In the wake of Kobe Bryant’s untimely passing, many people are looking at the life, passion and successes Kobe had. I want to refresh three areas of Kobe’s life that translate to professional life and entrepreneurial success.
Where this begins and ends for me is with one-word preparation.
Kobe Bryant was handed God-given talent that many of us would simply dream of. A physical specimen of speed and grace and an intelligence that could beat most competitors before he had even touched a ball…but here are some factual example of who Kobe was when it came to preparation:
- In High School, Kobe would practice from 5AM to 7AM on school days (source LA Times)
- Former Lakers player and head coach Byron Scott was quoted as saying the following:
- “I heard the ball bouncing. No lights were on. Practice was at about 11, it was probably about 9, 9:30. And I go out to the court and I look, and there’s Kobe Bryant. He’s out there shooting in the dark. And I stood there for probably about ten seconds, and I said, ‘This kid is gonna be great.”
- Laker great Shaquille O’Neal said Kobe used to practice without a ball
- According to a Team USA trainer, Kobe once held a workout from 4:15 a.m. to 11 a.m., refusing to leave the gym until he made 800 shots.
- Note: This while he was out of season playing for team USA…during a time of “exhibition work” he was still concerned about working to prepare.
- He went though super-intense workouts on game days
- ESPN’s Rick Reilly said: “Among a dozen other drills, Bryant does suicide push-ups. At the top of the pushup, he launches himself off the mat so hard that both his feet come off the ground and his hands slap his pecs. He does three sets of seven of these. This makes me turn away and whimper softly.”
- Kobe expressed in an interview after he retired the idea that by working out 3-4 times a day (full 3-hour workouts, with breaks for rest and meals in between). It absolutely meant he was going to be 25-50% more prepared and improved than his competition.
The logic is simple…” Hard work beats talent, when talent does not work hard.” Kobe had both, and absolutely maximized a plan of outworking his competition.
This is what can directly translate into your success. Find your passion and apply effort on it daily. Do not just “work your job” but hone your craft. Do not work to be good, work to be world class.
If Kobe’s life (and sadly his death) does nothing more, it is to show that effort and preparation can lead to greatness, in any area of life.