Throughout the course of my professional baseball career, I regularly would encounter the same issue over and over again…
I tried way too hard.
Yea I get it Yoda, “do or do not, there is no try,” but gosh damn it dude there was way too much “do not” in my career, and trying too hard was the one simple reason for it.
So… My little green, hairless omnipotent creature buddy is going to have to trust me on this…
There is definitely a such thing as “try.”
We have all heard phrases such as “try easier” and “try less,” but for years, I had the hardest time figuring out exactly WTF that means.
Think about all of your best educational, occupational and athletic feats…
Remember what that felt like?
EASY right? 🤷♂️
The day you aced Mr. D’s history test, drilled a presentation at work, or dropped 56 points against Pescadero in an 8th grade basketball game, it seemed like there was very little effort in all of these feats… Why?
Well, 2 reasons:
- We were PREPARED – We put in the work that gave us the confidence to perform the task at hand.
- We entered a state of FLOW – Our preparation, skill set and psychological approach put us into the all too allusive ZONE.
The ZONE is a special place, and if I could answer exactly how to get there, I’d still be hitting TANKS in the show and the Daily Hustle wouldn’t exist… So of course we are glad I have yet to find the treasure map that brings us to the golden heightened state of awareness.
That said, collectively with my boy T, who trained me my entire baseball career, we came up with a phrase that I believe helped get me as close to the golden zone treasure as possible:
“80 will get you 100.”
No matter what I did on a baseball field, I was FULL SEND… Many times that was a good thing that worked to my advantage, but there were many other times where my all out effort actually worked against me.
When we swing a baseball bat at what we perceive to be 100 percent, we actually tense our muscles up, slow our swing down and get diminishing returns. Anybody who has ever tried to CRUSH a golf ball as hard as humanly possible can surely attest to the “swing too hard” theory, when the little white ball goes dribbling 3 feet off the tee after a monstrous hack.
Here’s a quick physiology lesson:
Loose muscles = Quick muscles = Powerful muscles = Ding Dong Donkey Kong’s
80 will get you 100.
When we are able to perform in an effortless manner at a perceived 80 percent, we will actually be getting 100 percent returns.
The best real life example was in 2007 when we were facing the Philadelphia Phillies in Arizona…
The day before, I had been “over swinging” and felt as if I was fouling off good pitches I should have been hammering. My first at bat the next day, I kept telling myself “80 will get you 100, 80 will get you 100…”
Phillies pitcher Adam Eaton threw a sinker that started over the middle of the plate then broke down and inside… I remember seeing the ball as if it was in slow motion and then swinging almost as if I was taking an easy warm up hack off a tee in the batting cage. I couldn’t feel the ball come off my bat but I was pretty sure I squared it up. As the ball traveled toward the left field bleachers, I busted it down the first base line in hopes that it would somehow find a way to clear the left field wall…
When I was about to round first base full steam ahead, I looked up, and to my amazement, saw the ball land in some dudes french fries 473 feet away from home plate in the TGI Friday’s restaurant above the left field bleachers…
Look, we all have different cues, phrases and mantras that help us in life. Many are personal and speak directly to the individual. I can’t guarantee this will work for everybody, but if you happen to be a GO HARD like myself, trust me when I tell you…
80 will get your ass 💯