This article was written by Nick Millspaugh. Nick played D-1 Baseball at IPFW in Fort Wayne, IN. He finished his collegiate career at Indiana Wesleyan University alongside Atlanta Braves’ starting RHP Brandon Beachy.
In a world where many of us are so reliant on our devices, we so easily dismiss the importance of the intangible. With the web, players often lose touch to the fact that coaches are still looking for these intangible aspects in a player. Intangible characteristics that cannot be recognized based off of a simple profile or even a video. These characteristics are often realized from a bleacher seat 400 feet away from you especially when you think no one is watching. Players often then feel like the way to get noticed is to simply hit a home run when a scout is walking by or strike the batter out. The question posed is: How do I really get a coach to notice me?
College coaches face a challenge of bringing in boys as they transition into men. They will want to see how you react to adversity far more than how you act when nothing rides on your decision. Accepting that a success in baseball is failing seven out of ten times, an intangible is a player who fails at the plate and jogs back to the dugout and does not throw his helmet. An intangible reaction would be the encouragement a player brings to a fellow teammate when faced with a tough situation. Do you run everything out? Do you sprint on and off the field whether you just struck out with runners in scoring position or hit a go-ahead home run? Do you throw your hands up when your teammate makes an error or pat them on their rear and tell them to keep their head up? Do you kick dirt after you make an error or clap your glove and start commanding your teammates into the next pitch? These are characteristics that coaches don’t want to take the time to teach because they know you will face much more adversity playing at a higher level. Players do not realize these are the easiest ways to be crossed off of a list. I once witness a college coach cross an entire team off of his list based off of how they took the field in between innings.
You may be a standout player in your town, but to a coach, you are likely one in thousands of others across the country that can do the same thing physically. Coaches watch your interactions and they watch your body language. They are looking for someone that makes others around them a better player. If you possess these intangible characteristics, this will no doubt put you on his short list above the thousands of other players whose reaction to adversity was a fail. About 90% of players fall into the non-Division 1 category based off of talent alone. If you want my advice, make them notice you by the intangibles that you can control and become attractive from 400 feet away.