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Music vs Sports

GrumpyDad72GrumpyDad72 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
I have sort of a dilemma here. My daughter has been accepted into a youth Symphony Orchestra of a major city as a 9th grader. At the same time, she tried out for the tennis team and made it there as well for the top JV team. She's torn on what to do as she lives doing both.

The tennis season here lasts until October while the symphonic orchestra lasts the entire year. Her tennis coach is pretty strict about missing matches so it looks like she may have to choose one or the other.
If she quits tennis for the high school, she may still play USTA sanctioned tournaments as well. At school, she is also doing a top level orchestra at her school. Her coursework is also rather challenging (honors and AP as a freshman).

Any advise or opinions would be greatly appreciated as to what would be a better look for her college application when that time comes.
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Replies to: Music vs Sports

  • MWolfMWolf 1334 replies9 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Congratulations and commiserations on having a multi-talented daughter. The biggest problem of multi-talented kids is that they can only engage in some of the things which they enjoy and at which they are talented. High school or late middle school is usually when practice starts taking up too much time for a kid to have more than one or two time consuming activities like music or sports.

    Unfortunately, your daughter is talented in two time consuming activities, and she is advanced enough that the time required to keep developing the talent makes it difficult to engage in any other time-consuming activity.

    As for which is "better for colleges". Once again, there is no "best" or even "better" EC for college acceptances, unless it is professional level sports.

    However, even if there were "better ECs for college" that is irrelevant. ECs are not for college, nor are they for you. They are for your daughter. They are there to provide her with activities and stuff to enjoy which are not provided in the school classroom. Both music and physical activity will help your daughter with her academics, though in different ways.

    My personal advice is that, if your kid cannot truly decide on her own, you two should decide based on how physically active she normally is. If your kid is normally and active kid, i.e., likes hiking, biking, rock climbing, etc, she should pick music. However, if her major physical activity is tennis, and if she does not play she would not otherwise engage in physical activity, she should choose tennis. My daughter chose dance over music, because of that reason. Of course, YMMV.

    In any case, good luck. I would guess that, whatever the ultimate choice, there will be much fretting and agonizing, second guessing, and buyer's remorse. However, I would also guess that, whatever the choice, she will, ultimately be very comfortable with the choice, and will excel in her chosen activity, be it Symphony Orchestra or tennis.
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1647 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    What a shame - she should be able to do both. Especially because tennis only in the fall. I'd push back with the tennis coach and do both the sport and the music. There is no reason why a kid has to choose and select just one. Anyone should be able to enjoy their sport and their music.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41760 replies450 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I'd pick the Youth Orchestra (wow, congratulations!) and practice tennis outside of school. But first I'd go meet with the tennis coach and explain that your daughter is hesitant about quitting HS tennis because Youth Orchestra is going to have priority and her alternative is either quitting or skipping some matches, and you don't know if she can even skip some matches. Perhaps the coach will be more conciliatory if it's clear the alternative is either partial loss of a promising player or complete loss of said player.
    All in all though, especially if he can still play in tournaments, she can have both even without JV tennis.
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  • sushirittosushiritto 3863 replies9 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I can't imagine tennis is just a fall sport. Yes, at the HS, but they must have youth clubs and tournaments year round. I'm not a tennis player, but basketball and soccer are nearly year round youth sports.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6989 replies49 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My daughter had to make this choice as well but not until the end of sophomore year. Unless your D is such an amazing tennis player that she could be recruited, which if that were the case, she's be playing varsity, it comes down to what she love most. It's not going to matter for college admission.

    I also agree with talking to the coach. We found that at the JV level, the coaches were much more flexible.
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1319 replies6 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Agree with various comments above about weighing considerations more important than college resume fodder. However, if you want to strictly narrow this down to college resume considerations:
    Looks like Youth Symphony in a major city is a greater achievement than HS JV tennis.
    If you were talking Varsity HS tennis on a perennial state powerhouse team, with prospects of being recruited as a tennis player, then tennis may be the better way to go. You may actually need to address that scenario next year or the year after.
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  • bopperbopper 14012 replies100 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    edited August 28
    Help your daughter think through this...
    1) She could just pick that orchestra. Does she like to practice? Does she like to be with other top musicians? Will she make friends there?
    2) She could just do Tennis...she will make friends and get exercise.
    3) She could Do the Orchestra and USTA tennis..but would she sign up for tournaments? Would she practice tennis?
    4) She could focus on Tennis but just do school orchestra (if that exists).

    Colleges want you to have ECs but they don't care which ones. Talk to her through the pros and cons and let her choose.
    edited August 28
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  • GrumpyDad72GrumpyDad72 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks everyone! As an update, I told my daughter to speak to the coach and told her to let the coach know that no matter if she plays or not, she'll be a team player and will work hard during practice. I guess the coach liked that and the coach allowed her to stay on the team and let her leave early on Saturdays.
    However she won't be allowed to play singles matches. It's a win win for her though. She gets to play in a team setting with her doubles partner and still be able to do her orchestra. She'll be extremely busy but happy she can do both. She's also doing a high level school orchestra as well.

    She played her first match today and won. I told her next year if she wants to play varsity tennis and do the orchestra l, she'll have to move up one level on the orchestra which practices on Sundays.

    Thank you everyone!
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1647 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    So happy this worked out for your dd. My goodness they are kids who should be enjoying as many things as the day is long! Glad the coach was flexible!
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