Athletics play a major role in the day-to-day life of military academy students. Because of the importance placed on physical fitness, students are required to participate in some form of sports (whether it be organized teams or intramural games). The life of a cadet includes classes, military training, physical education courses, and athletics.
Students interested in applying to military academies will be faced with mandatory fitness assessments as part of the admissions process. These military academy athletics tests include such items as a basketball throw, one-mile run, pushups, and pull-ups, to help admissions officers determine which candidates will be good matches for the physically-challenging cadet training programs.
Some military schools have larger athletics programs. The United States Air Force Academy offers 29 different men and women’s intercollegiate sports teams in football, cross country, baseball, tennis, swimming, and many others. Over 3,000 students participate in intramural sports every year (with about 90 contests occurring everyday on campus). These teams compete in sports like basketball, flag football, softball, soccer, rugby, and others. The academy also provides students with state-of-the-art facilities (including everything from a 92,000 square foot center and boxing ring to Olympic-size swimming pools and rock climbing walls).
Other schools, like the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, offer similarly enticing programs. With men and women’s varsity sports, club teams, and co-ed varsity teams, there are plenty of physical activities to choose from including less common athletic programs such as sailing, crew, and lacrosse. (Lacrosse is extremely popular in the Naval Academy’s home state of Maryland.) These military academy athletics serve not only as training for demanding military service, but also help to further instill desired qualities such as determination, dedication, and focus.