Kobe Bryant is arguably one of the greatest basketball players of all time. The legend left a huge legacy behind for young minds to follow and achieve great success like he did. One of the things that he left for the younger generation includes the mamba mentality. Kobe said this has helped him through his career and to become one of the great.
Mamba is the name of an African snake. Kobe nicknamed himself The “Black Mamba” after seeing the movie Kill Bill directed by Quinten Tarantino. Only by seeing the movie he got the idea for his alter ego. In the movie, the mamba snake was coded for a deadly assassin. Kobe added the word mentality next to it and spread his thoughts to the world.
He has won five NBA titles and is considered a Los Angeles Lakers legend. He is always known for his discipline in his game and competitive spirit. But sadly in January 2020, Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.
1. What Is Mamba Mentality
Mamba mentality is a state of mind where an individual should try to be their best selves. This means that you should get better every day by working hard and trying to get the best version of yourself. In other words, today you should be a better person than you were yesterday.
Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Mentality started as a mere hashtag when he talked about it. In his 2016 tours, he spread this message to inspire the youth and upcoming athletes. This included focusing on things that you feel are important. Every individual must try to find what is best for them and be the best in that.
Mamba mentality is not just for athletes. It is a state of mind and a lifestyle that suits any person who wants to achieve success in their respective fields. Following the words of the legend. Legends like Michael Jordan, and Lebron James praise the way Kobe is disciplined and his mentality towards life is what makes him who he is today.
2. Pillars of Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Mentality
Kobe Bryant has culminated the idea of all of his competitive spirit and trust in hard work with one ultimate mantra called Mamba mentality. His mindset has always been towards putting effort into everything that you do. He embraces “Hard work outweighs talent” which is one of his famous quotes.
2.1 Follow Your Passion
Finding passion is tough for many people. Especially when you are young, you need to try every different thing and find what interests you. At a young age, Kobe found out about his passion for basketball. He found his passion way early which has worked in his favor. Unlike everybody else, Kobe will always be one level above in terms of enjoying coming into the court, and being a basketball player.
In his short film “Dear Basketball” which won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, he explained how his passion for becoming a basketball player added hurdles in front of him. And since he loved the sport so much, he gave his heart out as it meant much more than that. He loved to wake up before anyone else and start working hard to follow his passion.
Passion is like fuel for success according to him. Keeping the distractions away from him is the main thing to give your 100% on the court. Once you find out what is your passion. If it is truly what you love. Then, it will enrage you to work harder than the next guy.
2.2 Make It Your Obsession
If you want to become successful in your field. You need to have that inner fire to be better. Look at every successful person in any field. The one thing they have in common is obsession. Because that is what will drive you and make the best version of yourself.
You need to look at every aspect of a problem. Sitting by yourself and blaming fate will not help in sports and even in life. You have to step up and make the change yourself.
Kobe is who he is because he was so obsessed with playing basketball. He wakes up at 4 am before anyone and starts his training. He would not miss any day of training. He would always be at the training facility to practice. No matter what, he is known for putting free throws again and again when he is in the court.
He never shies away from learning from others. He is open to getting advice from his teammates, coaches, and anyone. Being obsessive towards your passion will give you an edge in challenging people.
2.3 Be Resilient
As you venture into achieving your goal. There will be times when will not go your way. You will go through failures, you will see someone doing better than you, and you will be at your lowest point. But during those times, it is important to show your resilience and shut down others by working hard.
If you give up midway and in the future, you should not regret not trying hard enough. You need to make sure that no matter what, you stay strong and do what you love until you are done with it. Kobe has shown his resilience many times. Especially at the time when his team was two down against Boston in 2010. He could have given up. But he overcame that challenge and won the championship.
Be it any injuries. Kobe will overcome that and show the world he still has what it takes. One time he tore his Achilles tendon in a game against the Warriors. But before going off-court, he hobbled to two free throws and got both shots right into the basket.
2.4 Be Relentless
There will be times when you start to go a little easy on things. This usually happens when you see that you are doing better. This would make you a complacent person which is not good especially when you are trying to reach a mile high.
You need to be relentless and fired up every single time you walk into the court or step into the field. You need to show the opponent your full potential. Your presence should make an impact on how they play the game. If Kobe went easy on some of his opponents he would not be the best. He is the best and at the top level because he does not rest in the middle.
One of the most memorable games by Kobe Bryant was when he scored 81 points in a game and crushed the opposition. He played an unbelievable shot which made even the opposition sit back and witness the master at his own class. He was relentless throughout the game. It is spoken even today because he scored 81 points in the game which is the highest any individual has scored in a single game in modern-day football.
2.5 Don’t Fear
The last but the most important pillar of the mamba mentality is to be fearless. It is human nature to be scared or fear that you might fail. It is ok to feel that. But dwelling too much on it will make the situation even worse.
Sometimes it is the situation that scares you. It might be the opponent, crowd, personal problem anything. But you should not fear anything. Kobe Bryant was the only one who never backed down to Jordan. He showed the world that he is not scared of anybody and is ready to take on anyone. You can see the presence Jordan creates in the NBA when he steps onto the court.
3. Impact Of Mamba Mentality
Kobe Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016. But it was not the end of it. He still wanted to spread the word and inspire young kids who strive to be successful. The mamba mentality was the pushing factor for many athletes mainly within women’s basketball. Bryant told the media that he loved telling stories and inspiring people. It is one of his many aspirations to build.
He opened the Mamba Sports Academy to coach the youngsters and train them to be professional basketball players. Sadly on the day of the tragedy, Kobe was on board with his team en route to a youth basketball tournament in Thousand Oaks, California. It was the opening season of the Mamba tournament in 2020.
But his legacy still follows through even after his death. His book The Mamba Mentality: How I Play is one of the bestsellers that has inspired a lot of youngsters to work hard and be successful. Mamba mentality has grown into something for athletes even nonathletes who want motivation to do something in their field. The Mamba Mentality applies to them.
The Mamba Mentality is a way of living that might sound too stressful or complicated. Well if you want to be successful, you need to put in the hard work. The results will make all the hard work worth it. Mamba mentality is one of the many things Kobe will be remembered for what he has achieved in his period.
If you ask his friends and enemies in court. They will talk about his work ethic and everything he did for that. Even many players now in the NBA follow this mindset and become part of this movement. The main thing about mamba mentality is to be authentic. Kobe has dared people to be their best selves. And don’t look for competitions outside. The main opponent which you should be ready to face is yourself.
If you follow those above-mentioned five pillars then you can also get this mentality and be the strongest version of yourself to be successful.