T Nation

How To Fix Underachieving?


Hey guys, what would be your advice to someone who feels as if they aren't improving or performing at the level they should be given the amount of time and effort they are putting in? I am a college athlete hoping to play professionaly so I am 100% focused on getting better.

Phyically, I am very gifted and can pretty easily "out-athlete" anyone I go up against. I also know for a fact that I am working as hard as anyone out there--motivation is not a factor. My technique is fine, the coaching I am getting is top-notch, my diet is at a high-level... I have access to almost any advantage I can think of and I want to succeed BADLY.

Yet, for some reason, I'm not winning... I don't know if I have some kind of psychological block or fear of success... ANY suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Maybe your not as athletic as you think.


So far you're telling us that you are doing everything right. Unless you are the best athlete in the world, everything can be improved. Humble yourself, and then look objectively at everything your doing and figure out why you are failing and how certain aspects can be improved.


Take a week off; just relax, don't go to the gym, and relax on the diet a bit. Just take a break and let your mind/body unwind for a minute. Then you will be able to go back and hit it hard fully rested, and see some gains.


If everything you say is true, which I have no real reason to doubt, then maybe you should look into working with a sports psychologist. Sports is as much mental as physical. Visualition and other mental preparation techniques can really help some people.


Thanks for the quick responses... I am going to try and hook up with a sports psyc and have a meeting with my coaches to reasses what I have been doing.


what sport?


Well what does your coach say?

What sport are you involved in anyway?


Tennis, so there is a large mental component, which is where I believe the problem lies...


You need to play more tennis.


Well in life there are winners and... loosers


Maybe you need to change something. Lifestyle, philosophy, etc...

What does your workout look like?


All I can really contribute is that this might be a major part of your problem. In training, preparation and review of your performance you should always have succeeding at the forefront of your mind, but when you are actually competing you should not be thinking about your opponent or how badly you want to win.

You just get in there, do your job to the best of your ability, and worry about everything else afterwards. I've played the best games of my life in rugby when all I've worried about is doing the "job" my coach told me to do. And I've gotten my biggest totals in PL when I've been completely oblivious to what my competitors totals are.

Afterwards, when you watch your match on tape or your coach tells you where you screwed up, be brutally honest with yourself, pick up everything you did wrong, worry about what your opponent did that gave you trouble, and figure out what you need to do to fix it - whether you won or not.

Getting beaten lets you know what you're doing wrong and gives you something to work with. It makes you a better player if you deal with it the right way. So don't be nervous about it.

Anyhow, thats my 2 cents. Hope it was at least slightly helpful!


lol I really like how he skipped over the humble yourself comment.


And...people who don't know how to spell.


Fine isn't good enough in tennis.


No, I did say I would sit down with my coach and reevaluate what I am doing. Something is obviously wrong, so I am taking every piece of advice very seriously and not ruling anything out. Thanks again to everybody who has responded.


That is correct, but I meant fine in the sense that my technique is not the problem. Having to recover from what I was told was a career ending injury has made me very conscious about making sure I am hitting the ball correctly and not overcompensating like I used to.


Instead of comparing your work ethic to how much you outwork opponents, try to outwork yourself. If you are as good as you say you are then wake up every day and push yourself to a new level.Stop underachieving.


Amen brother.

Work hard. Work smart. Stay tough physically and m e n t a l l y!!! Give it all you got and thats all you can do.