Some things are out of your control and some are not, but it's time to take a look at some scenarios athletes never want to see unfold
We watch and even play sports because we love to see and make great plays. But as is the case with any story, there are two sides.
So let’s look at the other side of great plays to explore the worst situations in sports. And by this, we don’t necessarily mean mistakes or errors. This happens to the best of athletes and any coach will tell you that he or she can live with a mistake if you’re putting forth the effort.
But in every sport, there are scenarios that are bad and there are those that are worst-case. A lot are simply the result of a bad bounce, but plenty are the result of laziness, be it mental or physical.
So which are the worst situations to unfold? Here’s what I’ve come up with and if you feel the need to chime in, by all means do.
Football. It can’t get much worse than the pick-6. Not only are you deflated by surrendering possession of the ball, but you’ve also just given up 6 points to the opponent.
A close second? The offsides penalty. There are no excuses for this one. Watch the ball. Nothing drives a coach crazier.
Baseball and softball. There are plenty of unforgivable sins in this game, but none may be worse than making the first or third out at third base. This is monumental killer of momentum.
Be a smart baserunner because if you end the inning with an out at third base, that is one looooong jog back to the dugout.
Other baseball sins include not hustling to first on any ball you hit or pulling back on a sacrifice bunt and leaving your teammate out to dry.
Hockey. This one’s easy: the short-handed goal.
It’s bad enough to not cash in with the extra skater, but when you give up a shorty to a team that’s down a skater, that’s about as low as it gets.
Honorable mention: Passing the puck to the middle from your own end. It rarely produces positive results. Especially for your own team.
Lacrosse. The illegal stick. Again, no excuses. The days of baking sticks in the oven or microwave are gone ever since the off-set head became legal, but there still are plenty in the boys game who try to get away with bags for a pocket.
Weather can do that, of course, but it’s on you to make sure your stick is legal. There may be nothing worse in sports than getting the silent treatment from teammates and nothing brings that judgement faster than being served a non-releasable for something that is completely in your control.
Also lacrosse: Not sprinting off the field for a substitution.
Soccer. Carelessness with the ball. Lazy passes become easy turnovers, which creates counters, which forces defenders to run at their own goal, which shatters any type of organization a defense might have.
Understanding the value of possession is an integral part of the game, even if you’re not in the attacking third. I might even argue especially if you’re not in that attacking third, because it’s easy to think that nothing special can happen if you’re in the back end or even the middle of the field.
To a degree, that may be correct. But taking care of the ball is paramount in those back-end situations because even if you don’t create from there for your team on that particular posession, a lazy pass can lead to disaster on defense.
Basketball. Not boxing out. Back in the day, I was taught to never, ever, give up the baseline. A hard foul might even be acceptable in that instance because it sends a message, but the thinking has changed on that over the years as some coaches value the baseline as a defender.
But when it comes to boxing out, it’s a fundamental that’s never changed. And when it’s not executed and the opponent gains possession or, even worse, a second chance on the rebound of a missed shot, it’s enough to make your coach look to the ceiling in frustration.
Volleyball. Communication, or lack of it. This can really apply to any sport because talking, especially on defense, is vital. But on the volleyball court, there is a lot of movement in a small amount of space.
We’ve all seen teammates collide for what should be an easy receive or assist, and it’s a collision that usually is avoided when teammates talk.
Wrestling. This one’s easy. How about the poor kids who have a lead in points, then get lazy only to get turned over and pinned. Brutal.
Swimming. Leaving the block early on a relay. It’s a lot like offsides in football because it’s something that’s so simple, but requires plenty of discipline. And the lack of discipline punishes an entire team, not just you.
Some of these examples are opinion, some are not inasmuch as it’s an opinion with which the majority agrees. Either way, we can all agree that these are situations to avoid in any game we play.
Chavez is sports editor at The Daily Messenger. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me @MPN_bchavez