Excuses, in anything, are never sexy. An excuse is defined as an “attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify.” Ew.
So why does everyone use them so often? I’m including myself in this. The one I use a lot nowadays is “I am too sore to workout, probably tomorrow…” *sigh*… We learn from a young age to make them. We try to get out of trouble or make our failures seem less awful.
Running camps all summer with 70 eight year olds, I heard the most incredible excuses ever. Absolutely hilarious. Some days, when the weather was 95 plus and I didn’t pack a satisfying lunch, the excuses were what I looked forward to the most about camp. Looking back at all the excuses I heard this summer, it made me more aware about excuses in general.
In sports especially, excuses are always a lousy cop out. Using excuses in baseball is trending more than ever. I am by no means blaming “the kids nowadays,” because HEY, that is possibly an excuse for not raising or coaching them properly. Parents, coaches, and friends all telling us it is not our fault. That field was shitty, you’re not a bad infielder, that was just a bad field. Well maybe, but what led to that error? Lack of effort leading up to the game more times than not, or possibly a positioning flaw that could have been tidied up days before the game.
We all should just take a second to admit that excuses are lame and immature. When the kids would blame umpires in games, I would always tell them to repeat what they just said. I would then tell them to continue to repeat that it was the umpire’s fault until they were sick of saying it or realized that it was silly to think a coach trying to help a game by umpiring would try to sabotage them at the age of 8. Everyone thinks excuses are annoying and egotistical. God forbid little Timmy would strike out looking because he didn’t put effort into practices! It was definitely the old umpire’s fault because he needs glasses and he can’t see up, down, or side to side.
I think we all need to admit that we use excuses all the time and maybe not even notice that we do. First off, it is really hard to constantly blame yourself and never anybody else. That can wear you down for sure, but maybe we can deflect the true drowning feelings elsewhere instead of at somebody else. Let’s not blame our grounds crew, parents, umpires, coaches, teachers…let’s just take time to recognize how we could of made the situation that got botched up, better. Do we do everything we possibly could to help our situation and help us have success? By all means, if you cover everything and have a full description of how your behavior can be justified, then kudos to you, partner. Then again, is that really worth it? Or maybe we should just grow a pair and admit to our shortcoming as a way to help us each improve. What a world that would be.
Making excuses is human. It is really hard not to blame someone or something else for a hiccup in performance. However, I do try my best to recognize it when I do make an excuse. I believe by doing that, it will hopefully lessen my tendency to use excuses. What a constant relief that would be to just own up to a flaw or mistake made and understand that you want to get better at whatever it is. This may sound like parallel universe, but who knows. If we all just become aware of our excuses and repeat them to ourselves every time we make one, maybe then we will understand how pathetic excuses really sound.
In no way do I have all the answers. To be honest, I do not have many at all. When my brain fails, I rely on my heart and by doing that, it helps me to see reason. I hope that you can find a way to take something from this piece that will help you today. Like always, struggle is progress, so do your best to struggle with a purpose.