Former Trainer Explains How Michael Jordan Used a Second Stat Sheet to Motivate Himself

Published 05/19/2021, 1:30 PM EDT
Chicago Bulls All-Star forward # 23 Michael Jordan file photos. (Photo by Tom Berg/WireImage)


Michael Jordan was an enigma for the entire league. Very few people could answer how Jordan would stay so motivated. But that motivation brought about the reign of arguably the greatest player of all time. Jordan became a phenomenon in the league, winning multiple NBA championships and MVP titles. But how did Jordan work up this level of motivation? His former trainer says he used a special stat sheet.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Former trainer talks about MJ’s stat sheet

Tim Grover, the former personal trainer to Michael Jordan, spoke in an interview about ‘His Airness’. He revealed that Michael Jordan got two stat sheets after a game. One was the standard stat sheet, and the other was a stat sheet that showed him his negatives. How many free throws he missed, turnovers, fouls, and other negative aspects of his play would be highlighted on his sheet for him to see.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls during the 1997 McDonald’s Championship. (Photo by Dimitri Iundt/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
DIVE DEEPER

‘Jordan Used to Embarrass You’: Reggie Miller Compares Dunking Ability of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant

26 days ago

Grover said, “At the end of the game, there’s the stat sheet that all the teams get. The stat sheet has how many minutes you played, how many points you scored, how many shots you took, rebounds, assists, fouls, free throws, and all those things. Michael used to have a second stat sheet. He would have a stat sheet of all the free throws he missed, the fouls he committed, the turnovers he had, all the negative stuff. And I asked him  ‘explain this to me.’”

Michael Jordan continued to improve after every game

Grover revealed that Jordan had his reasons for the stat sheet. MJ didn’t want to celebrate and rest on the things he did right; he saw those as his responsibility. But rather, he would focus on what he was doing wrong so that he could improve himself.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Grover said, “He goes ‘I’m supposed to score points, I’m supposed to get rebounds, I’m supposed to make my teammates better. I don’t want to get acknowledged for the things I’m supposed to do’… He’s just like ‘I’m not supposed to turn the ball over. I’m not supposed to miss free throws, I’m supposed to make my teammates better. So I need to work hard consistently on those three things on a regular basis, and the other things will automatically get better.’”

DIVE DEEPER

‘Shrewd Businessman’: Kwame Brown Reveals How Michael Jordan Drafting Him in 2001 Went Wrong

26 days ago

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Michael Jordan used his failures, even in a game, to motivate him to get better every day. Regardless of how he was feeling, Jordan would work very hard to improve.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT