10 Brutally Honest Reasons Why Athletes Don’t Reach Their Goals

reasons why athletes don't reach their goals or potential

Here’s a brutally honest list of 10 reasons why athletes don’t reach their goals as they navigate through their athletic careers.

Why do certain athletes achieve more than their peers despite having the same amount of resources available to them? What exactly is the difference that separates the average from the good, and the good from the great? 

Those are two questions that large majority of us (athletes) have while navigating throughout our playing careers. As dreamers, we waste a vast amount of time wondering ‘how’ and ‘why’ things happen instead of looking internally to figure out what we’re doing wrong as individuals. We tend to want to replicate what we see instead of pushing ourselves to create our own ‘luck’. And then, before we know it, our athletic careers are pretty much over. 

Instead of daydreaming and wondering, we’ve provided you with a list of 10 reasons why athletes don’t reach their goals. Look at them, study them, and then figure out how to fix them. It usually start by adopting a growth mindset and realizing that there are three things that you can control in life. 

Before you read the 10 reasons why, you need to read these two articles first to grasp what being an athlete is all about. 

Once you’ve read those, you’ll be in the right mindset to tackle on these common reasons why athletes don’t reach their goals. 

why athletes don't reach their goals lack of self confidence

You Lack Self Confidence

One of the biggest reasons why athletes don’t reach their goals is because they simply just don’t believe in their abilities. They’re too hard on themselves and push their mind into believing that achieving success is not in the cards for them. Those types of athletes tend to look at their abilities with a “glass half empty” mindset instead of a growth mindset, and they fail to realize that the power of positive thinking is the greatest tool they have.

Don’t jump into a pile of quicksand by having a negative attitude and not believing in yourself. You’ll have to struggle to pull yourself out and waste a ton of energy in the process. Instead, realize that you’re worthy enough to experience success and understand that the only way you’re going to experience it is through having a positive attitude and working your tail off.

You’re Afraid to Make Mistakes

When it comes to being afraid of making mistakes, there’s only one solution. You just have the courage to go out and make them. Even though you may think that making a mistake is a big deal, it really isn’t. Coaches can certainly live with players who make mistakes as long as they Make them while they are trying to be aggressive.

The reason why you need to get over your fear of making mistakes is because they’re not a big deal as long as you’re making them because you’re trying to make things happen.

It’s better to make mistakes trying to be aggressive than make no mistakes and just sit back and let your opponent dictate what you do. Get over your fear. Go out and play aggressive. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Then dust yourself off and get ready for the next play.

why people don't reach their goals positive thinking hard work

You’re Not a Positive Thinker

You can be your biggest critic. You can also expect and demand a lot from your self. However, you can only do those things if you’re a positive thinker and have a positive mindset.

The most elite athletes in the word have achieved their word class status because they think positively and believe in themselves. Tom Brady and Steph Curry don’t have a confidence problem. They believe that they can achieve anything they put their mind to, which is a huge reason why they are two of the most successful athletes on the planet. Even if the odds are against them, too.

If you having difficulty with your positive thinking, start to visualize success everyday and embrace what it would feel like. Visualization and positive self talk are the two keys to success. Practice them everyday when you’re just sitting around and truly embrace how your success is going to feel.

You Avoid TRUE Hard Work

Hard work and dedication are what make good athletes become great and great athletes become iconic. Everyone thinks that they work hard, but the large majority of us have never come close to pushing ourselves beyond our limits. We usually quit in our minds when we feel tired and we quit when we feel like we can’t go on any longer.

What you need to realize is that the biggest reason why athletes don’t reach their goals is because they don’t work hard enough for them. They quit at the first sign of adversity, they push themselves until they’re tired and “can’t do anymore”, or they lie to themselves and believe that they work hard when they know that they have another level inside themself that they can reach. And the reason why it happens is because people don’t like stepping outside of their comfort zone.

If you want to reach your goals, get comfortable being uncomfortable. Adopt the mentality that when everyone around you quits, that’s when your growth starts. Keep going, keep pushing forward, and apply yourself everyday. It’s going to make you stronger in the long run.

why athletes don't reach their goals social media

You Waste Your Day on Your Devices

Now more than ever, it’s easier to be successful because of the resources that you have around you. It’s also easier to be successful is because the large majority of people waste so much time every day on their phones and computers.

Another significantly developing why people don’t reach their goals is because they don’t apply themselves anymore. More than anytime in history, today’s generation wastes valuable time every day on worthless things (social media, video games, etc.) instead of going out and applying themselves.

If you want to be successful and reach your goals, just put the phone down, shut off the Xbox and go out and practice. Try to push yourself everyday for an additional 30 minutes. Work on something that you suck and and suffer through it. That suffering is what is going to make you grow. 

You Don’t Train On Your Own

If you think that going to practice, film, and school and working as hard as you possibly can in them is what is going to make you successful, you’re dead wrong. A major reason why people never reach their goals is because they don’t practice their skills on their own.

Your skill set can either appreciate or depreciate over time, but it’s up to you to determine whether you’re going to get better or worse. The way that you get better is by putting in the extra time every day to get better.

If you want to achieve your goals, try to achieve 30 minutes of purposeful training every day. If your foot speed is slow, then work on it. If you feel like your legs are weak, then do an extra 1,000 squats per day. There’s a ton of affordable and useful equipment out there for you to work on your skills too. You just need to start small and exhibit the internal drive and apply yourself to get better.

bad teammate and negative influences

You’re Not a Good Teammate

Being a good teammate and being in elite athlete go hand-in-hand with each other. One of the biggest reasons why athletes don’t reach their goals is because they’re a bad teammate. Plain and simple. If you’re not a good teammate, then don’t expect to reach your goals. The reason why? No athlete rises to the top without the help of their teammates and coaches. It’s impossible.

Plus, when you’re a bad teammate, nobody wants to be around you and your coaches don’t want to put any time into you. Although you think you may be able to achieve your goals all by your self, it’s a lot easier to do so when you have a support group around you that is helping you work towards those goals.

So, just go by this simple rule: Treat your teammates and coaches how you would want to be treated.

You Don’t Surround Yourself With Driven People

Have you heard the adage that you’re a sum of the five people that you spend the most time with? Well, it’s true. There are so many talented athletes who don’t reach their goals because they surround themselves with the wrong people. A big reason why athletes don’t reach their goals is because some of them hang out with laz, negative people. They surround themselves with people who are interested in drugs and debauchery, or just people who don’t apply themselves in life.

You have to do everything in your power to try and avoid those types of people at all costs. If you have someone in your life who is not contributing to your growth in a positive manner, you need to distance yourself away from them. Misery loves company and the reason why so many athletes don’t reach their goals is because they’re too weak to separate themselves from the negative influences in their lives.

It may be hard for you to do so because those negative influences could be your family members or even your parents. But, you have to find a way to spend time with people who are positive influences on you and believe in your abilities to make something of yourself. Attitudes are contagious and only you can decide if you’re going to be a glass half full or glass half empty kind of person.

why athletes don't reach their goals no motivation no passion

You Can’t Motivate Yourself

If you have trouble trying to motivate yourself to practice, study or just even do work, you’ve got a problem. Another one of the reasons why athletes don’t reach their goals is because they have externally motivated personalities. They need something to motivate them to get up and take on the word. Whether it’s praise, a motivational speech, a workout plan, a coach who is high energy – whatever excuse they can come up with.

These types of athletes are energy vampires because they suck the life out of everyone around them in order to get themselves going. They have the ability to be driven, but they choose not to pull from an internal source of motivation. Instead, they rely on the people around them to start to make things happen. 

If you want to reach your goals, you need to fight against being this type of athlete. Why? Well, ask yourself these two questions:

  • What’s going to happen to you when that external source of motivation isn’t there anymore?
  • How are you going to get yourself going when you don’t have anyone around you to pump you up?

If you constantly rely on others, you won’t have the ability to rely on yourself when the going gets tough.

You Don’t Play for a Higher Purpose

Grab a piece of paper and write down the answer to this question: Why do you play the game?

One of the biggest reasons why athletes don’t reach their goals is because they don’t have a reason for why they’re driven. They play the game because “it’s fun”, or “it’s challenging”, or “because they like their teammates”.  They don’t play it because it’s their passion or because they have a burning desire deep down in their gut to be successful.

Like it was said earlier, a large majority of people today are soft. They rely on the people around them to get themselves going, spend too much time on their devices worrying about stuff they can’t control, fail to apply themselves in a daily basis, and lie to themselves saying that they work hard.

Find a way to ignite a fire within and play for a higher purpose. For example, that higher purpose could be something or someone that you care about and can’t let down. Whatever the reason is, find that reason and never let it down. Apply yourself every day. Push yourself beyond your limits. And most importantly, understand that every player has a different path and that it’s all about the journey.

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