There’s no doubt Kobe Bryant will go down as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, but there’s much to learn from his life and legacy beyond his talent on the court. For a golf sports psychologist, Kobe Bryant’s life lessons are a gold mine of useful nuggets golfers can incorporate into their golf mental game.
It might be difficult at first to find a link between Kobe Bryant and golf (although some of his biggest fans might already know that Kobe liked to play golf every now and then!). But if you really think about Kobe Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality” it becomes clear there are plenty of life lessons you can apply to improving your golf mental game. To honor his legacy, we can adopt his philosophies in our own journey to greatness and exploration of golf psychology.
Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Mentality
What do we mean when we say “Kobe Bryant Mamba Mentality”? Kobe’s nickname on the basketball court was the Black Mamba, just like the longest venomous snake native to Africa. Kobe developed his Black Mamba alter ego based on a scene from the Quentin Tarantino movie Kill Bill. Before long, he was able to make a brand out of the Mamba and get others to associate the snake’s ferocity with his basketball skills.
Eventually, Kobe wrote a book called The Mamba Mentality, which laid out his life lessons and the ways he pushed himself to achieve the confidence, resilience and laser-like focus he’s come to be associated with as an athlete.
Countless basketball players and other athletes have cited Kobe’s Mamba Mentality in their own lives and philosophy in their sports. As an athlete training in the game of golf, there’s plenty you, too, can take from Kobe Bryant and “The Mamba Mentality” to learn how to improve your mental golf game.
Life Lessons from Kobe Bryant
If you want to know how to incorporate lessons from Kobe Bryant and “The Mamba Mentality” into your golf mental game, here are the top 10 Kobe Bryant lessons for how to improve your mental golf game.
1. Be Passionate
Choose to live with passion for something you believe in. When something in your golf training gets you down, you’ll always have your desire and passion to get you through it.
2. Failure Can Be a Good Thing
As long as you learn from your mistakes, failure can be a good thing. In an interview, Kobe talked about being an 11-year-old basketball player and playing a summer league. For an entire season, he didn’t score a single point!
For the next ten months, he worked his butt off to be a better shooter and learn how to score. His next season, he scored a few more points but still, in his words “not good.” So, he worked harder for the next season.
Finally at age 14, he became the best in the state. Experiencing failure pushed Kobe to become better and gave him a goal to set his mind to.
3. Work Harder Than You Think Possible
As illustrated in the same anecdote about overcoming failure, Kobe had to work harder than ever in order to achieve his goals. If he wanted to do something he’d never been able to do before, he knew he had to train like he’d never done before either.
But to Kobe, out working himself wasn’t enough. He woke up every day with the drive to outwork everybody else on the planet.
4. Be Disciplined
Be disciplined enough to put in the time with full effort. At 17, Kobe was drafted into the NBA by the Charlotte Hornets, who immediately traded him to the Lakers. Anyone else may have been disheartened by this chain of events and let it get in the way of playing their best.
But Kobe didn’t let this get him down. Instead, he maintained his discipline and put in his full effort, despite the setback. Because of this mindset, he became one of the greatest players on the Lakers.
5. Have a Growth Mindset
It takes time to become the best version of yourself. Have a long-term view of your development, nothing happens overnight.
6. Challenge Yourself
If you are not challenging yourself, you are not growing and improving. Doing the same drills you have a hundred times or taking the easy way out won’t enable you to grow and improve – only putting yourself in challenging new situations will do that.
7. Protect Your Dreams
Keeping dreams pure is a challenge. Society has a way of destroying them. If it is something you believe in, go for it!
8. No One Said It Would Be Easy
Having good mentors allows for good reflection. They can help keep you on your path, but be open to criticism. It is important to be coachable.
9. Have a Champion’s Mindset
You must see yourself succeeding. Champions do everything they can do to succeed. It takes discipline to understand all the components to win consistently. If you have confidence and truly believe you have what it takes, you set yourself up for success.
10. Stick With It
If there was one thing that made Kobe successful, it was his ability to stick with it. In other words, he would persevere through adversity and rely on his grit to overcome obstacles. He had a mindset of not giving in to anyone or anything. You must keep going when it gets tough.
What made Kobe so special? He took his failures and defeats and turned them into triumphs. He chose to live a life full of passion, to give his all every day and to constantly challenge himself to be the best version of himself. Kobe knew that to be his best self, he had to share his passion with others in order to help them also become their best selves.
Kobe Bryant’s life lessons in basketball. They truly are lessons for life and how to make the most of your time living. Whether it was in sports or business, his mindset helped him succeed and it can help you succeed.