lessons from the last dance

10 Lasting Lessons From The Last Dance Documentary

“Winning and leadership has a price!”

During the pandemic, one of the bright spots took place on Sunday evenings and watching the 5 weeks worth of the killer documentary. It was cool being able to show my kids why MJ was the best. 

If you want some more life lessons from basketball movies, check out 7 Life Lessons from the Movie HOOSIERS. 

If you want to watch the best mental toughness documentaries, click here. Top 10 Mental Toughness documentaries. 

1. Your why must make you cry

Michael Jordan tears up at the end of an episode, saying, “break.” He was caught up thinking about how much he cherished and desired winning. You’ll cry either because of how much it hurts, or because of how much effort goes into it. We all have the Pain of discipline or pain of regret. 

The last dance documentary also showed us all how fleeting success really is… The process is what matters most. 

2.  You’re not good enough

Even the greatest of all-time was ignored, dissed, and slighted. He used it as motivation to prove himself right and others wrong.

It is actually necessary in order to achieve your best. #pukeandrally

3.  Next level dedication

Episode 3, Jordan told UNC Asst. Coach Roy Williams, that he “wanted to be the best.” Coach replied, “You’ll have to work much harder.”

MJ said he worked just as hard as anyone else. Coach replied,  “Wait, you said you wanted to be the best!” He ended up working harder…See #8. Patience was also required! 

4. Be confident

“We will win Game 7!”

Confidence is contagious and when true belief is there, nothing can stop a team with it. Jordan also didn’t think about missing a shot that he had yet to take. This is probably the biggest lasting lesson from the last dance documentary. 

5. Coaching others

Coach Phil Jackson treated every player differently! He was a master at being able to build a bond and trust with players and thus got the most out of everyone. 

That is why he was the most successful NBA coach. 

If you want to build trust with your own team, check out this infographic! 


10 lasting lessons from the last dance documentary

6. On losing

It’s not about the setback! After the Bulls lost to the Magic in the 1995 playoffs, Jordan told his strength coach, “See you in the morning.”

He immediately returned to training. This is the obsession it takes for greatness…

7. “Reboundability”

It’s about the comeback!

Jordan still missed shots, free throws, and had the ball stolen. But, what made him the greatest was that he always bounced back.

ALWAYS! That is what truly make him elite! 

8. No light-switch mentality

No one trained harder or was more competitive in practice than Jordan.

“Michael Jordan was the only player that could turn it on and turn it off… And he never frickin’ turned it off.” – Roy Williams 

9. Stand up for yourself

Steve Kerr once got into with Jordan in practice and they punched each other. He was feared by most, but once Kerr stood up for himself, he got MJ’s respect. 

10. Don’t eat pizza at 10:30pm in Salt Lake City. 

This lasting lesson from the last dance documentary revealed who Jordan actually was as a competitor. 

This was a great documentary- Check out our list of the top ten mental toughness documentaries. 


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes. Some clients have included three different winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens.