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mdocmdoc Registered User Posts: 442 Member
edited May 2009 in Parents Forum
One of my D's is a HS freshman. She likes sports, but isn't a star. She ran cross-country in the fall (JV) and is currently playing freshman soccer. She also played club soccer in the fall (she's played soccer for 12 years; it's her favorite sport), but probably will give the travel team up next fall. She wants to run cross-country and play soccer all 4 years of high school. She's never going to make the varsity in either and that's OK with her. I'm fully supportive of this, also, because she loves to play and it's good exercise. The problem is that she doesn't have much time for other ECs. During the season, the coaches own these kids 6 days a week. Most of the clubs at school meet during practice times. Even if they didn't, she needs time for homework. So far there's nothing else she's particularly interested in, so she has no drive to go out and squeeze something in. Is this going to be a big problem when it comes time to apply to colleges? I can't imagine that spending one's time doing JV sports is something that impresses a lot of admissions folks. FWIW, she will do some volunteering this summer (in between cross-country and soccer camps).
Post edited by mdoc on
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Replies to: JV Sports

  • bettzkebettzke Registered User Posts: 144 Junior Member
    I think playing JV would permit more time for ECs. Most ECs don't meet more than once a week or even once a month. In my experience, a coach is more apt to excuse a JV player for being late to practice because of an EC conflict than a varsity player.
  • PA MomPA Mom Registered User Posts: 975 Member
    mdoc - I would think that a student who continues with a sport even though they remain at the JV level shows dedication and character. I would think that an adcom could look at it that way as well.
    Also, could it possibly give her an opportunity for leadership as captain of JV? I would think that she could be a role model for many students about team work and not having to necessarily have the spotlight to be successful.
    Good luck to her!
  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Registered User Posts: 19,373 Senior Member
    I'm surprised a club/travel player wouldn't make varsity. Must be a tough team!

    Regardless, a long-term interest is good and she loves soccer, so I'd say she should stick with it.
  • mamommamom Registered User Posts: 3,463 Senior Member
    My son plays sports at his HS one or two seasons during the school year, dpending on whether he makes the team. That gives him at least a few months to do other EC's. The kids are not allowed to miss sports practice for clubs or other activities, unless the club meeting is mandatory. The clubs and other EC's he particpates in understand and accommadate his limited participation. Sports are what he willl list as his main EC activity (although he is also a boy scout so he does have something long term outside of sports) I can't imagine colleges would not understand that.

    Surprised they let seniors play on JV teams at your D's school. At schools around here, seniors are usually not allowed to play on JV. (school rule not league).
  • FindAPlaceFindAPlace Registered User Posts: 4,706 Senior Member
    It should be workable but I suppose it depends on the coach and the other ECs. Let me give you an example.

    My S is on the varsity water polo and swim team at HS. He didn't do this in MS but was involved with mock trial in MS as an attorney and wanted to continue with his in HS. It became obvious that with some of the meetings after school (when he'd be in the pool) that he could not continue on in the attorney role. So he did his best in a witness role, attended all the meetings at lunch time and on weekends, and was fortunate that none of the trials conflicted with a meet day in his sport, so the coach understood.

    So what happened? He got some awards as a witness, team took 3rd place in the region (first time ever), the attorneys loved him and, with seniors graduating, the team was clamoring for him to drop the water polo/swim so he could be an attorney next year. Now of course that's not happening but he enjoyed the compliments.

    This also goes to prove that one can easily be a leader even without title or portfolio.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,216 Senior Member
    ^ Ditto. The main problem I foresee is that the school may have a policy which forbids a senior from being on JV, since the JV is supposed to be a feeder for varsity. This would be more of an issue with soccer than x-c.
  • MidwestMom2Kids_MidwestMom2Kids_ Registered User Posts: 6,673 Senior Member
    My D enjoyed three years of fall JV soccer. Our H.S. does allow seniors to play JV in a few sports (including women's soccer), so she could have played JV soccer as a senior but she decided that fall of senior year was a time for a heavy duty AP course load, stepped-up roles in her other extracurriculars, and college app work.

    The three years of JV soccer were a good experience for her.
    I would think that she could be a role model for many students about team work and not having to necessarily have the spotlight to be successful.
    This is a good point - and my soccer loving but not a soccer star D did help show the younger players how to balance school, sports, and extracurriculars.
  • jerzgrlmomjerzgrlmom Registered User Posts: 1,245 Senior Member
    My younger DD plays HS soccer, bball and track (JV and Varsity) and no way could she miss any practices for clubs. Like you say, the coaches own these kids, even in the off seasons as they all hold summer leagues and summer camps. She never played on a freshman team so I don't know if those coaches are more lenient but I doubt it - not in the competitive larger HSs around here. My older two kids also played some HS sports (JV level only) and it didn't seem to hold them back when it came to college acceptances. Playing JV may not be as impressive as you say, but playing Varsity isn't necessarily impressive either, unless kids are state or nationally ranked - that is if they're trying to be recruited. Playing JV implies hard work, dedication, good health - just like playing Varsity. Expanding beyond playing a sport by combining playing with other related activities (training younger players, working at a camp, etc) shows commitment and interest.

    At our large HS, seniors are not allowed to play JV. Some kids who don't make Varsity and want to stay involved become team statisticians or announcers or photographers. Some kids are simply ready to move on to new opportunities, like theatre, marching band, talent shows or another EC they didn't have time for earlier...

    But in any case, even with a demanding sports schedule, there are still ways to participate in ECs. One suggestion I would make is to see if your DD's teams do any kind of volunteer work, such as assisting younger teams or special needs teams, working at soup kitchens, fundraising activities, cleaning parks, building playgrounds, etc. Our HS teams participate in these activities each year and the athletes can list these activities on their activity resume. Plus our Freshman and JV teams have Captains so that leadership designation could be noted as well. My DD also played club soccer which can be listed as a HS EC. Before HS, she played travel sports. She regularly volunteers at her old travel team tournaments (keeping the book or running the clock), so these hours can be included under volunteer work. She likes staying involved with her old coach and helping the younger kids develop. Does your DD participate in any church related activities? Those count too. Summer time may provide opportunities to participate in some other ECs, volunteer at a hospital or find a job. Even babysitting can be listed. One of my kids tutored for a couple years. They all took some classes over the summer (not classes necessary for HS but subjects they were interested in).

    When my two older kids were applying to colleges, we found that most college apps only leave room to list 5 activities, although most kids send in a separate one page resume of ECs. But even with the resume, colleges ask students to list the MOST RELEVANT 5 activities so really, they don't want a list of 20 unrelated activities where kids rarely show up or do anything useful. Colleges set a limit and make the student decide which ECs best reflect his/her personality. They want to see activities that tell a story (what interests and/or inspires her). Don't worry, she doesn't need to cram in tons of clubs. Maybe find one that meets on weekends or in the spring or even over the summer (we have a club where older students run orientation events in Aug/Sept to welcome new students to HS). Your DD already has a couple sports to list, maybe she can help out at a town summer sports camp or visit the middle schools in 8th grade to talk about HS sports.

    If your DD doesn't see an opportunity that fits her time schedule, perhaps she can propose a new activity. If she truly enjoys playing her sport(s), don't worry. Let her enjoy HS her way. If she keeps up her grades, then she can add a couple honor awards and honor societies to her list...
  • PackMomPackMom Registered User Posts: 7,667 Senior Member
    mdoc, Let her chose. What they want as freshman often changes over the years.
    Seniors aren't allowed on JV teams at our schools either. S1 played JV football fresh. and soph. year. He was a starter and team capt. but decided not to play Varsity as a jr. He also tried track and wrestling as a freshman but did not continue. They change their mind along the way. Let her chose whatever makes her happy.
  • mdocmdoc Registered User Posts: 442 Member
    Thanks for the input. Our HS teams are pretty competitive; for instance 98% of the JV soccer team plays or has played competitive club/travel soccer. The coaches (even for JV and freshman teams) do not excuse players from practice or permit them to be late because of other ECs. Seniors are permitted to play JV, so D could play at the non-varsity level for 4 years. I'm definitely going to let her do what she wants, but I like the suggestion of activities related to her sports. I will encourage her to volunteer with AYSO and participate with the adaptive sports group in the area as I know she'll enjoy that and I think she can fit it in with her schedule. The school clubs don't fit in very well, but as I mentioned she hasn't found a school club she's interested in anyway. Thanks again!
  • MidwestMom2Kids_MidwestMom2Kids_ Registered User Posts: 6,673 Senior Member
    My daughter enjoyed refereeing younger kids' games- has your daughter tried that? For kids who know the rules of soccer, it is not difficult to become certified.
  • editoreditor Registered User Posts: 357 Member
    Our school schedules ECs right after school lets out. Practice begins one hour after school lets out. This way athletes can still participate in clubs and still make it to practice on time.
  • mamabear1234mamabear1234 Registered User Posts: 3,524 Senior Member
    It is tough to balance other EC's and sports. My D is already trying to decide if she will try out for the school musical next year, which will prevent her from playing a spring sport that she loves. It is quite competitive to get into the musical, so she may try out and not make it - problem solved.
  • scualumscualum Registered User Posts: 2,882 Senior Member
    My 2010 daughter has built a lot of her ECs around her sport (soccer). Since it is a winter sport at the high school and a fall sport for the middle school, she has been an assistant coach for two years at the middle school. She has also been a ref on weekends for the local youth rec program and has also done coaching at summer camps for kids.

    I think she will be able to tie all that together in a nice package for her applications next fall.

    I'd encourage your daughter to think in those terms. I don't think most adcoms would look down at a girl who played to the best of her ability for four years - even if that ability (and the ability of others in her school) meant 4 years of JV.

    For what it is worth, I have seen coaches reward seniors who stick it out in this manner by calling them up for a non league game or an anticipated blown out so that they can play for varsity at least once.
  • EMM1EMM1 Registered User Posts: 2,583 Senior Member
    Let the girl do what she wants. The entire idea of structuring ECs to look good on a college application strikes me as completely misguided.
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