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Tapping Out In Sports

Last Sunday, while drinking my morning coffee, I turned on NFL Sunday Countdown to see if it would even be worth my time to watch football. I wasn’t sure since my boys in Green and Gold had a bye week to polish the ole troph’ and get ready for the Boltz. To my surprise, Chuck Liddell was on introducing a piece on “tapping out” of the game – I was hooked.

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Chuck and Krieg. Both fans of the Pack.


Photo courtesy Zimbio.coom

He began discussing the concept of “tapping out” and how when sometimes you feel you’ve had enough, you tap yourself out of the game. They named some of the big names that are die-hard’s, and Ray Lewis was the big one; everyone knows he is definitely not a quitter. But it got me thinking that this is a really interesting concept, and in the big moment it separates the guys that will win their team the big game and the guys who will step out and let (or even hope that) someone else will take care of it.

There are obviously people out there who will tell you that when the big time comes, you need to have the freshest legs on the field.  But I disagree, to a point. When the big time comes, the people that should be on the field are the ones who want it the most…

I can think of one glaring example in my life that changed my entire mentality and the way I played. My junior year of high school, our team made it to the championship game. We were playing our rivals Timberline HS and the score was tied 8-8 at the end of regulation. It was my first year being in a key role on the team and I was actually playing pretty well that game, I believe I had 2 goals and a helper. But I made the choice to take a seat and catch my breath before I went back in the game. Overtime started, overtime ended, and we lost. The entire summer I couldn’t help but put part of the blame on my own shoulders. I’m not saying that I could have changed the outcome of the game, but at that point I felt that I had let my team down by coming out of the game.

Fast forward exactly one year later, to the same weekend, in the same game, against the same team, and again it is 8-8 at the end of regulation. No way, right?  I hadn’t scored a goal all game and there was no way I would be satisfied with the same result. Overtime came and I knew I had to be on the field. We faced off and the ball went back and forth for a while, until with under 30 seconds left in the period, somehow I ended up with the ball. Fortune was on my side and I was able to find a lane and put it past their ‘keeper to win the game.

The point of the story is not me reliving my high school years (although it was fun!)… The point can be summed up in one quote from the clip:

“Think about it, the great players, they’re not on the bench when great moments are happening, they’re in the game.  So you have to will yourself to stay on the field, regardless of what’s going on…”

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When that time comes, it’s about who wants it more, and who is the hungriest. Are you going to be the one who taps out, or the one who rises to the occasion? There are people like that in most every team sport; guys who you want to be in the game no matter how long they’ve been playing because they not only have the skill, but the determination to push their team to victory.

So I ask you, my most loyal audience, who in the lax world is the guy who will never tap out? Who is the Ray Lewis of lacrosse? The guy that will never tap out and has the ability to will his team to victory.  Let’s hear what you think!