Building a sports portfolio is by far one of my favourite elements of the college sports journey. If started early enough, you have the potential to build a sports portfolio that will literally bowl coaches and scouts over. It does take time to effectively build a sports portfolio that is sleek, professional, simple, and creative. However, if you start the process early, you can definitely build one that is all of those things. Following just a few simple guidelines and giving yourself ample time, the sports portfolio will come together like magic right before your eyes. The best part, watching the look on your athletes face as they watch their amazing story come to life. They look at all their accomplishments so far, and it motivates them to keep moving forward. So let’s talk about how you can boost your athlete’s college chances X5 with a star-worthy sports portfolio.
Hook, Line & Sinker
A great way to approach the sports portfolio is with the concept hook, line, and sinker in mind. You will need to hook coaches with a subject line in the email you send the portfolio in. It needs to catch their eye and make them want to open it immediately. Then your athlete will need to keep them on the line with the contents of the sports portfolio beginning with the cover page, right through to the back page. After this, you sink the coaches, they fall for the story, and your athlete is now on their ‘athletes to review’ list, and they are possibly flagging their emails for any future correspondence.
The first mission of sending those sports portfolios out is ensuring you have a list of subject line swipe files. These are pre-prepared subject lines that you keep on a document and use as you need them. It saves having to come up with a different one over and over, and it gives you a good chance to really think about some catchy ones that will definitely catch the coaches eye. It’s important that you ensure every subject line resonates with what the coach needs in their team. For example, 7 ft tall & shoot hoops like you have never seen! If your athlete is trying for a basketball team, this would catch any basketball coaches interest. Creating a catchy subject line is the first step to 5X your athlete’s chances at college sports success. If they don’t like the subject line, they won’t look at the contents.
I have a great swipe file of some subject lines you can use and change them around to suit your athlete. If you would like a copy of those, you can access them here.
Keep Them On The Line With Star-Worthy Content
After you have hooked the coach with the subject line, you need to hook them again with the cover page. It’s the first page they will see after the subject line, so again, if they don’t like what they see, they likely won’t continue to look at the rest. You can combine professional with creativity when you create the cover page. The critical thing to remember with the cover page is that it needs to be all about what the coach is looking for. They want every detail about your athlete on that page. It would be my suggestion that you include an action shot of your athlete, a simple abstract shape, their name, stats, expected year of graduation, and a brief description of physical features such as height and weight.
Now the coach has seen exactly what they wanted, and maybe a little extra, you can take them on a journey of the story of your athlete’s amazing life so far. But first, you need to ensure there is a contents page. The contents page is what will make or break the rest of the sports portfolio. If there is no systematized organisation that will point the coach exactly where they want to go, they may give up. Coaches are often very pressed for time, so you need to make it as easy as possible for them to find what they want. A contents page will help you do this. Ensure all sections are in the right place with sub-sections and page numbers, and you should never have a problem. A contents page helps give the sports portfolio a professional element. Now you can add the bits and pieces that make it shine.
ABOUT ME, EDUCATION & SPORT
I would personally start with an about me page. You don’t want this to be too much, just a quick bio. Then it’s my suggestion that you begin with an education page. After all, you can’t be a student-athlete without first being a student. Put all of your athlete’s academic achievements, awards, projects and so on in this section. Then you want to have the sports page right after the education page. Obviously, these two complement each other. Don’t leave anything out of the sports section. All teams your athlete has made, levels of competition, awards, milestones etc. Anything your athlete has accomplished in their first choice sport, place that at the top, and any extra sports they play, include them after.
EMPLOYMENT & PERSONALITY
Next, you should have an employment page with any employment history, work experience, volunteer work, and community work. The academic, sports and employment pages should be kept clean, simple and professional. Then your athlete can let their creative bug loose and have some fun with the personality page. Here they will include their interest, hopes, dreams, goals and aspirations. Your athlete can really let their personality shine and show the coaches who they are inside. The qualities your athlete has outside of school, sport and work. Splash some colour around, use those brand colours, logo and border. Use some fancy fonts. This is the page to let the hair down and have some fun.
Now you have the majority of your athlete’s sports portfolio planned, it’s time to add in the finances page, and the references and recommendations page. Any scholarships, grants, financial aid, awards and prizes your athlete has gained so far will be placed in the finances page. These details let coaches see what aid your athlete has so far, and what they will need to add to enable your athlete to complete their time at their school.
REFERENCES & RECOMMENDATIONS
References and recommendations are a very important piece to the sports portfolio. Open the lines of communication. Ask coaches, teachers, guidance officers, and any person that can vouch for the talents and skills your athlete has acquired and is capable of if they are willing to supply a reference or recommendation for your athlete’s sports portfolio. You can’t have too many. However, they need to be relevant to your athlete’s mission. Ensure that every reference or recommendation submitted, highlight the qualities the coaches will be looking for.
This week’s episode on the College Sports Success with Brooke Hamilton podcast, I talk about sports portfolios and how you can create a professional and visually pleasing document that will be a total game-changer. You can take a listen here.
One of the most important things to remember that will 5X your athlete’s chances, is to know when to be professional and when to be creative. Build a document that is organised, easy to read, and simple to navigate. Remember, coaches have limited time, so you need to WOW them. An attention-grabbing subject line, catchy cover page, and sleek and professionally organised sports portfolio will most definitely achieve that goal. Your athlete will have a sports portfolio that no coach will be able to resist opening. With the right ingredients, you will boost your athlete’s college chances X5 with a star-worthy sports portfolio.
‘The Competitor’s Edge Masterclass: A Parent’s Guide to Maximising Sports Scholarships, Early’, is a FREE 5-day live workshop that we are about to kick off on Monday the 13th of July at 11 AM (GM+10). During this masterclass, I will be showing you how to start this journey for your athlete early, maximising every opportunity to ensure they gain a sports scholarship to the college of their choice. If you would like to join in, head here to register. We have early-bird bonuses for those early action takers.
In the lead up to the masterclass, I have opened up space on my calendar for connect calls. This is a free call where you can ask any questions you may have about the masterclass or PEAinternational. We will simply just connect and say G’day. If you would like to take advantage of one of these calls, you can find my calendar here, where you can book a time that suits you. I can’t wait to meet you. Talk soon – Brooke Hamilton, CEO, PEAinternational.