“It’s easier to do a job right, than to explain why you didn’t.” ― Martin Van Buren
Just make the best of the situation instead of making excuses.
Instead of expending energy on covering up or shifting blame, allocate that resource upfront to do the best you can.
The athlete that lollygags has a lot of explaining to do and faces the ire of coaches, owners, and fans. It would just be easier to give full effort than to deal with the fallout of not giving their all.
There is no excuse for not giving your best.