It’s not surprising that an elite military unit like the Navy SEALs is interested in having former athletes joint its ranks. Strength, endurance, mental toughness – really, almost all the skills that make a person a standout on the playing fields are the same traits needed to succeed in the SEALs.
“It’s a physical job,” said Scott Williams, Public Affairs Officer for Naval Special Warfare Command. “So we need guys who have a competitive spirit and are used to hard work and training.”
While any athlete interested in joining the SEALS program is encouraged to give it a shot, for several years now the group has identified players from seven specific sports as having a greater chance of making it through the highly rigorous training program, which historically has around a 70 percent dropout rate.
In 2010, the Navy commissioned a $500,000 Gallup study that found that water polo players, swimmers, triathletes, lacrosse players, boxers, rugby players and wrestlers had the highest chance of making it. Of those, water polo players had the greatest odds and their chances doubled if they played the sport in college.
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