I pondered this for both football and “everyday” life. Success doesn’t come from being the most talented, having the greatest skills, or being the smartest. Success comes from the ability to convert talent into performance and production. When star players come out of HS or college, we often have high expectations for them to become stars at the next level because of their talent. But this isn’t always the case. The players who find success are a mix of scholarship and walk-ons in college; 1st round draft picks, late round pics, and undrafted free agents in the NFL.
So what do the successful players, and people, who are able to convert their talent into performance have in common? Hard work. They are students of their game. It has been my personal experience that when you find high levels of success without needing to work hard and go through “trials & tribulations”, the ability and often willingness to work until your knuckles bleed does not exist. Learning to work hard is its own hard work. Success comes to those who figure this out and can convert their talent into performance.