I'm looking for an English version of the German
Nicht die Zufaelle machen den Meister, der Meister macht die Zufaelle.
Not coincidence makes a master, a master makes coincidence.
It refers to the observation that opportunity seemingly out of a random alignment of stars is often the result of a person giving themselves the best chance by skilfully creating favourable circumstances.
In particular, can we say "makes a master" for "macht den Meister"? The most common use of this phrase in German would be "Uebung macht den Meister", "Practice makes perfect".
Which word would one use for "Zufall" in this context? "Coincidence", "luck", "opportunity", ...?
I'm aware of the more general phrases offered in some of the answers.
God/Heaven/Luck helps those who help themselves.
make your own luck
Both also exist in German and probably many other languages as apparently they can in some form be attributed to Aesop ~600 BC and Appius Claudius 307 BC, respectively.
I would, however, argue that those are about effort and attitude and not so much about skill.