Principle of reserve energy

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Bulls, Cheetahs, Original Content, Other SA Teams, Super Rugby on 13 Jul 2012 at 11:45
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

No one can deny that the Sharks is a dangerous side, the problem has always been their consistency. What will the Sharks do to ensure another lapse in concentration won’t hamper them again this week? Well, thank God John Plumtree has got a degree in psychology at the University of Harra, or that’s what he said.

“The South African derbies are always pretty tough and generally closely contested and that’s what you have to be prepared for.” says Plumtree, “We know that it is going to be hard. The Cheetahs is always a tough competitor it doesn’t matter whether they are in this competition or not. They’ve got plenty to play for, pride is a big thing for many teams. We’ll have to be on the money.”

Plumtree is not about to fall for the underdog tag that has been thrown around this week. The Cheetahs are  a weaker side than the Bulls though, placed 10th on the log compared to the 5th of the Bulls and have never managed to reach even a semi-final, when the Bulls have won the compition 3 times. The facts indicate that the Sharks will be playing a weaker side. Not a weak side, but certainly one has to admit that they are weaker? How do you get them to believe that they won’t win, unless they put as much into the game as they did against their previous, superior opposition. Lie to them? Hypnotize them? Somehow trick them into believing that the Cheetahs are just as good as the Bulls? “You can send warning signs during the week, but on the day if the boys aren’t mentally up for it… It’s really the leadership within the group that have to drive that (focus)” says Plumtree,

Captain Keegan Daniel echoes this statement by his coach explaining how important it is for the senior players to lead by example, “I think as a leader you always have to be leading from the front. I can’t just talk the talk. When I see one of my teammates doing something inspirational it gets me going as well. I’m not just a leader on my own, each player is a leader for himself and there has to be a leadership group on the field.” While the Bulls game is seen as one of the Sharks’ best performances of the season it was preceded by probably their worst only 4 weeks before that, 4 weeks that Daniel feels may have helped the Sharks’ cause, “It probably gave us time to forget about that Lions loss and come back refreshed and look forward.” says Daniel, “I think that’s the nature of sport. Everyone just seemed to be on the same page on Friday night and it just shows you what we’re capable of.”

Surely at some point we have to come up with the how here, we all know the what. Don’t underestimate any opponent, lead by example, keep your focus, never give anything but your best, but how? Ever heard of the principle of reserve Energy? Or the 10 percent myth? Maybe Plum will know. It’s a psychological theory after all.

The 10 percent myth is the postulate that the average person typically uses only ten percent of their brain, while the remaining 90 percent remains dormant. The myth originated in the 1890s reserve mental energy theories of Harvard psychologists William James and Boris Sidis, who applied the theory to the development of child prodigy William Sidis to affect an adult IQ of 250-300. The seed of the ten percent myth originated in the 1890s, which postulated that just as the body has dormant energy that can be called on when the circumstance presents itself, then so too must the mind have dormant intellectual ability that can be called on when the circumstance presents itself. The first published statement of this theory, now better known as the ten percent myth, it seems, was in James’ 1906 speech “The Energies of Men” wherein he commented that:

“We make use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources. Psychologists are more and more inclined to the opinion, that there is in every human being a store of disposable ‘reserve energy’, commonly utilized at infrequent intervals, but capable of being utilized habitually to great advantage. Reaction to stimulus results in tapping a new level of energy. Without being in the slightest degree conscious of it, they have adjusted themselves to the leading of a fuller, a more intense, a more effective life than they led in the days when, like the savage, they lived with three-quarters of their brain unused.”

Now I don’t know much of Psychology, but I know for a fact that when pushed, people use that reserve energy psychologist James talks about, a reserve energy, that apparently can be stimulated and used habitually without the volatile influences of opposition strength and the importance of a game.

James continues to say: “Organisms have stored reserves of energy that are ordinarily not called upon, but that may be called upon … and be ready for use for anyone who probes so deep. “Everyone knows what it is to start a piece of work, either intellectual or muscular, feeling stale—or ‘cold’, as an Adirondack guide once put it to me. And everybody knows what it is to ‘warm’ up to the job. The process of warming up gets particularly striking in the phenomena known as second wind. On usual occasion we make a practice of stopping an occupation as soon as we meet the first effective layer (or so to call it) of fatigue. We have then walked, played, or worked enough, we desist. That amount of fatigue is an efficacious obstruction on this side of which our usually life is cast.”

But James goes on to say, “If an unusual necessity forces us to press onward, a surprising thing occurs. The fatigue gets worse up to a certain critical point, when gradually it passes away, and we are fresher than before. We have evidently tapped a level of new energy, masked until then by the fatigue obstacle usually obeyed. There may be layer after layer of this experience. A third and fourth wind may supervene. Mental activity shows the phenomenon as well as physical, and in exceptional cases we may find, beyond the very extremity of fatigue distress, amounts of ease and power that we never dreamed ourselves to own—sources of strength habitually not taxed at all, because habitually we never push through the obstruction, never pass those early critical points.”

I found these qoutes at http://www.eoht.info/ – An Encyclopedia of Human Termodinamics, when searching google for “principle of reserve energy” (I had a feeling about it). One can only hope that Plumtree’s degree in psychology covered went into some of this theory, as it seems, it is exactly the type of thing the Sharks needs coaching in.


  • I got lost on paragraph 6.Thereafter it was terminal velocity downwards. 🙁

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.07.12 12:19:47 by Caratacus Reply
  • Can I get my 3rd star for actually understanding all of this?

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.07.12 12:49:08 by Die Kriek Reply
  • Deur A.G. Visser

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.07.12 13:27:34 by Bite me Reply
    Bite me
  • Eish Letgo,

    I find it hard staying interested in your rambling. No offense buddy.

    Short and sweet, that’s how I (and 99% of others) like it.

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.07.12 13:50:37 by hendrikp Reply
  • @hendrikp (Comment 4) : Then read Rob or Ice or Rich’s articles, I enjoy Letgo’s (sometimes over)analytical articles

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.07.12 13:54:01 by Die Kriek Reply
  • @Die Kriek (Comment 5) :

    Okie dokie.

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.07.12 14:06:24 by hendrikp Reply
  • @hendrikp (Comment 6) : Glad we could reach an accord :mrgreen:

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.07.12 14:08:33 by Die Kriek Reply
  • @hendrikp (Comment 4) : I’ll summerise.

    Sharks – Inconsistant

    Plum talks Cheetahs up.

    Cheetahs are weaker than Bulls. Plum – Leaders have to lead.

    Keegan says – totally.

    My question – how?

    We use only 10% of our brain (some less than others) 😉

    We can use more if pushed.

    We can activate the reserve energy through practice.

    Usually we stop once we’ve used the 10% energy, but can use reserves if forced.

    When we played, like the Bulls, we mentally pushed ourselves to use the extra energy, but if we train ourselves mentally, we can use that energy without even thinking about it, or being forced by say, the pressure of playing the Bulls and having to win against them with a bonus point to survive. (Wait too long). –

    Against Bulls good – pressure. Against Lions bad – no pressure. But with practice Bulls, Lions, Cheetahs no matter – good.

    The Sharks could use someone who can apply these principles effectively.

    Short enough for you “buddy”?

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.07.12 14:30:51 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @hendrikp (Comment 4) : I was surfing the web and found it interesting. Just thought I’d share, but thanks, it’s good to know my audience.

    No offence “buddy”.

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.07.12 14:33:23 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @hendrikp (Comment 4) : Anyway…Just read the 1st 4 Par, I added the rest, because I thought it was interesting.

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.07.12 15:07:32 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 8) : I like the full version better, more sciency!

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.07.12 15:12:48 by Die Kriek Reply

  • great article Letgo! Just hope the players do not read it though and come up with the myth as an excuse 🙁

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.07.12 15:29:45 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • @Letgo (Comment 10) : you’re doing a wonderful job – keep it up 🙂

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.07.12 15:45:26 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Thanks. 🙂

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.07.12 15:55:09 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Guys, just one thing. Everyone contributing here, does it for the love and passion of the game and voluntary…please show some respect. We don’t cater to JUST satisfy your ‘needs’ – may it be short and sweet or hard and long. We try to cater for all, so your needs might not always be met. At least know…its done for you.

    Sorry if this is harsh, but I think some respect should be shown.

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.07.12 19:20:36 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Die Kriek (Comment 5) : hey?! What’s that suppose to mean??

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.07.12 19:25:13 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Ice (Comment 15) :

    Nicely put Ys. Someone needed to say that. Some rather snotty comments of late – I think some people are forgetting that writers aren’t paid journos here: they are writing out of passion and a desire to contribute to everyone’s blogging experience.

    Thanks for the read Letgo.

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.07.12 19:28:15 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 17) : Yes thanx to all the people giving their time to write articles for the site. If you don’t like it then just leave and let the rest of us read in peace!

  • Comment 18, posted at 14.07.12 00:35:51 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @Ice (Comment 16) : That you and Rob and Rich usualy write shorter, more ‘blog-like’ articles that read easy, not saying it’s wrong, I enjoy all the articles, was just offering hendrikp an alternative to bashing the longer articles

  • Comment 19, posted at 14.07.12 08:03:31 by Die Kriek Reply

  • @Die Kriek (Comment 19) : I was joking!:wink:

  • Comment 20, posted at 14.07.12 09:28:44 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @hendrikp (Comment 4) : we like it as it comes…. buddy 😉

  • Comment 21, posted at 14.07.12 09:46:49 by Franshark Reply

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