I'm sad that “The Last Dance”, the documentary on ESPN about Michael Jordan, has concluded.
It is a fascinating study of a champion, and what I take away is that so much of MJ's greatness was the direct result of his self-belief. Jordan loved to win, stayed in the moment and had no fear of losing. He HATED to lose, but wasn't afraid because he stayed in the moment and, if he failed, viewed it as temporary and moved on.
If I watch two otherwise evenly matched tennis players and I ask them about their expectations and the first says, “I think I can win," and the other says, "I know I will win", I will bet on the more confident player every time.
It takes confidence and character to be willing to believe in yourself.
Steven Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation and executive director and founder of Serve & Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally-ranked junior players, 16 New York State high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.