West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Excuses vs. Apologies

Although many wrestling enthusiasts might consider "excuses" and "apologies" as being similar in meaning, there is a subtle but very important conceptual difference between the two words.

To begin with, excuses usually involve the inability to accept responsibility for inadequate performances. Examples would include such phrases as: "He was stronger than I was." or "I wasn't feeling well." and finally, "He was too tall to takedown." In each of these cases the wrestler is fabricating an alibi for not performing to his fullest potential. Naturally, this is no way to become a better athlete. So, don't make excuses for losing! If you do, your coach (who knows all about excuses) will probably come down on you much harder than he intended to do so.

On the other hand, apologizes involve accepting responsibility for poor performances. The mature wrestler knows when he has blundered, and is not afraid to admit to his shortcomings during competition. Likewise, by realizing your errors on the mat and owning up to them, you will have overcome the obstacle of "making excuses" -- and will undoubtedly be a better person for it.

Yes, we all make mistakes for which apologies are in order. But remember, excuses are of another breed. They are only weak attempts to conceal errors in performance, and no perceptive coach will ever condone such "cover ups" from his wrestlers!

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Updated December 16, 1998