They (whoever 'they' are) say that if you fail to prepare then you should prepare to fail.
Ronnie O'Sullivan would seem to agree with this assessment after his disappointing first round exit at the 12bet.com UK Championship earlier this month.
O'Sullivan puts his 9-6 defeat to Stuart Bingham down to a lack of preparation, in particular his snubbing of all but two of the Players Tour Championship events.
“I was disappointed with my performance in Telford, which was due to lack of match practice," he said.
"I always practice really hard but I need to play in more of the smaller tournaments to improve my sharpness. I go into every tournament wanting to win, but on the day it's down to the hard work you've done in advance”
This is true, even for a player as talented as Ronnie. Part of his preparation for next month's Ladbrokes Mobile Masters will thus be two days play in the Championship League against some of the very best players in the game, including world champion Neil Robertson.
The standard this season has been extremely high due to the fact that so many players are match sharp.
Hours in the club are important but what really toughens a player up is playing in a match that actually means something: that has money and/or ranking points attached.
The PTCs and Championship League may pass below the radar for many but they have a vital part to play, which is why so many top players have embraced them.