Officer Safety

Leaving It All Out There


Michael Warren

February 17, 2022

February 17, 2022

If you are a football fan you must be in heaven right now. The last two weekends of playoff football have been over the top. Great games. Great comebacks. Heroics in overtime. Everything you could want in a game.

It’s interesting to me listening to the postgame interviews. One of the phrases that is used frequently by both players and coaches is the idea of “leaving it all on the field.” The idea that the effort will be all-out and no matter the outcome they will know that they gave their best.

And that’s a great way to approach the game of football. In the playoffs one loss and your season is over. What in the world could you possibly be holding back for?

Here’s something to consider - what determines how much you have to leave “out there”? Outside of how much you sleep the night before game day and what you eat the day of the game most of your capacity is decided in the days, weeks, and months leading up to the game. In other words, if you haven’t done much to prepare, there won’t be much for you to leave “out there.”

Law enforcement works much the same way. Except our “field” is ever changing. Sometimes it’s a vehicle, or a house, or a school. Sometimes what needs to be left “out there” is physical stamina or strength, or an intimate knowledge of the law, or competency in varied methods of communicating.

So what gets us ready for “out there”? It’s everything that is done to prepare. Classrooms, ranges, mat rooms, shift briefings - all have the potential to help prepare us.

But it requires us to leave it all out there in the classroom, or the mat, or the range. Doesn’t matter what the training is about, we have to put the effort into it.

Too many believe that the trainer is responsible for those. And there is a great deal of responsibility that trainers must accept. But please understand this - it’s a dual responsibility. While they instructor should be leaving it all out there so should you. The training environment should not be seen as a duel between the reluctant/unprepared instructor and the unwilling/defiant student. Instead it should be a dual endeavor to increase the capacity of what can be left “out there”.

Your safety - physical, psychological, legal - depends on your capacity. Nurture and expand that capacity. So when it’s time, there’s a lot available when you leave it all “out there”.