Stand Up – Stand Out – The Key to Being Noticed.
I visited New York City this past summer for the first time. Standing in the middle of Times Square, gazing around like a lost tourist, I found myself swallowed in a mass of humanity. Like a freckle on the bottom of a foot, completely invisible to those around me. I suppose I could have started jumping around and screaming controversial propaganda and someone may have noticed – however, there were already plenty of attention-seekers doing that already.
The scene made me think of what it must be like for a young softball player yearning to be noticed by college coaches. There's a reality as to how difficult that task can be. Where she is just one of many at a weekend tournament or week-long showcase. When hundreds or thousands are vying for the same attention from but a select few.
Should she scream? Shout? Promote herself in outlandish ways?
Not exactly – but sort of…
Something can be learned from attention-seekers – like those donning goofy costumes and shouting about in the heart of NYC.
Simply put, you need to stand out from the crowd!
· Be willing to be different.
· Do something nobody else is doing.
· Show yourself in ways others are unwilling to do.
· Draw “POSITIVE” attention to yourself through your actions.
Now, place yourself in the shoes of a coach. The mindset for every coach is to find individuals who will make their program better. Maybe that’s you, but if they don’t already know about you, your chances are slim they’ll ever recognize anything you do – much like standing in the middle of Times Square.
So, you must show them what you’ve got. You have to broadcast your value. In bright lights, make it be known that you can be a positive addition to their team. You can help them win games. You fit their culture. You have a contagious energy (that’s good for the team).
Coaches get tired during the recruiting period. Their summer schedules are packed with events, camps, and tournaments. They see thousands of faces and by the end of the summer, everyone starts to look the same. With some understanding for that, you’ll better understand the necessary measures to garner attention from coaches.
Here’s a true story – one of my favorites. Katie Dinning was part of our first Elite Camp. She was the typical attendee. She was talented, wanted to get better, and wanted coaches to notice her. She was a very good player but being good, as we all know, isn’t enough.
During camp, she performed fine but certainly didn’t stand out from anyone else during any of the drills or the games. It wasn’t until the end of the day that Katie, unintentionally, caught the attention of all the coaches.
We had a homerun contest at the end of camp that day. While other athletes who were not participating in the contest sat in the shade and watched, Katie grabbed her glove and took to the outfield. She ran foul line to foul line chasing batted balls and was the only camp attendee who made that effort. This stood out. Katie had done something others were unwilling to do.
She was being noticed!
At the end of the day, several coaches commented to me about how impressed they had been with Katie's effort. In the ensuing weeks, Katie received multiple Division-I offers from the coaches who witnessed her that day. When I asked one of the coaches what she had seen in Katie, she simply said, “Katie stood out. She was the only one willing to shag balls at the end of a long day. That’s the type of kid I want in my program.”
As it turned out, Katie went on to be a four-year starter at the University of South Dakota, earning her degree and a bundle of All-Conference honors.
What can you do to stand out?
That’s for you to determine. You are unique. There’s only one you. A single version with your skill-set and mindset. Here are some things to keep in mind:
· Be Positive
· Have Contagious Energy
· Be Vocal
· Be Team-Centered
· Find Extra Effort
· Have a Willingness to Do More
· Never Give Up
So, whether you’re picking up equipment, shagging in the outfield like Katie, or doing your best to channel positive energy, just remember to be you. Authenticity is easy on the eyes, fakery, however, is not – even for those watching loud costume-wearing propagandists in NYC.
It’s easier to stand out at a Jerrad Hardin Camp with only 80 Total Participants and a minimum of 12 college coaches at every event! Don’t miss your best chance this summer to improve your skills and be noticed. See our schedule here: www.jerradhardin.com