Yesterday, while listening to national Christian radio station K-Love, morning hosts Lisa and Eric were talking about a subway driver that was able to save the life of a woman because he was paying attention and wasn't distracted by his cell phone as many of us today have become.
And Lisa said something powerful that translates into the world of sports. She said that there are two kinds of pain in world - the pain of discipline and the pain of regret.
I am not, and will never, suggesting that in order for a young athlete to become better at his sport, one has to practice all day, every day. I think that it is very important for kids to lead well rounded lives and experience many things. But if you want to be truly great at something - athletics, instruments, dance, theater - you have to stay disciplined with your practice.
It may be tough to walk away from the television or computer for 30 minutes a day. It may feel "painful." But the success you can achieve through disciplined practice will be worth it. There is no greater feeling than knowing you were able to put everything you had into a competition. While winning is always a better experience, if you can walk away after a loss knowing you competed to the best of your ability, that is all you can ask of yourself.
There is nothing quite like regret in this world. Many people carry around the burden and sorrow of regret. Missed opportunities and the inability to redo some of life's moments can tear a person down. The disappointment of regret can lead to a a feeling of failure and the pain of regret is real.
Though it is difficult to lead a disciplined life, it is better than living with the regret of what could have been.