Effort: Making Every Day Count

CaptainU_DU-Sports-Science-Headerv2
Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 10.58.27 AM

I am not an intense cyclist, but I enjoy going on bike rides. I had a few extra minutes in the morning recently, and I considered going for a ride. I did not have enough time for a full ride, and I thought, what is the point? Once I began riding, my outlook changed. I was excited to take a short ride, compared to no ride at all.

The trail near my house is usually full of young adults donning race gear and zipping by on the latest and greatest road bikes. The weekday morning was completely different. I saw people with strollers, people in wheelchairs, and someone pushing a walker. The scene made me realize that we all come into a situation with different personal components. We all have different levels of talent, body type, and our own injury histories.

Despite our individual differences, one thing we can control is our level of effort. Pedro Martinez once said “when you talk about the playoffs, there is no time to be mad, there is no time to complain, there is no soreness that you can’t overcome….I am going to leave my heart out there for my team” (Pedro Martinez, 2004). If you come into a day tired, sore, and feeling only 50% and you only give 50% effort, then you are only making use of 25% of your talent. If you give all of your 50%, then 50% + 50% + 50%…will add up much faster than 25% + 25% + 25%….Thus, it does not matter if you are tired or facing a more talented opponent. Spend less time thinking about what you bring in to the situation. Instead, think about how you can give all of what you have. You might be surprised how far all of your effort takes you. Like iconic NFL coach George Halas said, “nobody who ever gave his best regretted it” (Fuelisms, 2014).

By Parker-Tims, who graduated from the University of Denver in 2014 with a M.A. in Sport and Performance Psychology. He played baseball and basketball and coached winter sports for 11 seasons—both in the U.S. at the national level and internationally.

Copyright, J. Parker Tims 2014