The 2.5% Rule

By Jonathan Massey-


If you are a business owner or have studied economics, you’ve probably heard of The Pareto Principle or its more common name, the 80/20 Rule. If you’ve never heard of the 80/20 Rule, let me explain the basics of it.  The principle was named after Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto who noticed that 80 percent of the land in Italy was owned by 20 percent of the population.  Then he began to notice the rule could be found in just about every facet of life.

  • 80% of sales come from 20% of your clients
  • 80% or your results come from 20% of your activities
  • etc.


If you pay close enough attention, you’ll probably notice the same ratio in your life.


Well, one of my clients recommended I read the book, The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss.  I am only about 150 pages into it, but so far, it’s been an incredible read.  It’s been one of those books that I have a hard time putting down, which is a heck of a comment coming from me.


In the book, Ferriss had his own take on the 80/20 rule.  His example in the book is if you want to become fluent in Spanish, if you focus your effort on the 2,500 of the most commonly spoken words in the Spanish language, you will be able to comprehend 95% of all conversations.  Well if you do the math, 2,500 words of the estimated 100,000 words in the Spanish language is 2.5%, so if you focus all of your efforts on learning the 2,500 most common words, you could become fluent in a relatively short period of time.  So Ferriss’ 2.5% rule states if I focus my energy to enhance or become great at this small portion of the activity it leads to greatest change. Or as I like to say, “Where I can get the most bang for my buck.”


In my brief career as a pitching coach here at the Texas Baseball Ranch®, I’ve dealt with two different types of clients. Client A is the perfectionist, their ultimate goal is to have me grade them as ‘perfect’ in every aspect of the delivery. The problem with this mindset is that 1) it simply doesn’t exist. If I dig deep enough I can find flaws in just about everyone’s delivery. 2) They can’t see the forest for the trees. Meaning they are trying to work on everything and therefore they usually end up spinning their wheels and go nowhere. There’s a reason why Coach Wolforth only hands out 2 disconnection DVDs to players at our Elite Pitcher’s Boot Camps.


Client B is the comfort zone player. They only like working on what they’re good at. For some, that is doing mechanical work. For others, it’s the strength portion. So on and so forth. Again, this player usually ends up going nowhere after a while.


So, the inevitable question is which area should I focus on the most?  The answer isn’t that easy.  It will differ for everyone.  Some players will need a better wake up/warm up, some need to become more mechanically efficient, and others need to do a better job with their sleep, nutrition, and hydration.  And those are just 3 of the dozens of categories I could think of given enough time to write them all out.  The only real way to find out is to do a self-audit and grade yourself on which areas you come up with.  The next painful lesson to learn is that area that helps the most today won’t be the same area that helps you 6 months from now.  When I first came to the Ranch in 2006, I needed to become more mechanically efficient.  Then I needed to learn how to become more athletic and explosive.  Then finally in order to get past the 90-mph barrier, I needed to become stronger and fuel my body with the right kinds of food.  It wasn’t ever easy to do a self-audit. Pulling back the curtains and seeing where you are coming up short is an extremely painful activity.  But if you can do it accurately, it might just make be the difference between you accomplishing your goals and you coming up just short.


– – – – – – – – – – – –

At the Texas Baseball Ranch® we help players assess their current constraints and then set up and prioritize their personalized training program.  If you’re looking for a proven program to help you reach your goals, we’d love to have you join us this summer.  

Our 2018 Summer Elite Pitchers’ Boot Camp dates have been set.
Learn more about these exciting, information packed 3-Day events at


 If you’d like to spend more time with us this summer, check out our Extended Stay Summer Intensive Program.




Previous post:

Next post: