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“Make It or Miss”: Michael Jordan Once Broke Down Best Way to Build Confidence in Sports

Michael Jordan was a beacon of inspiration for several athletes and future NBA players coming into the league. Since his arrival in the NBA, Michael Jordan became one of the first basketball stars to be renowned as a global personality and helped spread the reach and appeal of the league to a wider international audience. An X user with the handle name The Jordan Rules uploaded a video of Michael Jordan trying to inspire a younger generation of athletes in 2005. In this video, the 6x NBA champion, then two years after his final retirement, was trying to advise the audience about the best way to build confidence in any sport.

Jordan was well known for his competitive and relentless nature of playing the game. He explained his approach to the game by talking about the seriousness among players while taking a shot on the court. According to Jordan, attempting a shot has two results: a hit or a miss. If one misses a shot, there is always a tomorrow wherein players can work harder and try their shot again.

“People put too much seriousness to success and failure, especially on the basketball court. If you take a shot, you can only do two things: make it or miss. That’s how simple it is,” said Jordan, explaining his approach towards nurturing a genuine knack for the game among the younger generation.

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Jordan advised the parents and guardians of aspiring athletes and fans, “That’s what you try to get to your kids. So that they are not afraid of that simple act.”  Giving an example from his own experience, Jordan said, “When I took that shot, whatever shot it was, in my mind, first of all, I’m thinking I’ll make it. Secondly, if I don’t, Okay, we can come back tomorrow, work hard, make sure when I get into that situation again, I’m going to make the shot.” 

Jordan asked the parents to love their kids even if they fail on the court or in any aspect of their lives. Jordan’s career could be the best testament to his statements, which vividly reflect his experience.

It’s hard not to agree with Jordan’s words. After all, practice makes perfect, and when a player fails when the lights a bright, there is nothing better to do, than to simulate the experience in one’s head and practice over and over with dimmed lights. That way, the next time that moment arises, the person knows exactly what to do to rise to the occasion.

Since getting drafted in 1984, Jordan tried for seven seasons to take the Bulls through the playoffs to win an NBA championship. Despite nearing that feat several times, Jordan and the Bulls would often crash out of the post-season during the Eastern Conference Finals or Semi-Finals. However, in 1991, Jordan won his first championship and was unstoppable after that. His Airness has a 6-0 record in the Finals, which is hardly imaginable for any player to achieve in today’s era of basketball.

MJ had advised Shaquille O’Neal to learn to fail before succeeding


Shaquille O’Neal was a young and coming center when Michael Jordan was at the height of his NBA career. The big fella once revealed how MJ had advised to learn to fail before succeeding when Shaq’s Orlando Magic once played against Jordan’s Chicago Bulls during the 1996 NBA playoffs. The Bulls had swept the Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals, leaving Shaq devastated by the result of the series.

Shaq once recalled Jordan consoling him after this defeat with the advice, “Before you succeed, you must learn to fail.” When the big fella returned and reflected on Jordan’s words, he came across the careers of NBA greats such as Jerry West and Jordan himself, who had tasted bitter failures before achieving their eventual success. Shaq implemented the same for himself and immediately won a three-peat at the Lakers within three seasons of his arrival from the Orlando Magic.

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