When looking for a college, some athletes are intrigued by the option of attending a service academy. These programs, like Air Force, Navy, and Army, give you an amazing experience that is offered at few other locations throughout the world. And if you are going to excel at sports there, it takes an even more mature individual.
What sets these programs apart is the type of unique athletes that they are looking for. While I have said character is important in recruiting, it is even more so for these service academies. They need to be able to land top flight athletes but also ones that can sustain the difficult training that is required at the school.
ESPN recently did an article related to athletics and service academies. And after speaking with a coach who works at a service academy, many athletes do have the ability to get through the program. But here are four areas that they must standout in over their classmates.
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At a regular Division I school, you can wake up whenever you want and head off to class. At service academies, you are wearing uniforms and up at specific times to go through training. You have to be a mature individual to want to take that route right out of high school. If you spent your prep career slacking, it is going to be nearly impossible to turn things around. That is why the amount of maturity that you have has to be high.
The honor code at the Air Force Academy is this: “We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does.” Would you have the character at 19 years old to turn in your best friend for cheating? That is what they are asking you to do. The character that you need to succeed under that system is something that is not easy to accomplish.
Anyone that enters into a service academy has to be disciplined. But to also be an athlete on top of schooling and your training will take even more. There will be little free time throughout the year for you to relax and kick back with your friends. But doing this could also be a great jump start on your professional life. If you have the discipline, what you will be taught at a service academy is tough to match.
When things don’t look so good, especially early on during hell week and those upperclassmen are getting on you, the toughness you need is high. While you need to be in shape and be physically fit, the toughness to stay in school and graduate is more mental than anything. This toughness is what the Army, Navy, and Air Force are looking for after college. And if you have it here, you can get past these four years.
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