I want to share one of the pivotal points that changed Jordan in so many ways. I like this story because the concept of it all can apply to each and every one of us. Here is his story:
"I relied on my high school coach, Clifton "Pop" Herring. He picked me up every morning my junior year, took me into the gym before school and worked me out. He was my pusher.
'YOU HAVE TO STAY FOCUSED, MJ.'
'YOU CAN'T DO THIS, MJ.'
'GRADES, MAN, GRADES.'
Those are some of the things he stressed to me every day. I had tried out for Coach Herring's varsity team when I was in the 10th grade. The team was stacked, but I felt like I was good enough to contribute. Coach Herring had another idea. I ended up playing junior varsity that whole season. When the JV season ended, players could be invited up to the varsity. But Coach Herring didn't move me up then either, even though I had averaged 26 or 27 points a game.
**HE WANTED JORDAN TO FOCUS ON WHAT HE COULD BECOME IF HE STAYED PATIENT. I REALLY BELIEVE THAT PATIENCE IS SOMETHING THE COACH WANTED TO INSTILL IN HIM. WITH PATIENCE COMES STRENGTH AND DESIRE.
SO I ASKED TO BE STATISTICIAN. I WAS WILLING TO DO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING TO BE A PART OF THE VARSITY.
Coach Herring allowed me to go on trips, but the only way I could get into the visiting gym without buying a ticket was to carry somebody else's uniform so it looked like I was part of the team. I never even got into uniform. I had so much confidence that I could help the team. I knew I could play.
**HE WAS WILLING TO DO WHATEVER IT TOOK TO BE A PART OF SOMETHING SPECIAL. THE EXPERIENCE I'M SURE HUMBLED JORDAN. HE EMBRACED HIS CONFIDENCE, WHICH MADE HIM FIGHT HARDER TO BE ON THAT TEAM.
Coach Herring could see that I had ability, but he also saw that I was a little slow in my development because I was growing. He knew I would make the varsity team that fall, but he wanted to start early. So he told me to stop playing football. Then Coach Herring convinced my parents that picking me up every morning and working me out before school would be good for me. He'd pick me up at 6:30 and we would work for an hour. He made this big ol' poster with all the drills listed, and we went through them every single day.
**THIS IS WHAT IT TAKES! PUSHING AND CHALLENGING...DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES TO BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE! WE ALL CAN APPLY THIS TO OUR DAILY REGIMEN.
I didn't have status. Playing sports in high school was my way of being able to move up the ladder. I wanted to really fit in. I wanted the girls to look at me as someone they could date. All of that drove me a lot more than most people think. I didn't want to be excluded from a grouping, or laughed at because I didn't have any status. If that's what you saw, I was going to prove you wrong. Just watch me--that was my mentality.
**WANTED TO INCLUDE THIS PARAGRAPH BECAUSE I THINK THIS WAS AN ACTUAL BLESSING FOR JORDAN. HE HAD TO FIGHT AND WORK HARD TO EARN RESPECT AND STATUS. IT WAS NOT HANDED TO HIM, IT BECOMES A PART OF HIM AND HE APPRECIATES IT.
REMEMBER TO LIVE THE LIFE YOU WERE GIVEN. WORK HARD EVERY DAY TO BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE IN EVERYTHING. NEVER SETTLE AND ALWAYS WORK ON IMPROVING EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE. IF SOMETHING DOESN'T WORK OUT FOR YOU, DON'T GIVE UP , TRY ANOTHER APPROACH. USE THIS STORY TO REMIND YOU THAT YOU LEARN TREMENDOUSLY ABOUT YOURSELF WHEN YOU HAVE TO WORK HARD FOR SOMETHING.
Jordan, M. Driven From Within. Pg. 23.