“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” ~ Michael Jordan.
How can I talk about motivation and not mention Michael Jordan?
Jordan suffered his first set-back in his sophomore year when he was left out of the varsity basketball team. Reason? He was only 5’9” at that time. His taller classmate Leroy Smith had won the last spot on the team.
He made up his mind that he would never have to face a similar situation ever again and started practicing every day after that, making it a point to take out time for his practice daily without fail. He soon shot up to 6’3”, made the team the next year and never had to look back after that.
it was failure which spurred Michael to strive for the best. “I know that fear is an obstacle for some people, but for me it is just an illusion….. Failure always makes me try harder on the next opportunity.
Michael got his competitive spirit from a natural cause. As one of five brothers in a family with discipline and spirit of progress, he was brought up with high standard and great expectation. Once when he deliberately didn’t go to school, Michael’s mother took him to her office and made him sit in the car doing his school lessons watched by his mother from her office window. His family felt that Michael was not only good at school but also in extracurricular activities. The little league team became aware that he had talent for team sports.
he changed his training intensity. Michael’s sport instructor, Ruby Sutton, was the first to notice that change: “Usually I arrive at school between 07.00 am and 07.30 am. Michael was there before me. Each time I came in and opened the door, I heard the sound of ball bouncing, in autumn, in winter, in summer. Almost every morning I had to ask him to leave the court”.
Although his height was under 183 cm, Michael quickly made himself a favourite player in the university junior team. His speed and skill were no match for his team mates. Soon, the university team players started to come earlier to the games just to watch how Michael led JV (university junior team), scoring 25 points and sometimes up to 40 points in one game. JV developed to a true team through Michael demanding from his team mates the same intensity he did to himself, and persuading the coach to urge the team to work harder under his criticisms. At the end of the day, the coach-assistant, Fred Lynch said that Michael was “A resentful loser….that keeps insisting everyone to play as hard as he does”.
From being a part of two gold-medal winning teams at the Olympics to winning NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award five times in his career, Jordan dominated the sports field for more than a decade in the ‘90s.