The 0 : 100 Rule

The 0 - 100 Rule (c)

Hard work beats talent when
talent doesn’t work hard.

Tim Notke, high school basketball coach

When you have expectations, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
Ryan Reynolds, actor

There’s a victory in letting go of your expectations.
Mike White, American writer

Trade expectations for appreciations and the world changes instantly.
Tony Robbins, American author, philanthropist and life coach

Success is giving 100 percent of your effort, body, mind, and soul to the struggle.
John Wooden, NCAA hall of fame basketball coach

I’ve come up with the 0 : 100 Rule in coaching athletes and dealing with expectations from parents bestowed upon them. Even in my brother and my Guinness World Records™ title attempts, this rule applied. It’s a way to reduce and eliminate frustration and focus on the controllables, like effort level. 0 stands for the expectation level and 100 stands for the percent of effort. Going into any competition or contest, you should have zero expectations of the outcome because the outcome is not fully controllable by you. However, giving 100% effort during the contest is very controllable. As a sidebar, some athletes say that they want to give 110% effort, but there’s no such thing as something above 100%, as this is the highest capacity that you have. That simply means that your 100% was really 90% as your 110% is really 100%.

The author thought leader, and marketing guru, Seth Godin, asks his audience to raise their hands as high as they can. Then he asks them to raise them even higher, which they are able to do. He says, “what’s that about?” and the crowd laughs. It’s that their natural inclination is to hold something back.

Focusing on the controllable of the effort and reducing your expectations of the outcome to nothing will reduce frustration. Frustration is caused by the disparity of your expectation level and your level of performance. The difference is frustration. Whereas, if your performance level is higher than your expectation level, then you have confidence.

I’m not saying that if you have 0 expectations going into competition, that means you try less hard. On the contrary, you shift your focus to something that you can control, which is your effort. Now some would say that you need expectations in order to have achievement. I suggest that these are goals and they represent an example of the difference between goals and expectations. Goal setting happens before competition not during it. Athletes would have goals set prior to the contest yet focus on the elements that they can control during the competition. Have a goal that you will win; having the belief that you will win and having the expectation that you will win are different things. You should have expectations of your standards, practice level, or work ethic but not of the outcome.

Effort is a controllable just like attitude, preparedness, sportsmanship, and teamwork. These are controllables. If you focus on the controllables, like effort, and you are aware that if your expectations are too high, you could have disappointment, you will have the right mindset for competition. A good way to evaluate whether you have this equation right is how you feel after a win. If you feel relieved that you won, then that indicates that you had expectations going into that match. If it was just joy, then you probably didn’t carry expectation burden going in.

Mindset Moment #27
The irony about our world record in 2008 was that I was the most nervous after we set the record. While we were still rallying, the goal of mine was not to make a mistake. And we didn’t. I let the ball pass on purpose at one-minute past midnight, so that we would end up with the identical number of strokes, since I started with the serve. The reason why I was the most nervous after we set the record, was that I had an expectation in place that I wasn’t going to make a mistake. Once we set the record, and simply adding to the record total, I got very nervous for a moment because I had raised my expectations. I had to lower my expectations and accept whatever the outcome would be to shake off my nerves. If a mistake happened, not too bad, we had already captured the world record and raised money for charity. If you constantly check yourself and your level of awareness of your expectations to make sure that your expectations are 0, you will reduce frustration and increase your chance of success.
Minimize frustration, maximize success, by using the 0 : 100 Rule.

Purpose Point #27
Prioritize the process not the result. Remove the expectation to live in peace and find your joy. If you replace expectations with gratitude, then you will not sweat the small stuff and think about others before yourself. Understanding the place of expectation will help you find joy and remove judgment. Rather than judge your life, live it!

I always welcome feedback at angelo @ tennacity .org. The above content is proprietary. Please ask me for permission to reference or use in any way.

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You can learn more about a couple of tennis GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ that I have been a part of:

Our Inspiration – 2 World Records 2 Minute Video
FOX News Story
MSNBC News Story
Inspirational Tennis Story: Tennis Begins with Love
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The 0 : 100 Rule