In 1941, Ted Williams batted .400 which has not been done since then. But the way he got there shows the mindset of a champion.
Going into the final game of the season Ted Williams was batting .3996 which rounded up to .400. They were set to play a doubleheader that day and his manager gave him the option to sit out to maintain his .400 batting average. Ted Williams refused. He said there is no way he is going out like that. He said if he couldn’t hit .400 from the beginning of the season to the end of a season, he didn’t deserve it. Gutsy!
Game 1 he batted 4 for 5 raising his average to .404. Again he had the option to sit out in Game 2 of the double header. Again he refused. He batted 2 for 3 in the last game and raised his average to .406 for the season.
You can play it safe or you can go all in. Most of the greats in baseball and all sports go all in. Going 6 for 8 that day and raising his average to .406 makes for a great story but Ted Williams could have easily had a bad day and slipped below the .400 mark. It is not batting .400 that season that made Ted Williams great (he would be considered one of the all time greats regardless). It is the mindset that he is going to go all in, all the time, despite the circumstances that makes him great.
On the field, in your training and in your life, it is about getting the most out of yourself. Going all in, putting forth a full effort, not being afraid of losing or looking bad. If you win a game by 3 points but pumped the brakes just to hold on to the win, that is not what we are talking about. If you win a team run by a second when you could have blown away the competition or if you hold back in practice because you already got a few hits, that is not what we are talking about.
There comes a point in everything you do, where you need to ask yourself; am I going to hold back or am I going to go all out? There will be times you lose, make mistakes or look bad because of this. But at the end of the day, only you know if you truly emptied the tank and went all in.
A good friend of mine Zach Bretz once told me, “I will risk a chance of a bust for a shot at the boom.” That is exactly what Ted Williams did. That is what most of the great ball players do. They put themselves on the line, embrace challenges and put forth a full effort. That is a powerful way to live.