing your highschool GPA and SAT/ACT scores, so I have more of a range to shoot for academically?
 
I don't know much about West Point because I only applied to the USAFA, but I was in the same boat as you. 1st degree black belt in TKD, assistant instructor at my dojang, coached sparring as well. Didn't play any team sports in high school, wasn't an eagle scout, but last week I received my appointment to the Academy last week. I know these academies are different, but I just wanted to share my experience. Good luck!
I feel like the requirements and standards for admittance to most of the service academies are similar, would you be okay with sharing your highschool GPA and SAT/ACT scores, so I have more of a range to shoot for academically?
Of course. My unweighted GPA is 3.9, weighted is 4.35. ACT was a 33, not super scored, only took the real test once. Didn't take SAT.
 

FlannelGuy621

New Member
I don't know much about West Point because I only applied to the USAFA, but I was in the same boat as you. 1st degree black belt in TKD, assistant instructor at my dojang, coached sparring as well. Didn't play any team sports in high school, wasn't an eagle scout, but last week I received my appointment to the Academy last week. I know these academies are different, but I just wanted to share my experience. Good luck!
I feel like the requirements and standards for admittance to most of the service academies are similar, would you be okay with sharing your highschool GPA and SAT/ACT scores, so I have more of a range to shoot for academically?
Of course. My unweighted GPA is 3.9, weighted is 4.35. ACT was a 33, not super scored, only took the real test once. Didn't take SAT.
Thanks! Do you know if they look at weighted vs unweighted GPA or both?
 
I don't know much about West Point because I only applied to the USAFA, but I was in the same boat as you. 1st degree black belt in TKD, assistant instructor at my dojang, coached sparring as well. Didn't play any team sports in high school, wasn't an eagle scout, but last week I received my appointment to the Academy last week. I know these academies are different, but I just wanted to share my experience. Good luck!
I feel like the requirements and standards for admittance to most of the service academies are similar, would you be okay with sharing your highschool GPA and SAT/ACT scores, so I have more of a range to shoot for academically?
Of course. My unweighted GPA is 3.9, weighted is 4.35. ACT was a 33, not super scored, only took the real test once. Didn't take SAT.
Thanks! Do you know if they look at weighted vs unweighted GPA or both?
For USAFA specifically, I specifically reported my unweighted GPA but my transcript listed both, and they chose to use my weighted as the official GPA.
 
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