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Insights From Mamba Mentality (#31)

Mamba Mentality - How I Play by Kobe Bryant & Andrew Bernstein is a fascinating insight into how he attacked the game of basketball with humility, dedication, hard work, INTELLIGENCE, and sacrifice. 

It’s a great great book for the next generation of athletes.

The Mamba Mentality

  • The mindset isn’t about seeking a result - it’s more about the process of getting to that result. It’s about the journey and the approach. It’s a way of life. I do think that it’s important, in all endeavors, to have that mentality. 
  • You have to give everything to the game, to your team. That’s what it takes to win. That’s what it takes to be great. 

On Injuries

  • “What do I need to do to get back to 100%? That was my mindset. I never let fear or doubt seep into my psyche.“

On Looking Stupid

  • If I wanted to implement something new into my game, I’d see it and try incorporating it immediately, I wasn’t scared of missing, looking bad, or being embarrassed. That’s because I always kept the end result, the long game in my mind. I always focused on the fact that I had to try something to get it, and once I got it, I’d have another tool in my arsenal. If the price was a lot of work and a few missed shots, I was OK with that. 

Daily Routine

  • I always felt that if I started my day early, I could train more each day. 
  • My routine was involved early mornings and late nights. I found that, yes, this work might be strenuous on the day-to-day, but it left me stronger and more prepared during the dog days of the season and the playoffs. 
  • I always found that 15-minute catnaps gave me all the energy I’d need for peak performance. 

The Sacrifice To Be Great

  • If you want to be great at something, you have to truly care about it. If you want to be great in a particular area, you have to obsess over it. A lot of people say they want to be great, but they’re not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve greatness. They have other concerns, whether important or not, and they spread themselves out. That’s totally fine. After all, greatness is not for everybody. 
  • Greatness isn’t easy to achieve
  • It requires your loved ones to sacrifice, too, so you have to have an understanding circle of family and friends. 
  • By reading, by paying attention in class and in practice, by working, I strengthened my focus. By doing all that, I strengthened my ability to be present and not have a wandering mind. 
  • What separates great players from all-time great players is their ability to self-assess, diagnose weaknesses, and turn those flaws into strengths. 

Seeking Out & Talking To Mentors

  • Just as important as reading was cultivating relationships with the greats who’d come before me. Those guys taught me the lessons that gave me an edge over my competition. 
  • Why reinvent the wheel when you can just talk to the wheels that were created before? (on talking to Magic Johnson)
  • Bill Russell -  “If you want to win championships, you have to let people focus on what they do best while you focus on what they do best.”

Pau Gasol on Kobe

  • One of the qualities that made Kobe so successful, and always will, is his attention to detail. He always used to tell us: If you want to be a better player, you have to prepare, prepare, and prepare some more. 
  • Kobe knew that to be the best you need a different approach from everyone else. 
  • When everyone else was thinking it was time for bed, his mind was telling him it’s time to get ahead of the competition.
  • He would challenge players and coaches to match his intensity, his desire, to bring their best every single day.
  • Kobe wanted to find out what you were made of, and if he could count on you to help him win, plain and simple. 

On Coaching

  • Good coaches, however, teach you how to think and arm you with the fundamental tools necessary to execute properly. 
  • Luke Walton (current coach of Sacramento Kings) - Luke had a great feel for the game. He understood how to look at it in sequences, versus looking at one play at a time, and he was able to communicate very clearly. 

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