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The Benefits of Trying a New Sport

(Athletics, Class of 2019) Permanent link   All Posts
Kirsten Sharp

At the the CGA, cadets have a very heavy academic course load (especially during 4/c year) in addition to our numerous military obligations. We also have to earn two sports credits each and every year. There are a variety of different ways to earn these credits, and these athletic opportunities vary in the amount of time commitment they require (from intercompany sports or ICs being on the low end of time commitment to varsity sports being on the higher end). Some cadets resume their sports from high school as they were recruited to continue that sport, while others pick up new sports and try to acquire new, different skills. The process of selecting a team begins during Swab Summer with sports practice every few days, which allows swabs to spend time with cadre that are members of their future teams, or to try a new one out before fully committing to the team when the school year rolls around.

Personally, I had been playing soccer almost since the day I could walk. Playing for clubs, travel teams, in middle school and high school, I did it all. Every day after school and every weekend for years and years I was committed to soccer. Although I loved the sport, I was a bit burnt out, and coming to the Academy, I knew that I wanted to start fresh and try something new. So, during Swab Summer, I went to the dance team’s sports practice. I really enjoyed spending time with the ladies on the team, and loved dancing and letting go of the stress of boot camp. I continued to be on the team through the first half of the school year during the fall season. When spring rolled around, I knew that I needed another sports credit, so I started going down to the boat house with one of my friends to check out rowing – a sport I had never tried before.

I downright love rowing. Even though the walk down to the boat house before practice and up to Chase Hall after practice is long and often very cold, the sport and team quickly grabbed a hold of my heart. There is something about being a member of a team where each individual must be so in sync with the others that it fosters a spirit of togetherness and teamwork that I have never felt on any other team I have been a part of before. Although being a member of a varsity sport takes on a life of its own, with extended practices on Tuesdays in addition to practice every day (including Saturday) and regattas on the weekends, it became a part of my schedule and actually made me more productive. My grades have increased since I have joined the crew team because I have used my limited time more wisely and have utilized the number of tutors we have on the team. Now, it is three years later, I am a captain of the team, and I cannot imagine my life without rowing.

I highly encourage people to join varsity sports, if their schedules allow. It provides a community of people that will rally around you when times get tough, and celebrate with you when things are going well. Also, do not be afraid to try something new – I am very glad that I did!