Few of us doubt that Michael Jordan is the greatest player ever to play the game of basketball. Of course this is impossible with a born talent, but that isn’t sufficient. Jordan was also the hardest worker, with an impressive perfectionistic attitude, who kept on improving his game. What has triggered him to work harder than anybody else? Which sparkle gave him the determination to be the best?
There is an interesting story about MJ described in a book on him (“Michael Jordan: A life above the rim”):
“As a freshman in high school, Jordan joined his school basketball team in Varsity. One year after joining the team, he was cut from the basketball team. But this only pushed him to work harder at perfecting his game. As he later described in his biograph: “I think that not making the Varsity team drove me to really work at my game, and also taught me that if you set goals, and work hard to achieve them-the hard work can pay off. I knew I never wanted to feel that bad again… I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and I focused on getting there. As I reached those goals, they built on one another. I gained a little confidence every time I came through.”
I really believe that this event triggered Michael Jordan to become the best player ever. Without being cut from his high school team, I don’t think we were discussing Jordan 15 years after his basketball career.
This is a nice story or anecdote on Jordan, but there is more. As a teacher and as a coach, I think every single parent should think twice about the following question:
“What if Jordan had a mom that made a phonecall to the principal of the high school of Varsity to put him nevertheless in the team? Would he have become the greatest player of all-time?”
Without any further comment or judgement… Just something to think about…