It isn't just about studying and putting in the work.. you also need to find your niche.
The thing about being AVERAGE in the poker world compared to other sports, is that you're a losing player most likely.
Poker is like a pyramid, the top of the top is a select group. They constantly win. But just like any sport, you need to CONTINUE to practice and adapt in order to stay relevant, and poker couldn't be any more important in that aspect.
A lot of people say studying first is a route to go, but my advice would be to grind for a lot of hours playing. Learn what you like, learn how to play and learn BY YOURSELF. Once you feel as though you're at a stalemate and cannot improve by yourself anymore (At this point you should be studying your hand sessions, etc) then you should look getting help from other methods. Coaching/Friends are a huge underrated part. Find a group on here, ask for their skype to discuss hand histories etc.
(You can always PM me, I'll openly give you my opinion).
Either way, hope I made some sense!