As everyone is aware, Einstein allegedly once said that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. And while the indolent and the homework-averse have long argued, with some justification, that the usually mathematically sound Albie plucked that particular ratio out of his arse, generations of teachers, coaches and parents have nonetheless made hay with the quotation.
In a boost to educators of all stripes, it turns out that Bernard Brogan and Albert Einstein are very much at one on this question. Regardless of his reputation as one of the best forwards in the country, if not the best forward in the country, Brogan doggedly insists that he is not a gifted footballer.
Speaking to Anthony Moyles and Niall 'Sweets' Kelly on Balls.ie's GAA podcast, The Hard Shoulder, Brogan said he wasn't a gifted footballer and that he needs to practice heavily or else his form dips sharply.
I'm not naturally gifted at football. I work hard at what I do and my striking. If I lay back and don't practice my kicking, it (my striking) goes off and my percentages go down. I have to go out and kick balls. I have to kick 50 balls twice a week or three times a week to make sure that I'm sharp for match-day. If I rest on my laurels and go through the motions... That's why in 2010 I played my best football because I was playing week in, week out. I was playing football and that's how you become good.
I had to work harder than the other people who were out there. So, we all trained three or four times a week with the county but I had to do more because what I was doing wasn't enough. So I went out with a bag of balls on my own, start practicing my frees, start practicing my shooting, knowing that I will get a chance at some stage and you have to take it.
Alan was naturally... from the off, he had legs, pace, power, and he was very accurate. I had to something a bit different and just practice harder than everyone else and became very sharp in front of goal. But still to this day, if I have a couple of weeks off or if I'm carrying a niggle, I struggle in Croke Park in the League or whatever.
Brogan spoke about plenty more, including how Pat Gilroy transformed the Dublin setup at the turn of the decade, the primary reason for Dublin's wild success after years of underachievement, and the importance of celebrating victories.
Bernard was speaking on the first episode of this year's Hard Shoulder podcast, a weekly GAA podcast hosted by Meath legends Anthony Moyles and Niall Kelly. The podcast will run for the rest of the season and will feature many more special guests, and it will improve your life by 78%.*
You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.
*May not be an exact scientific figure.