Preparing a student-athlete for life after sports

January 19, 2022

When it comes time for college admissions or job interviews, student-athletes need to be ready to answer questions that get to the heart of who they are as a person.

  • How do your friends describe you? Coaches? Teachers?
  • What do you like to learn about when you’re not in school? 
  • How do you manage a busy schedule?

Every student-athlete needs a portfolio to demonstrate who they are on and off the field. A portfolio helps a student succinctly respond to “Tell me about yourself.” This is part of the DNA of education-based athletics. Playing sports is fantastic, but it’s just one aspect of a young person’s life.

No matter what career follows high school, your athletes need to be equipped with a clear personal narrative. 

Documenting and cataloging a sports life is easy. But demonstrating soft skills with evidence is the secret to success, and that’s where spikeview is transformative. Let’s start by focusing on one important detail – a personal statement.

Student-athletes need personal statements and essays to apply for colleges, scholarships, loans, jobs, competitions, and so much more. If you’re a teacher, coach, or counselor, students are likely coming to you for help. Here’s a quick 4-part workflow to inspire personal storytelling.

(1) Figure out what success means

Introspection is challenging from teenagers, but they need self-discovery in order to be self advocates. “Success” boils down to who they want to be (character), and what they want to do (achievements). 

(2) Freewrite about a few ideas

There’s no way to fully capture life, dreams, and goals in a single essay. Have a student quickly write down a few essay topics (just a few words each). Then write for 15 minutes straight on each topic, with a refresher break between topics. 

(3) Choose one direction and get the first ideas on paper

UConn’s Writing Center offers this encouragement: “Show how your personal history relates to your goals, and how you’re a good fit for this particular program. If your first attempt looks halting and a little half-baked, don’t worry. The first draft is supposed to look this way.”

(4) Fixing and finishing the essay

A personal statement may never feel fully complete. That’s normal. But as students review and revise their essay, ask if it’s truly about them.

Preparing for life after sports

For players of all skill levels, sports are temporary. That’s why we’re so passionate about empowering students to figure out what makes them unique and learn to share stories about themselves. 

Kailey Mattison had to retire from soccer at age 20. In this talk, she shares tips for building off-the-field habits in young athletes. What habits are your student-athletes forming?

1 Comment

on Preparing a student-athlete for life after sports.
  1. […] exciting as NIL is, remember a strong portfolio is the starting point. No matter how long you play sports, your personal stories will continue to open […]