I hate the saying “Give 110%!” It is normally attached to an over-emotional rant about how you have to go out and smash your opponent because everyone in the world is depending on you. But how can you give a 110%…it’s impossible. You are trying to do things that you are simply not capable of. Todd Durkin, TRX expert, has a saying “move as fast as you can, not as fast as you can’t” and he is right. So what does this have to do with you?
In rugby, most of your game should be played between 80-90% of your ability. In this range, like in lifting, you will be able to perform all the skills with your best technique and achieve the desired result. This comes by taking the time to practice the skills, so you can increase the speed and accuracy you perform these skills at. An example would be hitting the target with a long pass while running fast. For backs, a good standard is 25m. If your max is 25m then you will likely have a low strike rate for hitting the target. If you increase your max pass to 30m, you will only be passing 83% of your max distance and your ability to hit the target at 25m will increase.
The added bonus is that you also have a little bit extra for those game changing moments. These are the moments where the outcome is worth the risk of performing a skill inaccurately. This might be throwing that 30m pass to next man standing unmarked on the wing 15m out from the tryline or a prop attempting to make a cover tackle on a winger. These special moments during a match demand that you give a little extra, isn’t it better to be able to give that little extra rather than trying to over-extend yourself?