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I'm not sure if this the correct forum, but I can't seem to be able to google it so you guys are my only hope.

I know there is a saying that means something like "you have to be lucky to win, but it's usually the people who train a lot that win" or "the winner got lucky, but unless you practice a lot you won't get lucky", but I don't really recall the exact wording or who said it.

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Help me english.stackexchange.com you're my only hope. – Sam Oct 20 '11 at 23:39
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Perhaps you’re thinking of the professional golfer, possibly Arnold Palmer, who said The more I practice, the luckier I get.

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Thanks! According to google, it is dubious who to credit the quote to, though. – Kimvais Oct 20 '11 at 18:56
@Kimvais - Quite. Gary Player seems to be popular, but I also see it attributed to studio head (but probably also golfer) Samuel Goldwyn. When I first heard it in the wild personally back in the 70's, I believe it was attributed to Chi-Chi Rodríguez as part of a parable about racism. – T.E.D. Nov 30 '15 at 18:54

In a lecture at the University of Lille on 7 December 1854, Louis Pasteur said:

Dans les champs de l'observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés.

Which has been translated several ways:

In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.
Chance favors the prepared mind.
Fortune favors the prepared mind.

That may not be exactly what you are looking for, but your saying could have been derived from this.

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