Almost as popular as the “My Grandmother” college application essay is the essay about sports. If you are planning to write a sports essay, you risk boring the admissions committee as much as would a mediocre ballgame.
Here are some tips to make sure your college application essay about your sports involvement makes a good impression:
1. Whatever you do, do NOT write an entire play-by-play essay about the “Big Game” – even if you scored the winning touchdown or home run. This topic is way overdone. You can certainly write a paragraph about the game, but then move on to another aspect of your sports involvement.
2. Consider writing about the experience of being on a team. What does it take on a day to day basis? What have you learned? How have you grown? How have you balanced your commitment to sports with your academics?
3. Don’t be afraid to write about your shortcomings. If you start in a place where you didn’t know something, or where you weren’t on your best behavior, or even where you were injured, then you have somewhere to go/grow to.
4. Consider writing about your particular role in the team dynamics. Do you have a leadership role? If so, what’s your leadership style and how does that style show up in other parts of your life?
5. Consider writing about what it takes to play your particular position. Offense? Defense? Pitcher? Outfield? Team play or individual sport?
What metaphors can you draw from the position you play or from your strengths in the game?
Do you find yourself playing a similar role in life to the one you play on the court or the field — or maybe even the opposite role?
For instance, if you play offense, do you end up being aggressive about winning or going after things in other aspects of life? Or has playing offense taught you strategies to defend yourself or your positions in life?
6. Stay humble even if you are a big winner! You can share impressive facts and showcase your talent as long as you really share something about what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown.
7. Talk about people and other topics that interest you, not just about the game. If you’re all about the game, you don’t show your ability to interact with future classmates and you miss out on opportunities to sell yourself to the committee. Colleges are looking for leaders – and leadership takes more than winning a game.
For examples of successful college essays, The Essay Expert recommends Accepted! 50 Successful College Admissions Essays by Gen and Kelly Tanabe.
Still not sure how to write a great college application essay about your sport? Contact The Essay Expert for a FREE 15 minute consultation.