The value of 1%

On average, of all the scholar/athletes that played  girls  basketball in high school,  only about 7% or so choose to go on and play women’s basketball in college.


Like Siena Mitman.

When it comes to softball,  roughly  the same ratio applies.

Of all the girls that played in highschool, only about 7% decide to continue their playing career through  college.



Also like Siena.

So, purely for the sake of argument,  let’s say that those that choose  to “play on” in two sports in college might represent 3.5%  of  scholar/athletes.

Now that is an elite group.

If you want to take this analysis a little further,  let’s consider two sport collegiate scholar-athletes that embark on a major in  pre-veterinary medicine,  with a minor in Spanish thrown in just for fun.

Then, include  those that have been  named an All-American Scholar Athlete by the National Fastpitch coaches Association and have become  co-president of the Bowdoin student athletic council. 

Add in the ones that can find  the time to volunteer for Big Sisters, give their spare hours to the local humane society and help chaperone prospective students during  campus tours.

Where does that put us?  Maybe  about 2% or below.

Lastly, fold in those that  choose to stay on campus over the summer doing  research for senior year honors biology projects and coaching girls’ basketball camps while tending to some off-season basketball training.  

I reckon that puts us at about 1%.




Now I sincerely doubt that she is driven by some desire for recognition.  To be a member of such an elite group of scholar/athletes.  It  probably never even enters into the equation.

Siena has made her self into a bona fide 1%’er the old-fashioned way.

By employing, mastering and growing 100% of her abilities,  all of the time.

And as convoluted as it may seem, achievement, excellence and success of this magnitude requires 100% focus on the 1%.

You know.

The details.

Seems Siena has learned to master one of life’s most important lessons:

If you cannot maintain your focus on the 1%, there is absolutely nothing you can do to make the rest of the math in your life work out.

That is, you will never be 100% of what you were meant to be.

When Siena began her freshman year, she arrived at Bowdoin tested;  the residue of four stellar years, relentlessly pursuing all facets of her high school experience at Homestead.

So perhaps it isn’t so much that Siena has her priorities right – check – or that she knows how to make the most of each moment – double check.

It seems to be more so a matter of her investment.

Not only the investment she makes in what she does.  But also in who she is. Not only does she believe in what she is doing  – she believes in the person that is doing them.

Across all fronts, without a doubt Siena is all in.

” All in”.

No overlooking any of the little things or assuming  the details will somehow manage themselves.

No neglecting  the 1%.

And I think there  can be no better illustration of this than a  somewhat obscure honor Siena earned as a Highlander basketball player her junior year.

That season, she led the team in charges taken.

Now I am no b-ball guy, but it seems to me that choosing to take a charge requires equal parts guts, will, faith and leadership.  And it has to be  much more than simply a mindset.  It  has to be second nature.  The most unglamorous commitment one can make to  your teammates.

And the only way it can be accomplished is by always putting yourself in a position to willingly take one for the team.

Think about that for a moment.

This can be no mere game day decision.   It requires  superb conditioning  to handle the punishment the floor will deliver and unparalleled mental acuity so you can be sharp, read the situation and take the charge.

To commit to taking a charge means you not only are willing to leave it on the floor,  but you are wiling to go to the floor for your teammates.

Taking a charge can stop a run, change the momentum and make a statement.

It is a pure expression of will.

Siena could not have been a captain or an MVP at HHS or a collegiate basketball player at Bowdoin if she was not willing to take a charge,

Without that ability, she would have been playing at only 99%.

She understands all too well the inherent value of focusing on the 1%.

Siena knows that  once you are able to do  the 1% – 100% of the time – things begin to add up in a very big way.

And then, just about anything is possible.

Even becoming a 1%’er.

Just ask Siena.


One thought on “The value of 1%”

  1. I had the pleasure of coaching Siena’s mother, Terry, in high school field hockey – in academics and sports she was “all in” too. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in this family!

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