In recent posts, I have shown you how to create your own personal sports brand and logo, cover page and subject lines, contents page, and what the contents of your sportfolio should be. Now that you know the bulk of what to include, it’s time to think about how you are going to lay it all out in a way that will impress coaches with its professionalism, and win them over with its creativity. It is important to know where to be bold and colourful, where to be professional, and where to place the small things such as your logo and page numbers. Put together wrong, the whole document can look a shambles, but lay it out right and you will have a master piece the coaches will love.
I will start at the beginning and briefly touch on what each page of your sports portfolio should look like when it has been polished and refined. This week in Promoting Elevating Athletes Facebook group, we are going over the visuals so our members can see what each element should look like. If you’re a visual learner, just follow this link to check out all the awesome visuals I have been working on https://mailchi.mp/d2e37d7ced4e/joinpromotingelevatingathletes. The first page of your portfolio is going to be your cover page. As discussed in previous posts, this is going to be bold, bright, colourful and informative. Use your brand colours, an action photo, abstract shapes or a border, and some descriptive text such as your name, graduation date, date of birth, and so on. This is the page that will reel the coaches in, enticing them to turn to the contents page. There is no need for a page number on your cover page.
The contents page should have a clean, professional look that is well organised and always kept up to date. Leave this page white with perhaps a thin border to enhance a sleek effect. You want to have section headings in plain 14pt bold text, and sub-sections placed underneath each heading in a 12pt normal font, such as ‘Ariel’. Give each section a page number, and you can either leave each sub-section without a page number, or create sub-section page numbers. For example, Sports will be a section on page 4, and soccer will be sub-section 4A, and volleyball 4B. Education will be page 8, and maths will be 8A and so on. Indenting sub-section headings can help keep a professional look.
I would suggest the layout beginning with your about me page first, and depending on wether you are applying for an academic or sports scholarship, will determine if you should put sport or education as your first section. Either way, these are the first two sections, and each sub-section will be each sport you play, and each subject you take. Next, put your work section with each job or work experience you have undertaken as sub-sections, followed by your personality page. Now your personality page doesn’t need sub-sections, however, I would suggest having a sub-section each for your goals and aspirations, hopes and dreams, likes and dislikes, point-of-view, and favourite sports personalities (just for extra brownie points). The last two sections you want to include are finances, with sub-sections for financial aid reports, sponsorship, and scholarships etc, and a section for references and recommendations. Always make sure your contents page is kept up to date. Every time something is added to your document, adjust your contents page accordingly. Double check that all page numbers match the corresponding sections.
Taking into consideration the layout of the sections, I like to think of them as sporting stepping stones toward creativity. What do I mean by this? You build from a sleek, professional look, to a fun and creative element. With your first sport that you wish to play in college, you will begin the first page with a plain white background, your nice thin brand border, and all of your sporting statistics. Then you begin to add a bit of colour to the next page which will be your awards, certificates and achievements. You can add a little colour, your border and some fancy fonts. Then you can go all out with creativity by inserting highlight videos and photos. Use bright colour to draw the coaches eye to certain elements. You would do the same layout for your academic and work pages. These may not have as many photos of you as such, but you can put any creative works you have done at school in there, including presentation papers, projects, and art displays . Just be sure that your first page is professional and informative giving the coach everything they NEED to know, then draw their eye in with your visual aspects.
Here comes the really fun part, its time to pack your personality pages with punch! Go bright and bold, use fancy borders and fonts, insert abstract shapes, and use fun photos. Anything that shows who you are, and the things you feel strongly and passionately about, should go in your personality section. Get creative, use catchy titles for each sub-section, and just really pump your personality into it. Give it all you got.
I strongly advise, after you have all that fun with your personality page, that you pull it back in to a professional layout for the finances, recommendations and references sections. Take it back to normal font, thin border, and clean organisation that is easy for a coach to read. These sections are the business side of things, so keep it clear, simple, and organised. It should be easy for someone to find finances on the contents page, flick through, and immediately find the piece of information they are looking for. Admissions staff will often want to look at the finances section before any other, so make it easily identifiable, and easily accessible.
What do I mean by easily accessible and identifiable? This is where your personal sports logo comes into play. When you have created your logo, make sure it goes on every single page that you submit. This is your identifier. Admissions staff and coaches will love you for making their job just that little bit easier. They will come to learn your logo and will recognise it on everything. You also want to make sure that you are always using page numbers, put them at the bottom right of the page every time you create a new document. Be consistent in everything you do. Consistency is the key to recognition.
Now you have an idea about the layout of your sports portfolio, it is time to go forth and create content that conquers. If you are still somewhat unsure, pop over and join Promoting Elevating Athletes today, where you can view my examples that will give you a clear idea on the visuals of a sports portfolio. Just follow this link to join https://mailchi.mp/d2e37d7ced4e/joinpromotingelevatingathletes. I hope to see you there. If you would like help right away, jump on a consultation call and we can discuss your best course of action. You can schedule a call here https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=17557115. Remember, your sporting success is my #1 priority and together, we WILL see you achieve that college dream. See you soon. Yours in sport, Brooke Hamilton