Attention to detail…when I was in the military, it was something I learned a LOT about. But it was a necessity. When you are out on missions for weeks at a time, and getting tired and hungry, the ability to pay attention to small details…like personal hygene and health (eating, sleeping, etc.) become very important. The ability of an person to stay on top of these little details can be the difference between staying alert, healthy, and able to carry on with the mission or falling ill, getting injured or worse, becoming a casualty that requires others to stop doing their jobs to assist.
In sports, attention to detail can play an important part in the success or failure of an athlete. On deck, swimmers will hear me refer to “extreme” swimming. But what is it? It’s attention to detail. Focusing on little things ALL THE TIME! Anyone can focus on drills when that’s what you’re working on. And anyone can work hard when told to. But what about during warm-ups and cool-downs? Isn’t technique just as important then? Is form and skill something we only work on at certain times during the workout? Shouldn’t it be ALL the time? And what about strength? Everyone is strong when they are rested. Can you be strong at the end of a workout, when you’ve been trying hard and are physically tired? Can you be strong when you have had a bad day at school or work and mentally you just want to shut down? Are you able to be strong on Saturday mornings when you show up for training tired and sleepy after you’ve been up late with your friends on Friday night?
Strength comes from being prepared. And being prepared comes from paying attention to the little things. As Emily Dickenson said:
“Take care of the small things, the big things will take care of themselves. You can gain more control over your life by paying closer attention to the little things.”
I think she’s referring to attention to detail…don’t you?
Need help…? Having a clear mind without clutter and anxiety is a good start. Thanyapura’s Mind training has been designed to enhance mental faculty of attention by reducing and eventually eliminating the subconscious habits of mental hyperactivity (restlessness) and hypo-activity (dullness). It also promotes deep psycho-physiological relaxation, mental attentiveness, focus, resilience and endurance.
Thanyapura’s Aquatics Head Coach