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The Importance of Attention to Detail (2019)

Are you detail oriented enough to get recruited?

We received an email from a college recruiting coordinator some time ago asking us to write an article on attention to detail. Coach J was frustrated after receiving another poorly written email from a recruit. He found spelling/grammatical errors and it was generally hard to read and understand what the player was trying to say. That was just the start. The email made it clear that the recruit had a poor plan, if he had any plan at all. The recruit had put little thought into the way a college coach would receive and react to such a poorly written message.

Unfortunately, college coaches receive (and quickly delete) these types of emails every day. Dozens each day in some cases. Keep Playing Baseball has great resources on the best practices for contacting and emailing college coaches. Our article on how to write an introductory email to a college coach is one of the most popular (and important) reads on our site. The ability to introduce yourself to college coaches in a clear and concise manner is essential for recruiting success. In this case, the poor email serves as a microcosm for a much larger problem in the college baseball recruiting process: failure by recruits to recognize the importance of attention to detail.

In a recruiting world where there are countless players with similar on-field skills and ability, a recruit who shows attention to detail will quickly separate himself from the rest. Below, we look at 4 reasons why paying attention to detail is a difference-maker for recruits who want to play college baseball:

Attention to detail shows you are present in that moment, not going through the motions

During the recruiting process, you will have plenty of opportunities to show coaches you are actively involved and thinking about what you are doing. In baseball, there are rarely quick fixes, so coaches want players who will work to make adjustments, seek understanding, and try to get the most out of good and bad experiences. This involves being focused and present in the moment. The last thing a coach wants is a player who goes through the motions just to get things done. Take the email we discussed in the intro as an example. The email is an important stepping stone for the recruit and that’s why the poor quality is even more troubling. Knowing nothing else about the player, Coach J can only assume the poor quality and other flaws in the email reflect a lack of attention to detail that will be mirrored on the field.

Attention to detail shows you understand the importance of process

Success favors the prepared. Having a plan, down to the smallest detail, is a recipe for success at any level. Everyone wants success, but not everyone is willing to go through the process that will ensure the highest chance of success. Taking shortcuts rarely turns out well for recruits (or anyone, for that matter). Take the email example again. By taking time to plan out and proofread the email, the recruit could have shown the coach a number of desirable attributes for college players, including communication skills, writing skills, a process-oriented approach, and much more. Unfortunately, this recruit missed that opportunity and it proved costly.

Attention to detail means less work for your coach

Coaches have a lot of responsibilities and oversight. They are in charge of recruiting, coaching, academics, and the well-being of their players. They act as a liaison for players with admissions and housing; they sometimes teach classes, and much more. Every time a player doesn’t attend to the details provided by a coach and the coach has to repeat himself or ask the player to do something again, it takes time away from something else that could be making the program better. Whether turning in compliance forms before getting to campus or doing a drill properly during spring practice, having players who do things right the first time is a coach’s dream. If you do things right the first time in the recruiting process, coaches will notice.

Attention to detail shows you are motivated

At the college level, you beat your opponents and become the best you can be by attending to and mastering the seemingly minute details and fundamentals. Above all else, this is what gives the individual or the team the competitive edge the vast majority of the time. Attention to detail shows you are motivated to compete at the highest level and seek an edge.  If you display this valuable skill in the recruiting process and on the field, you will put yourself in a great position to play college baseball.

Being detail oriented is never the easiest route to take, but it is the path that gives you the best chance at success. Players who attend to and care about the details are much more likely to get the opportunity to play baseball in college. These players are also the ones that excel once they get to campus. As you go through the recruiting process, you will have many opportunities to show coaches that the importance of details is not lost on you. The choice is yours, choose wisely!