“The Mamba Mentality isn’t about seeking a result.
It’s about the journey and the approach. It’s a way of life.”
Basketball legend Kobe Bryant died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Nine people were on board, including his beautiful 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
As a huge basketball fan, I have been re-watching highlight videos and listening to endless stories about Kobe’s life. When my son was a little boy, he idolized Kobe. So did the many athletes I had the privilege of coaching over the years. He was the man we all adored on TV, a formidable figure who was beloved by so many, and a larger than life hero to kids across the globe. My heart and prayers go out to his wife and their other children.
While much will be written about his basketball achievements, I want to pay tribute to the other side of the man.
Kobe’s work ethic was legendary (and that’s an understatement). His preparation was unmatched. He passionately approached both the mental as well as the physical aspects of the game with an incredible amount of detail. If practice started at 7am, his teammates would tell you that Kobe showed up at 5am. When practice ended, he would routinely stay to work on mastering his craft. During his number-retirement ceremony, Kobe described his “dream” as the work it took to get there. “Those times when you get up early and you work hard. Those times you stay up late and you work hard. Those times when you don’t feel like working. You’re too tired. You don’t want to push yourself, but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream.”
Kobe defined the standard on what it takes to be a champion.
The same can be said about his passion to contribute life lessons to the next generation.
After he left basketball, Kobe formed Granity Studios–an award winning multimedia company focused on creating new ways to tell stories around sports. Kobe wanted to use his love for storytelling to awaken the imagination of young athletes and foster the emotional and mental development that would help them reach their full potential. His book “The Wizenard Series: Training Camp,” has been described by some as ‘Harry Potter meets the sports world.’ It hit No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list.
Kobe was asked how he wanted to be remembered 50 years from now. Here was his response in a CBS interview: “As a person that was able to create stories that inspired their children and families to bond together. And for the children to dream,” Bryant said. “Then have the initiative to wake up every morning and do all they can to help that dream become a reality, you know, that would be really, really cool.”
Kobe raised the standard, on and off the basketball court.
Kobe put his passion and work ethic to use by helping young kids in the community. He formed multiple foundations to promote education, help students seeking financial aid, and support the families of our men and women serving overseas.
When his helicopter crashed, Kobe and his daughter were traveling to the Mamba Sports Academy, a 100,000 square-foot facility Kobe created to help young athletes train, think, and recover in an elite environment. Gianna was expected to play in a basketball game and Kobe was expected to coach. Kobe died being a dad.
He would be the first to tell you that the Mamba Mentality is a mindset that extends way beyond sports.
Simply stated: The Mamba Mentality is a constant quest to try to be better today than you were yesterday.
Now, that’s a standard worth adopting.
I encourage you to tune into this week’s episode of the Getting Results podcast: Raise Your Standard the Mamba Way. In this episode, I share some simple ways we can all begin to adopt the Mamba Mentality in both our professional and personal lives. It’s my way of honoring a legend.