As someone who has been involved in sports as a player, coach, broadcaster and writer for the past 30 years or so, I have seen many athletes achieve their goals. However, the number of athletes who come up short is much greater.
Obviously, people fail to attain goals for a variety of reasons, and sports is no different. Some kids just do not have the physical capabilities to become a college or pro athlete. Many athletes are too small or too slow to play their sport at the highest level. You cannot control how tall you are, and we are all limited to some degree on how big, fast and strong we can become.
I say all this because, a few Saturdays ago, something happened to remind me that there is one thing all aspiring athletes can control. I have recently begun to try to lose weight and get myself back in shape. I am eating right and have even started working out with a trainer.
After a very tough Friday afternoon workout, and with a vacation beginning on Sunday, I was extremely proud of myself for making it to The Omni Club that Saturday morning. I saw a familiar face when I walked in. Greenbrier High School junior shortstop Ben Morgan was in the gym working out.
After saying hello, I found that Morgan had just returned from playing in a summer baseball tournament. Yet, there he was, in the gym, trying to get stronger for the upcoming season.
This might not seem like a big deal. I am sure there are many other athletes who work just as diligently as Morgan, but I was impressed. Many kids would have returned home and hit the lake, golf course or pool, but Morgan was doing the most important thing en route to achieving his athletic goals -- the one thing he could control.
Morgan was doing everything in his power to get better. If he was not at the gym, maybe another athlete would have been, and that player might be more prepared than he was.
So, no matter what sport you play, do not put yourself in a position to look back 10 years from now and say, "What if? What if I had only worked a little harder, I could have gotten a scholarship, or maybe we could have won a state title." Take the off-season to make sure you are as in shape as possible and physically ready for the season to start.
Seeing Morgan's dedication made me wonder: How many other area players were spending their days watching TV and sleeping in? Make sure you are not in that group, or you will be that person who spends his life saying, "What if?"
For those of you who need to shed some pounds or who are just looking to firm up, I will be writing a series of columns discussing health and fitness with "Big Mike" Montarvo, a personal trainer at The Omni Club in Evans.
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