NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo has shown us what it means to embrace failure as part of success in sports. When he was bluntly asked whether he perceived his team’s latest defeat as a “failure”, he did not shy away from the term.
On April 26, the Milwaukee Bucks, who were in first place, played against the Miami Heat, who were in eighth place, in a playoff game in the Eastern Conference. Despite Antetokounmpo scoring 38 points, the Bucks lost in a very close overtime game against the Heat (Brockington, 2023).
During a press conference, journalist Eric Nehm asked Milwaukee Bucks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer whether he viewed the season as a failure. Nehm then directed the same question to Antetokounmpo.
Giannis Antetokounmpo then explained in the simplest way the true definition of success. Among others, he stated that “there’s no failure in sports. You know, there are good days, bad days. Some days you are able to be successful. Some days you are not. Some days it’s your turn, some days it’s not your turn. And that’s what sports is about. You don’t always win.”
It is worth noting that athletes, in addition to their physical prowess, often exhibit various soft skills. As a case in point, Giannis’ response to the journalist’s question is a prime example of this phenomenon. In particular, he displayed remarkable resilience in the face of adversity, which is a critical skill to have in any field. Moreover, his leadership skills were on full display, as he took charge of the situation and provided a thoughtful answer. Additionally, his positive attitude was evident throughout the interview, as he expressed gratitude and humility. Furthermore, it is clear that Giannis possesses a high degree of self-awareness, which is a key characteristic of successful individuals.
In a world where success is often defined by winning, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s perspective on failure provides a valuable lesson. His ability to see beyond the outcome of a single game and understand that setbacks are an inevitable part of any journey is a testament to his maturity and resilience. Giannis’ soft skills, including his leadership, positivity, self-awareness, and professionalism, have contributed greatly to his success both on and off the court. As a role model for aspiring athletes and individuals, he reminds us that true success is not only about winning, but also about learning, growing, and persevering through challenges.
This type of mentality is what we aspire to promote in our learners at Morphoses!