Kobe Bryant’s work ethic is legendary. In high school, Bryant showed up at 5 a.m. and left practice at 7 p.m. Daily. Till date, he doesn’t leave the court until he sinks a couple hundred shots each day.
He even used to practice by himself, without a ball. In his book, former teammate Shaquille O’Neil wrote:
“You’d walk in there and [Kobe would] be cutting and grunting and motioning like he was dribbling and shooting — except there was no ball. I thought it was weird, but I’m pretty sure it helped him.”
Bryant counts all of his shots made in practice, and stops when he gets to 400.
Professional athletic trainer Robert Alert recently shared a story on Reddit about his experience training Bryant for the summer Olympics. Alert explained that Bryant called him at 4:30 a.m one day. Alert met Bryant at the gym and trained him for two hours. He left and returned to the gym at 11 a.m to find that Bryant hadn’t even left yet. Immediately after, Bryant participated in team USA’s first scrimmage.
Of his work ethic, Bryant says:
“To think of me as a person that’s overachieved, that would mean a lot to me. That means I put a lot of work in and squeezed every ounce of juice out of this orange that I could.”
Another NBA athlete, Ed Macauley, famously said: “When you’re not practicing, remember that someone somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him he will win.” It’s imperative that we practice consistently – every day, even. Seth Godin, author of Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? stresses that you can’t wait until you’re in the mood to practise; you have to do it regularly.