I loved this passage about the philosophy of the New England Patriots. They work hard to draft and sign players with a great work ethic. Of course talent is important -- but without the ability to work, talent will not prosper as it should. Sometimes as coaches on the collegiate level -- and I'm sure on the pro level, we may allow talent to blind us to other important aspects of success such as being a good teammate and being driven to work and improve. As Coach Meyer always says, "if your best player is your hardest worker, you have a chance to be good. If not, you're going to have problems." If you want to have a culture of hard workers, you better make sure your base players are hard workers. On the collegiate level, it better be part of your recruiting evaluation. It doesn't mean you pass on a talented player with questionable work habits -- but if you being he/she in, she better be surrounded by hard workers in hope that she will buy in to the culture.
The Patriots’ success derives from something more fundamental than “hard work.” “Hard work” is a symptom. No coach can dictate a player’s work habits, except perhaps during practices. Players must be motivated to work hard 365 days a year, not merely when a coach is observing them. “Hard work” is not a coaching strategy or a training camp strategy but a consequence of hiring players who love playing football and building a competitive, performance-focused organizational culture that inspires players to passionately pursue individual and collective excellence, every day of the year.
From "Management Secrets of the New England Patriots" by James Lavin