Do you want to be the best? It is an easy question, but much harder to answer. Sure, everyone says that he wants to be the best. But, do you really?
Kobe Bryant clearly wants to be the best. There is no hesitation. Not only is the answer quick to come, but the effort to make the dream into a reality follows. Bryant definitely practices in proportion to his aspirations.
Kobe went to the gym over the summer and made one hundred thousand shots. That’s one hundred thousand made, not taken. He doesn’t practice taking shots, he explains. He practices making them.
Mike Sager’s article – “Kobe doesn’t want your love” – about Kobe Bryant in Esquire explains Bryant even further:
He sees his work as his art, his calling. Like Jason Bourne and James Bond, two of his cinematic heroes, Kobe sees himself as an uber-practitioner: a modern warrior able to solve any problem, able to train his way into dominance. He is the self-styled black mamba, known for its striking ability, aggression, and speed…He wakes at 5:30 in the morning to work out. He eats five times a day, a special diet, stressing not just the ingredients but the way they’re cooked. He studies tape of past, present, and world players with the curiosity of a scientist in the lab…With one ball and one rebounder, shooting his usual 80 to 90 percent in practice (with no defender), Kobe can make five hundred shots in about sixty minutes.
What are you doing to be the best? Are you paying lip service to your goals? How many shots will you make this summer? How much time will you invest?
Like Bryant, Steve Nash’s success is no accident. When he makes a seemingly impossible shot, it is not luck or chance, but a practiced shot. From Alan Stein’s blog:
He has a master list of every shot in his offensive arsenal – jump shots, runners, floaters, Euro-steps, quick lay-ups, and wrong foot lay-ups. During his off-season workouts, he makes 50 of each shot every day at game speed.
Are you one of those players who chucks and chases and calls it a workout? Do you have a purpose when you train? Do you write down your goals? Do you finish the workout regardless of the time?
How important is it for you to be great?