What Is The Mamba Mentality? Why Kobe Bryant Was Great

basketball mindset May 10, 2021
mamba mentality

The mentality that Kobe had when he played:

The Mamba Mentality is what made Kobe Bryant so special.

What separates good players from GREAT players? Is it their basketball ability? Their athletic ability?

Nope. It's their mindset. Having the mind of a winner. The mind of a champion.

The best players are the best because they think a certain way, they act a certain way, and they move through life a certain way.

Kobe Bryant had that mindset and it's what made him so great. It's what he called, "The Mamba Mentality."

What exactly is the Mamba Mentality and how do you take on qualities of this mindset yourself?

In this article, I'll share with you 4 different aspects of the Mamba Mentality that you can easily take on for yourself so you can step up your basketball mental game and take your game to the next level as a result.

Read also: The 24 Best Kobe Bryant Mamba Mentality Quotes >>



What Does Mamba Mentality Mean?

As Kobe Bryant said himself, "To sum up what Mamba Mentality is, it means to be able to constantly try to be the best version of yourself." "It's a constant quest to try to better today than you were yesterday."

It was clear throughout his career that Kobe constantly tried to be the best version of himself day in and day out. 

Not only that, but he kept trying to out-do himself.

"The mindset isn't about seeking a result -- it's more about the process of getting to that result," Kobe said. "It's about the journey and the approach. It's a way of life. I do think that it's important, in all endeavors, to have that mentality.

Kobe's mindset was legendary and it's what separated him from a lot of other players. It's one of the main reasons he was one of the best to ever step on the hardwood.



How To Have The Mamba Mentality

Here are four characteristics that all basketball players with the Mamba Mentality share in common. Kobe Bryant exemplified these traits on a daily basis throughout his career. He was never content with how good of a player he was. He always looked for ways to improve and it showed through his relentless work ethic.

1. Never Settle

The first part of the Mamba Mentality is the importance of never settling. Never settle in your basketball career. Never be content.

If you average 20 points a game, aim for 25. If you shoot 40% from 3, aim for 45%.

Never stop improving. By adopting this aspect of the Mamba Mentality, you will have no choice but to reach greatness!



Even if you just strive for minor improvement each day. Those minor improvements everyday will one day add up into something great.

Each day, work hard on your game in some area. Whether it's your shooting, ballhandling, body, or mind. Get better everyday.

At the same time, try to keep adding to your game. Don't be content with your skill-set. The more tricks you can add into your bag, the better a player you'll be. The more well-rounded and harder to stop you'll be.

You might like: How To Get Better At Basketball >>


2. Be A Life-Long Learner

The second part of the Mamba Mentality is to be a life-long learner.

To become the best version of yourself, you have to keep learning. Everyday. And when you learn, you become a better version of yourself.

If you stop learning, you stop growing, which is why being a life-long learner is a part of the Mamba Mentality.

Here are some ways to continue learning each day:

  • By doing - try a new move, shot or finish
  • By watching - watch videos that teach you different drills, basketball concepts, or basketball mindset tips
  • By reading - read things about or by players, coaches, or other successful people
  • By figuring things out - ask questions, ask why

As Kobe once said, "Continue to learn, continue to ask questions, continue to figure things out, continue to ask why things happen a certain way, continue to better yourself. Because when that happens, you have no choice but to achieve greatness. It comes as a by-product of that."

Related: How To Improve Your Basketball IQ >>



3. Have A Mamba Work Ethic

The third part of the Mamba Mentality, has to do with work ethic. To be the best, you have to outwork everyone.

Kobe Bryant was on a mission to become one of the greatest basketball players of all time. And in order to be the best, you have to work harder than everyone. To be the best, you have to have the best work ethic.

And that's what Kobe did. Kobe was known for his 4 am wake-up times so he could get in extra work. And this is why it is a key element of the Mamba Mentality.

Here are some tips for having an elite work ethic.

"If you don't have time, make time." 

There isn't time to do everything, but there's always time to do the important things. Which means, there's never an excuse to not work on your game.

If you feel like you don't have time to work on your game, what are some things in your day-to-day life that you can let go of so that you can hit the gym instead?

With that said, even if you can't make it to the gym, there are other ways to work on your game. There are other ways to get better.

If you can't get to the gym, you can still work on your mindset. You can meditate or do visualization to get mental reps which will still help you get better. You can also work on your body by stretching or doing other recovery.

Having a great work ethic doesn't always mean being in the gym. There are other ways to work. Just make sure you're doing something each day.

Read also: How To Be A More Aggressive Basketball Player >>


4. Seek Challenge

The final part of the Mamba Mentality is another characteristic that made Kobe Bryant so special: Seeking Challenge.

Your comfort zone. Yes, it's comfortable, but it is not where growth occurs.

If you want to grow, you HAVE to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. By doing things that are uncomfortable to you, you grow and become stronger in some way.

Basketball players with the Mamba Mentality understand this, and that is why they purposely seek out challenge in order to make themselves uncomfortable. This way, they grow as players at a rapid rate.



Also remember, the easy way isn't always the best way. In fact, the harder way is better sometimes because that is what usually leads to growth. 

So if you find yourself facing some sort of adversity in your basketball career, just remember that it's going to make you stronger in the long run.

Here are some ways to seek challenge in basketball:

  • play against stronger competition 
  • guard the best players
  • set challenging goals in drills
  • work on a new move, finish, or shot-type

Related: How to Be Mentally Tough in Basketball >>  


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