Kobe Bryant, Walking and Skill Development

I like to joke with my players a lot. In fact, it’s probably my favorite part of coaching – whether it be millionaires at the private retreats I host, or the youth soccer players that give me sass when I wear converse.

But in those jokes, buried deep within, are truths.

When they get stuck with some skill or approach and think they can’t do something, my comeback is always the same.

“At one point, you couldn’t walk either. “

But it’s true – we just have social expectations coupled with strong biological demand for walking. But you don’t start life walking.

To me that’s fucking crazy!

As an adult, I don’t think about walking – E.V.E.R.

I just walk. Backwards. Forwards. Sideways. Even goofy. All without thinking.

But at 18 months, that shit might as well be rocket science.

Lift the leg, bend the knee, move the hip, lift the toes, arch the feet – what the hell? What the hell is a feet?!?!?

Here’s my point. If you are unsure that you can complete, achieve or understand something, you OWE YOURSELF to do it, build it or achieve it.

Fail or not, keep after it, like a toddler would walking.

How crazy would it be a toddler stopped trying to walk. As a parent, you’d likely jump off a bridge when your friends found out that you had a toddler you let quit walking because he didn’t want to try to learn.

Well, you are your best friend in this case. And we all need you to try the thing that scares you. Call it learning to walk.

Whatever the task it. Call it walking.

You’ve got to do these things. You have to.

Not only does the brain create new pathways, new learning and new formulas for the future when you do new things, but this is how the whole world as we know it came to be.

Cavemen didn’t build with concrete.

Engineers didn’t communicate with email.

Athletes didn’t wear synthetics.

At some point, someone did something that wasn’t done, hadn’t been done, and likely was not even possible at one point.

But from a personal standpoint, it’s when we do things we don’t think we can that we grow the most.

I watched this awesome Kobe Bryant Video that shared the same ideology. (About 8:45)

He was asking animators and writers to build a story. And they came up with something based on what they knew how to do. And he said, “I don’t want that. I want something you don’t know if you can accomplish.”

One of the best NBA players in history certainly is an example of how to do things that have never been done, and athletics in general serve as a great buffet of metaphors and corollary.

 But how would records break if we didn’t challenge ourselves or others?

We deeply, all of us, want to be our best selves – whether it was once or now and whether we admit it or not. It’s self-actualization, or a future self we want to be even in a dream.

Until we are able to walk willingly into these challenges, these opportunities, we simply can’t become that person.

Greatness isn’t doing what can be done. Greatness is repeatedly trying to do what hasn’t been done.

So, whatever you are doing. Wherever you are. Take a moment to look yourself in the mirror.

You’ve got this.

It’s just like walking.


Need a reminder about the beginner mindset, I got ya covered.

Or maybe you need to feel connected to everyone. Because we’re all connected.

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