Michael Jordan’s Advice to Musicians
If you’ve read Dr. Noa Kageyama’s articles at the Bulletproof Musician, you’ve heard about the use of sport psychology with classical musicians. Athletes and musicians go through many stages in which they must overcome a series of challenges in order to be considered among the top people.
We train every day—to be the best we can be. To perform at the highest level possible and to keep opening doors for the future.
BUT, to be as successful and legendary as, say, Michael Jordan or the equivalent in the classical music world, we’ll need to work as hard as him.
He didn’t fly from the free-throw line to the basket from one day to another. It took years of goal settings and purpose. When he was in high school, the school team didn’t take him because he was not good enough. Michael worked his career from the bottom up—and we can certainly do that as well.
As you’ve probably figured, he was one of my childhood heroes and today I want to translate some of his quotes into classical musician’s language.
I’ve failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.
Uffff, this one is my favorite of all. He said in an interview: “I’ve been trusted with the last shot over 100 times and missed, I’ve lost more than 900 games, missed a million shots. All that, contributed to what I have achieved to this day”.
You will lose auditions, play horrible, have bad days, bad experiences, etc. It is not what you do when everything is beautiful, it is what you do when things get hard. Those moments will teach you like nothing else. If you persist, you will win an audition eventually. If you play out of tune and keep working on it, you will play in tune some day.
The key is to keep working and find your way around your problem. Know it exists, and work consistently on it.
The only thing I knew was that I didn’t want to be average
You know, I am such a big fan of Jordan that even though I’ve read all these quotes already I still get goose bumps every time I go over them again. The amount of energy I get when reading this quotes it’s incredible. I feel like I don’t want to be average myself either, I want to practice 8 hours a day until a reach my dream. I want to be as good violinist as he was a basketball player.
That quote is very well related to the next one…
I was the first one there and the last one to leave
No doubt about it!
In one of those million documentaries I’ve seen of him, he said that when he left basketball and started professional baseball, he was up really early and trained 4-5 hours more than the other players.
Of course, he was not professional but his reputation as a basketball player got him into the baseball team. He wanted to get better more than anything in the world and that was the right attitude at the right moment. When is the right moment? Always.
Although he never really became a star as a baseball player, his skills improved immensely over time. He was born to be a basketball player the same way you were born to play that clarinet. 😉
I’ve known many musicians who started playing the piano but ended up playing something else and became professionals in that other instrument.
These quotes are all connected in one way, find inspiration and passion for what you do, work with a future in mind and you will rise.
Write me back!! Do you have any favorite quotes that inspires you as a musician? Do you believe sport psychology can help us? What else can give us musicians energy to keep dreaming and working toward personal goals?