We'll use rowing for example, but this could apply to any movement.
Imagine this: You think you're a reasonably proficient rower, maybe you're even the fastest in your gym. When workouts with rowing pop up you know you've got it in the bag. There's zero competition, inside the walls of your gym.
We see this scenario play out over and over again. This is where an athlete must choose - continue to embrace the process and grow, focusing on mechanics and mastering the basics - or decide that being the big fish in the small pond is good enough.
More often then we'd like to see we witness athletes settling. They choose to be good enough which ultimately leads to a decline. When this occurs it's not long after that we see athletes hitting a plateau, searching for new programs, or even blaming others for their stagnation. We know it's none of those things and the answer is internal. The issue is the athlete's inability to see their own faults. And they're there! They're always there.
It's the rare athlete who trusts the process and commits themselves to revisit the basics over and over again until they truly are proficient. This athlete is the one who makes the most progress. The person who is able to take accountability and understand that things can always be improved upon often sees the most success.
If you're experiencing setbacks, plateaus or just not having as much fun in the gym take a look at how seriously you're focusing on the basics. When everyone else is looking for the next circus trick are you able to look at making minor adjustments to something as seemingly simple as rowing? I'm not saying don't have fun and don't try new things, I'm saying don't spend the majority of your time doing that stuff. The majority of your time should be spent on drilling the basics.
Just because you're the best at something in your small group doesn't mean you can't improve on it.