Grade Your Effort On A Scale From 0-100

Athletes like to say they give their best effort in games. Some athletes do give their best effort almost every game, but most athletes don't. They deceive themselves, and don't like to admit when they don't give their best effort. They think too often in all-or-nothing terms. Either they gave their best effort, or they totally gave up. They don't see the gray area.

I've once watched my friend play a tennis match. He played very hard for most of the match, but then towards the end, when the match began to slip away, I could tell he gave up a little bit. I thought his confidence lowered and he became less disciplined with his shot-selection/strategy. Later that day, I told him that I thought he "tanked" at the end. He became defensive and said, "I didn't tank! I gave it my best effort for the entire match!"

I explained to him that there's levels of tanking. You can give up completely, you can give up a lot, you can give up a moderate amount, you can give up a little, and you can give up a tiny bit. Even if you give up only a tiny bit, and reduce your effort only for a few moments during a game, you cannot say you gave it your best effort.

This is why you should grade your effort from 0-100%. This forces you to be more precise with your effort evaluation. You can't just say you generally gave around your best effort. Many athletes, even when they truly gave around 80-90% of their effort, will still say they gave their best effort. You need to be honest with yourself and grade your effort from 0-100%. If you grade yourself at 85%, then this will tell you that you could have gave 15% more effort, and you cannot say you gave it your best effort. You cannot be satisfied with only 85% effort. Be motivated to give more effort next game.

But in order to grade your effort accurately, you need help. Athletes often overestimate their effort levels. Getting feedback from an unbiased coach helps you find a more objective evaluation. Watching yourself on film also helps. You also need to be shown examples of what truly great effort looks like. More importantly, you need to experience what 100% effort feels like. When you've actually given 100% effort before, and you've experienced the burning in your lungs, you've noticed how fast you ran, and you know how well you perform at this effort level, then you'll be able to better evaluate your effort level.

Be aware of your effort level in games. Actively try to maintain full effort throughout the entirety of a game. After the game, give yourself an honest evaluation of your effort from 0-100%. Once you've graded yourself, learn from it and figure out in which areas you can give more effort and how you can do it! With practice, you'll become better at grading your own effort, and therefore you'll give better effort!