I pinched this off of Dutch Assassin BJJ blog.
At Careca's academy, my first real jiu-jitsu memory was that I was not one of the talented students. Careca confirmed this to me, and oddly enough, I beamed with pride. How strange to be happy about a lack of natural skill? For me, this elation stemmed from my strong performances, both in class and at my first few tournaments. When I had to work three times as hard as my classmates to learn something, I knew I was not the wunderkind. When I saw new students excel where I struggled, I understood that my time in jiu-jitsu would be all about determination.
Nowhere was this more obvious than when examining my relationship with Chuck, one of my closest friends at Careca's. He was so flexible and fast (and flexibility is a talent), but he did not train like me. He didn't need to. What took me days of training to learn took him only minutes. However, as time went on, he drifted into drug use and focused less on training and more on his own talent. He knew that he could always "just pick things up." As a result of our two diverging attitudes, I started to win even more championships, while his performance plateaued. The reason is simple, I slept, trained, ate well, focused, resisted partying, and excelled.
Talent can help so much in the beginning, but you cannot reach the top without hard work.
You always hear, "This guy is so talented..." but then some average guy beats him. I know this because I was that average guy, and I worked hard to beat talent.
This was written by Andre Galvao, who is one of the top BJJ competitors in the world.