Prospective Candidate Letter
Quotes & Inspirations
Rite of Passage Match
Parting Senior Reflections
Pursuing College Soccer
WHAT IS A PLAYER PORTFOLIO?
The player portfolio is an organized collection of an aspiring student-athlete's sport-specific achievements that exhibits to others the direct evidence of said student-athlete's efforts, accomplishments, progress, and potential. The player portfolio should be carefully crafted to reflect the seriousness-of-purpose and general professionalism of the aspiring student-athlete. Aside from producing a traditional hard-copy, one might also consider making the player portfolio accessible electronically. This is referred to as an e-portfolio.
WHAT DOES A PLAYER PORTFOLIO INCLUDE?
- cover letter
- soccer resume
- coaching letters of recommendation (club and varsity)
- athletic development profile & statistics data sheet
- respective media guide page(s)
- portrait page
- DVD/VHS (no longer than 15 minutes)
The cover letter is one's formal introduction. A well-written cover letter can begin to distinguish one prospective student-athlete from another. The cover letter should explain one's expectations in terms of education, soccer program, financial need, and scholarship requirements. The cover letter should also request information about the college and the soccer program. It should be typed, not exceed one-page in length and it should be personalized whenever possible.
- SEE SAMPLE COVER LETTER
Begin a soccer resume with a basic header that clearly displays personal contact information: name, address, phone number, email and social security number. List athletic accomplishments organized by current high school and club, providing information about past teams, camps, tournaments and other soccer experiences. Don’t forget to include athletic accomplishments in other sports as well. Coaches like to see athletic versatility and talent. Then list scholastic accomplishments, include GPA and standardized testing scores (ACT, PSAT or SAT) if available, and any extracurricular activities, such as school clubs.
- SEE SAMPLE SOCCER RESUME
COACHING LETTER(S) OF RECOMMENDATION
A player portfolio should include a letter of recommendation from each current (or most recent) soccer coach, both club and varsity, and in addition might include other special and related letters of interest.
The letter of recommendation should begin with a contextual section that
explains the relationship between the coach and player. This is followed by an objective description of the soccer player that demonstrates, with an example or two (e.g., statistics), a measure of perspective, fairness and reason on the coach's behalf. As a summary, it makes sense to have an unequivocal statement of the coach's overall evaluation as part of the recommendation. Some closing pleasantries and contact information of the recommender are usually part of every letter of recommendation. Like any other write-up, there is no ideal length. Nonetheless, a good letter of recommendation should fall somewhere between three-quarters of a page and one-and-a-half pages long.
- SEE SAMPLE LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION
ATHLETIC DEVELOPMENT PROFILE & STATISTICS DATA SHEET
There are a series of relatively standard physical tests which help coaches gauge the speed, strength, endurance, and potential of one prospective student-athlete with those of another. Like all things, the more one practices them the better one will get. These should be done under supervision and never be embellished. To see a copy of the SSFS Athletic Development Profile, including Men's Soccer Record Holders, click here.
- SEE SAMPLE ATHLETIC DEVELOPMENT PROFILE & STATISTICS DATA SHEET
RESPECTIVE MEDIA GUIDE PAGE(S)
A media guide is a team publication that features information relating to the players, history, statistical records and the like. Media guides are usually distributed to sports journalists to assist in their coverage of the team.
- SEE SAMPLE MEDIA GUIDE PAGE
The portrait page is just that, a page with a picture, or two, of the prospective student-athlete that will help an interested coach put a face to a name. An ideal portrait page should include two pictures of the candidate: 1) in soccer uniform/action and 2) outside of the soccer-world. The second photo is intended to help portray the candidate as a well-rounded individual, and not just a single-minded obsessive. It should be a well-dressed, portrait-style photo, and not hastily chosen from among the plethora of casual shots with friends. At least one of the photos, likely the soccer/action one, should be a full body-shot that provides the interested coach with a visual of one's general physique. Like all other pages in the player portfolio, the portrait page should have a common header that clearly displays one's name, address, phone number, email and social security number.
- SEE SAMPLE PORTRAIT PAGE
College coaches are eager to see an aspiring college-bound student-athlete in action. While one's list of athletic accomplishments may be impressive, a DVD or videotape with game footage can make an excellent complementary showcase. DVDs and/or videotapes are not always necessary, but if a coach requests one, every effort should be made to provide it. It does not need to be an elaborate, state-of-the-art video. Ever improving technology has made home video editing software more accessible and user-friendly than ever. It is no longer necessary to hire a professional. Furthermore, consider asking other members of one's team if they are interested in creating recruitment tapes. This is a thrifty way to split the cost. Do not forget to label the DVD/VHS accordingly, providing essential contact information.