Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Michael Jordan

It was great to see Michael Jordan get inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame the other day and I have only heard exerpts of his acceptance speech, but from what I've heard it was a great one.

In one part of the speech, Jordan recalls playing a game where his team was losing by a considerable margin and he provided many of the points in the come from behind win while being a ball hog. After the game, his coach offered some constructive criticsm by saying:

"Michael, you know there is no I in team"

Jordan replied

"but there is an I in win"

I'm not sure how his coach responded, but Jordan's response reflects soemthing that is simply uncoachable at any level of sport: competitiveness. I think all successful atheltes, and even successful people, have an innate drive to win at all costs and that is something very unique about their personality.

This crossover between sport and life is one of many comparisons that can be made and a main reason I believe sport is good for all of our youth. Learning or developing (depending on your school of thought) some of these "life skills" within a sport context is truly remarkable and becomes a magnificant testiment to the power of sport.

On another note, as a coach within sport, one thing I think you can do is feed off this competitive nature. Make games in practice or tailor drills to make them competitive or incorporate a life lesson/skill. Any coach can make a drill where athlete 1 passes to athlete 2 for a shot, but it takes great skill to create something in practice that will teach technical or tactical parts of the game as well as life lessons. Thank you for reading and please come back tomorrow.


  1. Brad: Please comment on Michael Jordan's apparent lack of humility or recognition of his teamates and coach's contributions to his success. Thanks John

  2. John,

    Thank you for the comment, I apologize for the late response. I am admittedly not too much of a basketball follower and I am for the most part too young to remember most of Michael Jordan's Porfessional basketball career.

    However, from what I gathered from his induction speech, he is as humble as they come and may live on to be one of the last superstars without an ego. For everything he did to change professional sports (records, major endorsements, tennis shoe and apparel lines, etc.), his comments about his coach inspiring him to play and realizing his strengths/weaknesses through his coach (Dean Smith) is something that speaks volumes.

    When he commented about being the best basketball player ever, I think his response was perfect in that, you can never really compare players of different generations. I think you can elect a best player for every 5 years, maybe decade, but nothing more than 10 years. Every game evolves through rule changes, different cultures, different customs, etc. To say there is a best player of all time is a mistake in my book because I'm not so sure that is possible.

    Thanks for reading John.