I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot…When you think about the consequences, you always think of a negative result.
-Michael Jordan

When I give seminars on the psychological aspect of peak performance, I always ask someone in the audience to name their favorite athlete. Many times it is Michael Jordan. I then ask the following questions…

“Who is faster, you or Jordan?”

“Who can shoot better, you or Jordan?”

“Who can jump higher, you or Jordan?”

The answer is always Jordan (if they are being honest).

I then ask how long it would take for them to be physically equal to Jordan.

Most say forever.

I follow up and say, “Do you know how you can become just as good as Jordan, almost instantly?”

I have the entire auditorium’s attention as I say…

“By having the same mindset as Jordan. And by giving the same effort as Jordan.”

I recently asked the winningest coach in college history, Paul Assaiante, squash coach at Trinity College, if giving a full effort was one of the main goals for his team. He responded…

“It’s the ONLY goal.”

Comments? Leave them below.


Someone once said that success is how high you bounce after you hit bottom.

We all have failed at something, whether it be in sports, sales or school. It’s not the failure that stops us, it’s what we do with that failure that stops us. We can be irritated, or we can be intrigued.

We learn most from failure. The most successful people fail the most.

Henry Ford once said that failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”—Michael Jordan

Be like Mike today.


Michael Jordan got cut from his high school basketball team.

Thomas Edison failed over 10,000 times when trying to invent the lightbulb.

Derek Jeter started his professional baseball career so poorly that he called home nearly every night crying.

Did Michael Jordan give up?


Did Thomas Edison give up?


Did Derek Jeter give up?


Did Elmer McAllister give up?

You don’t know who Elmer McAllister is?!?

That’s because he gave up.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Hollie Holcombe.

Earlier today, I spoke to about 40 young basketball players at Nick DiPillo’s Spring Break Skills Camp. A key point I brought up was that failure was inevitable. Everyone fails. It’s part of the process.

Michael Jordan got cut from his basketball team in high school, but he didn’t give up.

Thomas Edison failed over 10,000 times when trying to invent the lightbulb.

Babe Ruth hit the most home runs, but he also had the most strikeouts. And each time The Babe failed, he said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”

How does this relate to you? Let me put it to you this way…


Bounce back today!


I’m a big Michael Jordan fan.

Everyone knows that MJ got cut from his high school basketball team.

But here’s something that nobody knows…

Michael was cut from his varsity team but was allowed to play on junior varsity.

Well, on the last day of the season, MJ asked the varsity coach if he could just ride on the bus with the varsity squad.

The coach said yes, as long as he carried the varsity players’ uniforms.

He agreed.

So not only did Michael Jordan get cut from his high school basketball team, Michael Jordan carried the varsity team’s uniforms.

Then, the next school year, he worked harder than anyone else and eventually became the Michael Jordan that we all know.

Be like Mike.


“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”



“That little voice inside my head keeps telling me that I’m no good.”

“I’m just a negative person.”

“I always lose when I have a lead.”

These are common thoughts. And they lead to common results.

You have to expect things of yourself before you can achieve them.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Jane Atkinson in London, Ontario, Canada.

Have you ever been in a pressure situation?

Of course you have. But the question is, what do you do in those situations?

Most people tense up, stop breathing and pray that it will be over soon.

Next time, try what Michael Jordan did…

When the pressure was on, Jordan called up past successes in his mind. Most of the time he replayed the last-second shot he made in the 1982 NCAA Championship when he was at North Carolina.

And we all know what kind of results Jordan got.

So next time the pressure’s on, go back in time when you were in control, you were in the zone and you could do no wrong.

Or you can focus on the negative stuff.

Your choice.


MESSAGE #999 LEADERSHIP (and failure)

Today I’m going back to where I failed out twice, Rider University, while studying computers.

No, I’m not going back to get my degree (I have a degree from Ferris State University’s Marketing/Professional Tennis Management program).

I’m going back to Rider to be the opening speaker for their Team Leadership Challenge. This is my second time speaking at this great event and this year’s theme is  “Navigating Your Way to Success.”

That’s funny to me.

When I started college it was as if I needed a map, but after failing out twice, I CHOSE to follow my passion (sports) and transferred to Ferris State. My grades skyrocketed. I graduated in 1997 and was named Pro of the Year for the USTA in 2005. After that, I started my own business, wrote a book and became a motivational speaker.

So what is leadership?

I think a big part of leadership is being brave enough to follow your passion. It’s about helping others. Leaders do things because it is the right thing to do, regardless of what others may think. That’s when people will follow. But it’s not about having followers…

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. -RALPH NADER

If you look at all of the great leaders in history, they all made everyone else better, whether it is Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Martin Luther King or Henry Ford. Focusing on yourself is weak. Focusing on others is powerful.

So today I hope to motivate, energize, and inspire the students at Rider, but more importantly, I hope to produce more leaders.