You're Not Really In The Game At All.
Being "in the game" isn't about where you are when the game is being played. It's about where your head is at while you're playing. You might have a uniform on and be wet with sweat, but that doesn't necessarily mean that your "in the game".
That you're all in.
The hardest part of playing to win is keeping your head straight.
You have a lot of mental trash that makes it difficult for you to focus on the game you're playing right now. Self inflicted wounds like mismanaged finances and poor choices from your past can overwhelm you with worries and doubt.
Instead of focusing on winning the game you're playing, you're worried about the consequences of past actions.
Thinking about losing.
You are distracted from what you should be doing right now -- playing to win. Leaving it all on the field. Fighting. Breathing. Conquering.
It's hard to keep your thoughts from getting in the way of you being awesome. Sometimes you need to take yourself out of the game so that you can find quietness to solve the doubt and fears clouding your ability to play the game like you should.
You need to heal.
It makes no sense to take a beating just so you can brag to your friends that you were "in the game".
The truth is that you weren't in the game at all.
You had a uniform on. You were running plays. But you weren't playing to win.
And that's a shame.
You'll already lose enough in your lifetime because somebody else is better than you. It's disappointing when you lose just because you weren't really playing in the first place.