Let me start this off with a statement that describes me – I am a sports buff – and a competitive one for that matter. I’ve engaged in a number of sports growing up: basketball, volleyball, tennis, ping-pong, darts, bowling, lately football, and a lot more.
Growing up, as a Filipino kid in an urban community, basketball is my first love. Yes I am stereotyping right now. We only need a piece of wood, some strong wires, some nails, somewhere to hang the ‘board’ to, and voila, a make-shift basketball hoop is available. Don’t even talk about standards, as lines, heights, and even balls are just made out of anything that’s available.
Basketball is in my blood. And when my body broke down in a pick-up game in 2000 after fully tearing my ACL, my game changed. I remember jumping really well, I remember dashing and quickly going to my spots, I remember posting-up and backing down my opponents, I remember slamming the board on break-away lay-ups, ah the nostalgia, but I digress, that is not the point here.
Fast forward to 16 years later, playing with my mates two weeks ago, with my current heavy and transformed self, I played bad, like Harrison-Barnes-in-the-Finals bad! I think I missed 19 of the 20 shots I took, and yes, I kept on firing like a madman. I must’ve channeled my inner Kobe during that night, much to the chagrin of my team mates, and to the amusement of my opponents.
I must’ve spent a good hour after the game just to shoot. Going back to my spots and taking the shots that I normally make. It’s still brick after brick and miss after miss, and I felt really bad – like sick to my stomach bad. I wanted to shoot more, but with this shell of a body, I couldn’t go any further than that.
The following weekend, I went back at it. I was alone again in the court shooting the same shots, making a decent clip, sweating, jumping, rebounding, and never stopping. I believed that every shot I took will go in, as long as I stick to my mechanics.
Maybe in my weird, down state, I remembered this article about the Black Mamba on why he kept on shooting. Kobe said, I’ve done it a million times in practice, I’ve made a thousand jump shots every single day, I’ve made these shots in games, why would I let a few missed ones stop me from doing what is [essentially] a part of me [my routine]?
Kobe said, the only reason you stop, is because you lost confidence in yourself!
Note: I cannot find the exact article though, apologies 🙂
Cocky? You bet! Confident? Borderline egotistical! Deserved? Hell yeah!
You see HARDWORK and CONFIDENCE goes hand-in-hand. Rather, it SHOULD go hand-in-hand. You train, you practice, you work, you put in the ’10,000’ hours of hardship, all to be better – that’s the HARDWORK component. Then you believe in yourself, you believe that you can do it, you believe that you can deliver more than expected, you believe that you are better than the opponent – that’s the CONFIDENCE component. One cannot live without the other.
You cannot put in all the hard work and still not believe that you can accomplish something. It’s like spending years studying to play the guitar, and shying away when someone asks you to play for them. Confidence cannot stand alone if you don’t know how to deliver – you will be all form and no substance.
That’s the Mamba mentality that Kobe (as his brand) is trying to sell. It’s not just a far out concept that only athletes can do. It is something that you – yes YOU – can put into practice as well.
I remember a coaching client. She is really good, in fact really awesome at what she does. For some reason, she is having a hard time embracing the idea that she’s really good. She is always surprised when someone actually commends her for some outstanding work that she has delivered. While humility is indeed a strong value of hers, as a Coach, you always push your client to be the best version of herself. You have to motivate her to start believing in herself, and push her to become more confident in what she does.
She has already invested and done the hard work, right now, she needs to have the confident mindset. I really believe that she will be able to ‘up her game’ when she starts to become more confident when she delivers a talk. I really believe that more opportunities will come up soon.
The praises will die eventually, even how good one is. If one is not confident enough, I believe that he/she will falter when the praises disappear. Valuation of talent/skills should always start within, because that’s something that will never disappear in your system.
I always tease her, it’s not arrogance if you have something to be arrogant about! – That’s not the lesson here.
Tonight, if the weather holds, I will be playing again with my mates. Nothing will change, I will STILL take the same shots. Make or miss, I will not waver, I will continue to shoot and run, and defend, and shoot again, until my shell of a body says ‘no mas‘.
I have done the hardwork, I need to continue to be confident that my shots will go in.
– Coach Echo