X/T : 10/1
That is the exact equation that I used to stare at in my offensive line meeting room for years. Occasionally, my coach at the time, Hal Hunter, would get in the front of the room and lay out exactly what that equation stood for. I’ll break it down for you the way he laid it out for us.
X is to T as 10 is to 1.
X equals the X-Factors or the intangibles/unmeasurables:
Grit. Perserverance. Hustle. Desire. Professionalism. Discipline. Leadership. Toughness. Will Power
These are the attributes that you can’t measure. These in the months leading up to the draft and throughout draft day weekend are neglected for the shinier T’s.
T equals the Talent or the Tangibles:
Size, Speed, Strength
These are the ones that everyone latches on to when trying to justify a pick. These are the ones that send a guy skyrocketing up the charts when he jumps through the roof, or plummeting through the floor when his 40 yard dash time is town a tenth of a second.
Remember when Terrell Suggs couldn’t crack the 4.9 barrier in the 40 yard dash, but his film and his on-field production clearly showed that he was a future Hall of Fame type outside linebacker? His T’s were down, but his X’s were way high. There are countless examples of guys like T-Sizz that’s career has far exceeded their measurables. There are also plenty of guys who have by far underachieved their potential where their talent level could have taken them.
What Hal Hunter taught us with the equation is that Talent is 10 times less important than the effort and care with which you use that talent. Granted, you have to have a baseline of talent for whatever field you are going to be entering. In football, you have to meet a certain requirement for height, weight, speed, and strength. But, once the bare minimum is met, the gates to your league have been opened, and the X-factors begin to play a more vital role in predicting success.
No matter the discipline you choose, once the minimum requirements have been met, it’s the amount of care that is applied that will ultimately make you a success. Regular guys can become Starters with exceptional effort. Starters can become Pro Bowl type performers with hustle. Pro Bowl talent-level workers can become All Pro’s with the right amount of want to. And All Pro’s can become Hall of Famers if they care enough.
Just as these young NFL draft prospects that turn themselves into successes aren’t going to allow anyone to stand in their way of achieving their potential, we shouldn’t allow anyone to discourage us in our respective fields of work.
If you meet the minimum, your work ethic is what will separate your success from your failure. You determine your outcome. Have a lot of X’s and maximize your T.
Remember, X is 10 times more important than T.
Like coach said, “If it were easy…everyone would be a success!”
Get your hustle on!