At the time of writing this, it’s two weeks since Kobe Bryant passed away in a tragic helicopter crash. I have never seen Kobe in real life, nor have I watched him play on television. In fact, I don’t even really like basketball all that much. Nevertheless, the athlete Kobe Bryant truly inspired me, already long before his death. In this blog post we’ll look at the mindset that led him to become the best basketball player of the world.

If you want to be better than anyone else, you must do more than anyone else. And that is exactly what Kobe did. That’s why he was an icon for so many athletes outside the sport of basketball as well. He was an insane competitor, outworking everyone else. The short motivational video below gives you an example of his obsession to be the best.

Kobe Bryant adopted the nickname Black Mamba. The Mamba Mentality later stemmed from this to describe the relentless mindset that he was known for. It has become synonymous for working hard and never giving up becoming the best version of yourself.

The Mamba Mentality is much more than just the willpower and discipline to work hard. Kobe wasn’t only training harder than anyone else. He was obsessed with every little detail and watched back each game to see where he could improve. He even read the referee rule book to learn where the referees had to be positioned on the field, so that he knew when and where he may be able to get away with a small foul.

The Mamba Mentality teaches us that if you want to be the best at something, you need to obsess over it. How does this translate outside of basketball? If you aim for greatness, you must be willing to make the sacrifices needed to achieve this. Your first step is to know what greatness means to you. What makes you happy and fulfilled?

Most of us don’t need to become the very best. We may just want to get better than we are today. To get better at something, you must put in the work. Whether you want to get better at your job, improve your presentation skills, become fitter, learn how to play an instrument, or speak a new language. You first need to know what’s the best way to become better. Then you must focus and consistently do the work.

The video below is one of my favorite interviews of all time. In here, Kobe explains how he used his Mamba mindset to master basketball and other elements in life. The next time you need some motivation to work harder or inspiration on how to become better, just ask yourself: “What would Kobe have done?”