Why You Shouldn’t Give 100% Effort

Why do so many tennis coaches and parents of players say the following: “You need to go out there and give 100%?   At first glance, that appears like the logical thing to ask of a player. Unfortunately, that is not sound advice because when a player actually does try to give a 100%  effort level the muscles and mind tend to tighten up. That is not conducive to optimal performance on the tennis court.

It is fine for a player to care about playing well and try hard. With that being said, it is also crucial for the player to be in a relaxed flowing state while playing.  It is important to care, be determined, and be  intense as long as the muscles and mind are not tense. This mental and physical tightness does not allow a player to get into a flow state.

In the video below, Dr. Patrick  Cohn does an excellent job of explaining why it is important for a player to get to an arousal state that is not too high in order to get into the flow of the match. He also discusses that in order to get into the optimal level of intensity players must find the particular intensity level that works best for them. In the video it is suggested that between  75%-99% may be a good range of intensity to shoot for.     

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