This week I wanted to talk about being an underdog. If you are a football fan you will be very aware of underdogs as this season it has been the year for the underdog with many lower league teams beating Premiership opposition to make the later stages of the FA Cup. In my opinion the greatest underdog achievement though came last weekend as my team Queen of the South from the Scottish First Division made history by reaching their first ever cup final by beating Aberdeen 4 – 3 in a thrilling semi.

An underdog is someone or a team that people don’t think will win or succeed against their opposition. It’s not just in sport where you get underdogs but in everyday life. It’s like when some young people are written off from achieving anything because of their background or the area they live in, they then become underdogs to achieve as few people believe in them.

Being an underdog isn’t necessarily a bad thing as when you are an underdog nobody expects you to win so you don’t have their added pressure on your shoulders. You can go out and do what you want to do in your own style or way. The only time when being an underdog is bad is when you start believing what everyone else thinks and start believing that because you are the underdog you can’t win or achieve.

Being an underdog just means you need to try harder than the rest and always do everything with 110% effort. That to me is why being an underdog at times is so great as in that position you know you have to give it your all where as people who are so called favourites or likely to succeed don’t always have that same drive or concentration as they think you will be easy to beat.

The greatest achievements in life are those that were hard to achieve and required real effort. When an underdog wins it means more to them than a favourite as they had to work harder and in the process shown people just what they are capable of. The minute we start thinking we are going to win everything and achieve in everything is the moment we will probably fail as you can never take success for granted.

Never be put off by the underdog tag as it’s not what others think of you that counts it’s your belief in your ability that does. If you are labelled an underdog use it to your advantage, use it to give you drive to succeed and let your opponents think like that as it will make them easier to beat.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation