If your son or daughter aspires to one day play college sports, then you might want to consider developing a personal portfolio that highlights his or her academic, athletic, and leadership experiences/abilities, and potential for being a positive role model on campus one day. Developing a portfolio with your child can be fun and exciting, and can possibly get your child noticed by college coaches, too (Positive Transitions for Student Athletes). Consider some of the following tips and suggestions when getting started:
• Generally around your child’s junior year in high school you will want to begin developing his or her portfolio. I recommend you highlight, at minimum, his or her academic, athletic, and leadership experiences/abilities. The academic category can include college-prep courses, GPA, and possibly SAT/ACT test scores. The athletic category might include the team(s) he or she has played on (i.e. premier league, AAU, varsity sports, etc.), statistics speed and strength data, camps and clinics attended, and any awards he or she has earned. The leadership category could include clubs and activities, volunteer experiences, and any other things your child has done to improve the quality of the school and community.
• When starting the portfolio, I recommend you brainstorm with your child as many experiences that fall into the aforementioned categories. Rather than worry about formatting at this point, simply talk about all the different things your child has done and be sure to take notes (and try to list in a chronological order if you can).
• Next, once the brainstorming is completed, you might want to begin working on a cover that has a sports picture of your child in action, along with basic demographic information that includes his or her name, address, email, school, and phone number• On the inside of the portfolio, I think a simple cover letter that includes his or her future goals is a nice touch. The letter can also include why he or she is interested in a particular school, as well as his or her academic and athletic goals for college
• For the academic, athletic, and leadership categories (and you can include new categories if you wish), it is best to keep it short and to the point (use bullet points whenever possible). If something is unclear (i.e. what the team fund raiser was that you child created), you might want to briefly elaborate.
• Considering an appendix is also important. If you have collected your child’s newspaper articles over the years, you might include a couple of the best ones (but don’t go overboard).
• When the portfolio is completed, consider adding a nice front and back cover and have the document bound. If you also have a DVD highlight video, you can also include it with the portfolio. Uploading a few videos to youtube can also help your child get a quick look from a coach.Developing a portfolio shows your child is a self-starter, and can possibly get him or her noticed by college coaches who might not have known about your child otherwise.
I recommend you send a portfolio out to as many colleges as your child is interested in and see what happens – at this point the worst case scenario is you pay for postage! Fortunately, in most cases you will receive some sort of a response, and hopefully that will lead to further dialogue and possibly an opportunity!