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Mindset Monday: Legacy

Mindset Monday: Legacy

Mindset Monday: Legacy

Legacy. A word we often preach as coaches, and a long lasting impact we all want to have on the people we influence through sports, relationships, and life. Yesterday, I was rocked by the passing of my favorite athlete, his beautiful daughter, and the other passengers aboard a helicopter that crashed in California. When I think of Kobe Bryant, legacy is one of the primary words that comes to mind. The support for Kobe and his family has been tremendous, and it reminds me of how much he impacted, and continues to impact my life. Kobe deeply influenced my life at an early age, and his passion for basketball fueled my passion for sports. Basketball was my favorite sport before I found lacrosse in 7th grade, and all I wanted to do was “be like Kobe.” I was obsessed with his work ethic, his ferocity on the court, and his ability to bounce back from any challenge that was thrown his way. My favorite number has always been “8”, and wearing this number on the field always gave me confidence. Today's Mindset Monday is about the legacy that Kobe left behind, and the many lessons we can learn from his time playing, and in retirement. 

Work ethic: Kobe was the hardest worker in the history of basketball, and probably in the history of sports. His love for basketball forged his relentless work ethic. He was dedicated to the process of improvement, and knew that he could fall back on his training and preparation when the lights were brightest. The Stories of his work ethic are endless. 

“Pain doesn’t tell you when you ought to stop. Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows if you continue you will change.”

Application: 

  1. Kobe taught me that there were no excuses for my playing time or my performance. If Kobe ever missed the last shot, or didn’t get the outcome he wanted, he would fix it- whether that meant staying after to make 800 shots, or whether it was starting every day at 3am. 
  2. The Navy Seals believe that we “don’t rise to the moment, we fall back to the level of our training.” Kobe knew that he was going to make every shot (even if he didn’t) because of his elite preparation. 

Competitiveness & Belief: Kobe had an insatiable will to win. No matter the opponent, or the situation, he believed that his team would prevail. His ferocity on the court was unparalleled, and he took every loss, miss, blocked shot, and failure personally. Many people talk about Kobe’s offensive ability, and don’t realize how great of a defender he was. Unlike many stars in the NBA, Kobe always guarded the other team’s best player. He took this as a challenge, and knew that he had to play his best on both ends of the court to succeed. Kobe’s belief, grit, and tenacity instilled constant fear in his opponents, and his competitive drive constantly inspired his teammates and peers.

“We don’t quit. We don’t cower. We don’t run. We endure and conquer.” 

Application:

  1. The highest levels of performance come from the deepest levels of belief. Kobe taught us that we can achieve what we believe, and to dream big in everything we do. 
  2. Never give up. Kobe taught us that no task is too big, and to fight until the end. 

Resilience: When my favorite athlete of all time went down holding his achilles versus Golden State, I briefly thought his career was over. Then, he walked to the foul line, and drained two consecutive free throws before limping to the locker room. After this, I knew he would be back. Kobe always responded to adversity with velocity of action. Whether it was bouncing back from or playing through injuries, beating teams in the finals he previously lost to, or having the guts to still take the game winning shot after a mediocre performance- Kobe ALWAYS persevered.  

“Once you know what failure feels like, determination chases success.”

Application: 

  1. E+R=O. Kobe taught us that regardless of the event, we control the outcome with our response. He taught us that each event may present challenges, but that does not dictate the outcome. 
  2. He showed us that determination can conquer doubt, and that failure should be used as fuel!

Influence: It is fitting that this is my  “one word” for 2020. After basketball, Kobe dedicated his life to positively influencing others- starting with his kids. In addition to the love and time he dedicated to influencing his children, he was an inspiring voice for countless athletes around the world. He was committed to influencing and helping as many athletes as possible, and he will continue to influence people through his legacy. 

“The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.

Application:

  1. Kobe’s legacy reminds us to always lead through the influence we have on others, versus the authority we may have. 
  2. He showed us the immense power we have to influence those around us, and share our vision through our passion. 

My heart goes out to the Bryant family, the seven other victims, and all who are affected by this tragedy. Make sure to give your loved ones an extra hug today, and every day. While Kobe’s life may have been cut short, his legacy will never die. 

-Coach LaHoda