Is It Time To Stop Giving 110%?
Is It Time To Stop Giving 110% | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
The phrase “Giving 110%” is one of those sports clichés that always sound great regardless of if they are used before, during or after an event. For some people however, giving 110% may not only be impossible, but also may be 25% more than what is truly necessary. Does this theory make sense, or is it all just nonsense to help some people make money by messing with your mind? Let’s hear what the theory is and take a look for ourselves.
An article in INC Magazine talks about the race that determines the fastest human on the planet, the 100 Meter Dash. One of the fastest events in all of sports, this sub ten-second sprint can be won or lost with a single step, and those competing in it needs to be at the top of their game from their first step. It discusses two of the most famous sprinters to compete in the event, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt, who looked very different to one another during a race, but often had the same result, winning.
For Lewis, who was a slow starter in the 100 Meters, his “extra” burst of energy to come from behind to win races was not from giving 110%, quite the opposite, in fact, as the nine-time Olympic Gold Medalist would relax, trust his preparation and technique, which would guide him to victories. However, for Bolt, a man who was often seen waving to fans only seconds before an event and appeared to be able to make eye contact with the crowd while sprinting down the track, his relaxed state of mind helped him set world records as often as he heard the starter’s pistol. What helped them have this state of mind and allowed them to perform at their best when others would not, the 85% Rule.
The belief is that when you are putting out your maximum effort, such was swinging a bat at full strength or throwing a baseball to an All-Star hitter, you are unable to fully understand what you are doing. The results is an inability to assess your own performances, see what others are doing around you or to do the two basic things that enhance the chances of your success, think, or relax. The same article also applies this rule to acting, where someone like Hugh Jackman said that putting in the time to do the research before reaching the set helps him relax and leave room to live in the moment by reacting spontaneously to what is happening around him. Jackman noted that without preparation, putting forth maximum effort won’t help you succeed; he also added, “I actually think you need to risk being bad, and just let it be.”
As I was reading this article, I was thinking about Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddox, who would often throw off-speed pitchers when a big moment called for a hard fastball. He often talked about using the hitter’s aggressive state of mind against them, because knowing they were going to try and swing harder makes his changeup more effective. The same can be true for many of us because we are trying to put forth “110%” effort, the results are often more mistakes because we are unable to relax and let things happen naturally. We, instead, have a full-speed ahead approach that lends itself to mistakes that commonly go unnoticed until it is too late.
The phrase that also came to mind for me was controlled aggression, which comes from not going at 110%, but rather going with the confidence in your preparation and the plan you have come up with. Because in sports, just as in life, you have to be able to think on your feet, otherwise someone will knock you down, leaving all of us to wonder what went wrong. So, remember, 85% effort combined with 110% preparation has proven successful to many at the highest levels of sports, and can also work for us if you just trust the process from start to finish.
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Is It Time To Stop Giving 110%? | TooAthletic.com