The Mindset of a Winner – Kobe was right on.

I have to admit, I didn’t follow Kobe’s career very closely. I’m not a huge NBA fan, so of course I knew who he was and that he was a great player but my behind the scenes knowledge was limited. Since his passing, we’ve all seen the outpouring of grief and support, so I took a little time to do some research into his legacy because there was clearly something to him I was missing. It was then I stumbled upon this video… THE MINDSET OF A WINNER Kobe Bryant Champions Advice. (take 12 minutes of your life to watch it)

I’ve played with and coached so many physically talented athletes throughout my career who never competed at the level their God given ability was capable of. Physically, they had it all…quickness, strength, natural ability that made them good athletes. But they were lacking something crucial that held them back. Time after time I hear young athletes complain about how they’ve been wronged, comparison to teammates or how their coach is against them. 

They focus so much on what others are doing ‘to’ them, they lack the introspection on how they, themselves can improve the situation or get better personally. THIS IS THE DIFFERENCE between an athlete who gets ‘IT’ and can compete at a high level and one who will simply play the game until they age out. 

What is ‘IT’? MENTALITY. At 2:45 in the video, Kobe is asked how he got so mentally and emotionally strong…his answer was profoundly on point. If you have an athlete, have them WATCH THIS. If you are a coach or a parent of a young athlete WATCH THIS and foster a growth mindset. Shift away from allowing complaining about how someone wronged them or throwing pitty parties after an error and LOOK FOR WAYS TO IMPROVE. 

Kobe’s response to the question, ‘how did you get so mentally and emotionally strong’, may rub some the wrong way, and for those it does, you’ve got some work to do. Kobe responded, ‘you have to get over yourself, it’s not about you.” Kobe talks about his first season in the NBA where he shot 5 air balls to get them to post season. Instead of drowning in embarrassment, pitty and shame, he shifted his MINDSET…wait for it…and asked himself, ‘why did those air balls happen?”

THIS my friends is where good athletes become GREAT! He continues to describe his mindset and assessment, ‘high school year before, we play 35 games, max, with a week break in between and plenty of time to rest. In the NBA, it’s a back-to-back-to-back 82 game season. If you look at the video of the air balls, every shot was on line, but they were short.” So what did he say to himself… “I have to get stronger. I have to train differently. The weight training program I’m on, I have to tailor it for an 82 game season, so that when the playoffs come around my legs are strong and that ball gets there.” WHOA! #Adjustments 

Friends, athletes, coaches, parents – I encourage you to rationalize what is going on. If you make an error, or if your kiddo makes an error, dig in to WHY it happened, identify areas to make them stronger, better, more prepared for the next time you/they are in that situation. Shift your MENTALITY from victim to GROWTH and you will start to reach levels of success you never thought possible. Allow yourself to succeed – it starts with perspective and MINDSET. If you kids complain or chastise, shut them down and redirect into growth mode. 

I may not have followed Kobe while he was with us, but I certainly will learn as much as I can from his legacy, commitment and overall pursuit to be the best. Thank you for the lessons sir, may God bless you and your loved ones. 

#WinEveryDay #Kobe #MindsetOfAWinner