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There are two kinds of pain, the pain of disciplined hard work and the pain of regret.”
– Andy Mckay, Player Development Director for the Seattle Mariners
The moment you are born the clock starts ticking towards the moment you take your final breathe.  What you choose to do in between is called life.  And it goes really quick.  Few decide to actually live it and accumulate great experiences while most just live in it and end up with regret.
The Privilege of Sacrifice: Anything worth having requires great sacrifice.  Andy McKay states, “Before a baseball player can truly be prepared to take advantage of the opportunity presented to him with that day’s competition, he must be able to clearly understand what he has sacrificed for the opportunity…the privilege of competing comes with a heavy price tag.”

When you take a moment to evaluate and appreciate all that you’ve given up to get where you are and where you plan to go, a new perspective should emerge in how you attack your preparation and competition – which should start with all-out effort and end with no regrets.

If you are going to spend that much time on a sport – you must ask yourself if you are putting in the kind of effort worthy of giving up all those other experiences. Are you exhausting every resource to improve your game physically and mentally?

Are you experimenting with different forms of physical preparation like Yoga or Pilates to gain greater range of motion and flexibility?

Are you working with a mental performance coach to learn how to become your own best friend rather than your own worst enemy?

Are you making each practice as game like as possible so that you are prepared mentally and physically to compete in the game?

In other words, when you consider all that you are giving up in your pursuit of a dream, are you doing everything within your control to get what you want? McKay adds, “If a baseball career is done right, once is enough.” Do not leave anything to chance.  No regrets.  All out.  All out = peace of mind.

Every choice you make (or don’t make) has a benefit and a consequence.  Make sure those benefits outweigh the consequences and you’ll never regret your choices.  Moment by moment you have to ask yourself…what do I really want…and is what I am about to do (or not do) going to help me or hurt me towards my ultimate goal?  There is a reason very few make it to the top and it is often less about talent and more about the choices and sacrifices those few are willing to make.

EMBRACE THE FULL EXPERIENCE: It is often difficult in long schedule sports like baseball to really enjoy each moment.  Having 3-5 games per week can cause players fall into the ‘go through the motions’ mentality.  Yet, take a moment and ask yourself…if your career was to end today what would you miss the most?  When you know what you’d miss the most you can choose to begin enjoying those particular aspects of the game even more, NOW. Those moments might include when your back is up against the wall and the game is on the line or when you’re hanging at the hotel with teammates. By learning to embrace them NOW, it accomplishes two things:

  • Allows you to enjoy being in the moment during those high stakes situations to get competitive rather than complacent.  To develop a mindset of “I love this.  There’s no place I’d rather be.  I am a competitor.  I love the head to head battle.  Mono y mono.  Let’s dance!” Rather than “What if I give up a hit here or worse…a homerun.  Hurry up and get out of this!”
  • Allows you the freedom of mind to never have to say, “I could’ve done more…or what if…” By putting it all on the line and going all out TODAY, you give yourself the best chance of enjoying a fulfilling career whether you reach your goals or not.  At least you’ll be one of the few that gets to truly say, “I gave it all I had.”

Taking Responsibility for Your Career:
What are some of the sacrifices you have given up/will be giving up in order to pursue your athletic career?

What are you gaining in return for those sacrifices currently/and hope to gain later in your career?

What are some things you are thankful or grateful for about your career currently:

If your career were to end today…what are the things you would miss the most?

What are the less enjoyable aspects of your career right now that you have to endure that after your career you might say… “man I’d do anything to be able to do that again!”

Then ask yourself, how might you begin viewing/attacking those less enjoyable aspects now to where you might start enjoying them more while you are still playing the game?

What are some ways you can start embracing every moment NOW in order to have a more fulfilling career?

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