One of my favorite videos and books is 212° The Extra Degree, by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson.
212 degrees is the extra degree of effort that often separates the good from the great. 212° The Extra Degree captures a simple, yet powerful concept. At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. It's that extra degree that can power a locomotive…or take your life results far beyond your expectations. By taking ownership of this fundamental principle, focusing on a clearly-defined goal, maintaining an unstoppable attitude, committing to take action, and persevering, you'll see life-altering, positive results. The message of 212° The Extra Degree is clear: It's your life: You are responsible for your results. It's time to turn up the heat!
That extra effort can be illustrated in sports, and is easy to see in baseball. The difference between being an average hitter to a good hitter, and a good hitter to a Hall of Famer, can come down to finding that extra degree.
The Major League Baseball regular season runs through April, May, June, July, August, and September- about 25 weeks. If an everyday player has about 500 at bats per year, and had 125 hits, he would be a .250 hitter. If that same player was able to manage 150 hits throughout the season, he would be a .300 hitter - a difference of 25 hits, the equivalent of 1 per week.
Think about it- with players playing 6 or 7 games per week, getting an average of 3+ at bats per game (minus walks), we are talking about approximately 20-25 at bats per week. One hit per week difference.
If you were to take this to the next level...lets say a .350 hitter, someone who would be considered the best of the best, you are only talking about 2 more hits per week when comparing a .350 hitter vs a .250 hitter.
Finding that extra degree - be it an extra 1-2 hits a week for a major league baseball player, or the extra effort in training from a collegiate soccer player - can be the difference between being average, good or great.