Kobe, The Black Mamba, Was Terrible?
I’ve become a fan of Kobe Bryant. Yes, he was a great basketball player in the NBA with numerous accolades and I enjoyed watching him, but my fandom is more about his approach and attitude along with what he’s doing after basketball in the business world and with his family that I admire most.
After listening to a recent podcast where Kobe was interviewed by Lewis Howes (click here for the podcast), I was shocked to learn Kobe wasn’t very good as a younger player. As a matter of fact, he was so bad, he didn’t score a point his 10-11 year old year. We all know his skill level rose tremendously, but how did it get to the point of becoming a Hall of Famer? Drive & determination were integral, but I feel every professional athlete possess those attributes. What inspired the drive and determination? Kobe shared a story about not scoring in a game when he was younger and a statement his father said after the game. “If you score 0 or 60, I’ll love you the same.” As a father, we love our kids unconditionally. Yes, I’m guilty of showing frustration when my kids don’t perform to the level I feel they are capable, but it’s not because I think they are the next big leaguer, it’s because I know how important it is to have success and the confidence created upon having success that spills over into other areas of their life, i.e. academics, and I want more than anything, my kids to be happy. However, I do realize failure is equally important in the development of a young person. Recently, I was a spectator at a presentation being performed at my son’s school. It was a ‘what to expect the next four years’ kind of presentation, but one of the consistent messages was, “Let them fail.” Easier said than done, but I get it, sometimes I just need to be reminded that there is just as much value striking out, getting a D, on a test, or not scoring any points as there is in hitting a homerun or pinning the ‘A’ on the fridge.
Being a kid is hard. Being a parent is hard as well. However, with proper perspective and a positive attitude, both parent and child will get through whatever challenge is in front of them.