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    always give 87% Effort

    I used to run a basketball camp called the 87% Basketball Camp. Coaches would, on occasion, see a player wearing a T-shirt with that name and almost invariably their comment would be,

    “Hey, what’s this 87 percent stuff? You gotta give 100 percent, Man.”

    Often they took it a step further. “You gotta give 110 percent.”

    Do you think 110 percent is enough? Some coaches demand 150 percent, others want 200 percent. I’ve heard there are now some coaches in California (a state that often leads the way in new trends) who are demanding—and getting—500 percent every time their players step onto the field to play. Makes you think that, in Japan, there must be some coaches, or at least some business tycoons, who are getting 1000 percent from their teams. Is the guy who gives only 100 percent a loafer?

    Read More: It’s Not What You Do. It’s How You Do It.


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    By now, you may have guessed that I don’t like this unrealistic arithmetic. It’s all hype. It’s all garbage. No one gives everything. You can have your 1000 and 500 and 200 percents. I look for the athlete who gives an honest 87 percent, who knows it, and who is constantly trying to add 2 percent here and 2 percent there. I figure there’s a certain complacency in the guy who calls himself a 100 percenter. I imagine he has quit thinking and quit actively searching for ways to do more because he apparently thinks he already does everything.

    Better to have the guy who knows he doesn’t give everything, and who spends his time thinking up ways to do more.

    • “What could I add here?”
    • “What could I add there?”
    • “Is there some way to do this just a little bit better?”

    “You give a hundred percent every time you step out onto the field, don’t you?” A lot of coaches ask questions like that.

    I like the athlete that has a quick answer: “No, no way, never have…but I’d like to…right now I figure I’m somewhere around eighty seven, workin’, struggling an’ strainin’ to get up to eighty nine.” Ain’t no athlete never got up to no eighty nine. At least not in my book. But keep at it, Man. And spend a little time on that grammar, too. That’s part of it all. It’s always possible to do a little better.

    —Excerpted from the book, “Think Like a Champion.”

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    About PGC

    PGC Basketball provides intense, no-nonsense basketball training for players and coaches. Our basketball camps are designed to teach players of all positions to play smart basketball, be coaches on the court, and be leaders in practices, games and in everyday life.

    We combine our unique PGC culture with a variety of teaching methods and learning environments to maximize the learning potential of those that attend our sessions. In addition to spending 6-7 hours on the court each day, lessons will be reinforced through classroom sessions and video analysis.

    Our goal at PGC is to empower you with the tools to fulfill your basketball dreams, while also assisting you in experiencing the joy of the journey.

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