The word “Potential” is really an insult in disguise. It’s only used when someone isn’t achieving what they could. Ask yourself, when was the last time you heard someone talk about Kobe Bryant or Tom Brady’s potential? I wouldn’t say it’s never happened, but it’s probably been a while. Why? Because for the most part they are achieving their potential.
Now think about the last time you heard someone use that word. What were they talking about? Was it used in conjunction with how great someone of something was? Probably not. It was more likely used to avoid directly saying something stunk. Coaches occasionally use it in a more neutral way when talking about a young athlete, but more often use the word when an athlete is struggling.
It kind of reminds me of a southern lady saying “bless her heart” after talking about someone because it helps cover up what is actually meant.