Growing up with an older brother meant there was always a sports game on TV. I never really followed the game but I had an idea what was going on and who were the players. My brother was a big fan of the Los Angeles Lakers. Kind of ironic since we were born and raised in New York City. This past week, one of the greatest basketball players of all time – Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter accident with his young daughter and seven other people.
I am most fascinated about Kobe’s positive attitude and the way he approached life. He had nicknamed himself “Black Mamba” after a character in the 2013 movie – Kill Bill. A mamba is a large and highly dangerous snake. Kobe had adopted the “Mamba Mentality.” A goal achieving personality. He was best known for his drive and passion. For picking himself up after any injury and keep going no matter what obstacle was in front of him. It has been amazing to read about the effect he has had on coaches, his teammates, and opponents. His inspiration to other athletes, kids, celebrities, and anyone who watched his legacy.
I am most amazed by his positive attitude. Some memorable Kobe quotes:
- “Pain doesn’t tell you when you ought to stop. Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows if you continue you will change.”
- “The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they do.”
- “You asked for my hustle, I gave you my heart.”
- “Everything negative – positive, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.”
- “If you are afraid to fall, then you are probably going to fail.”
- “Despite fear, finish the job.”
- “Once you know what failure feels like, determination chases success.”
No matter what you know about basketball, we can all agree that his mentality was inspirational.
As a therapist working with parents raising children with special needs, I know that parents face so many obstacles and challenges. A positive mentality can be extremely inspirational when you get upset, stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. You may feel as though you have lost the battle, but that’s not true. You have to pick yourself, dust yourself off and keep trying. Kobe’s relationship with his teammates should be a reminder that other parents with a child with a disability are your teammates. You should be working together to improving the school through fundraising and advocating for important resources. His ability to mentor other athletes should remind you that the parents, whose child was just diagnosed, also need your help. They need your support, advice, and knowledge about the system. Tips on how to deal with IEP meetings and the bureaucratic the system.
In a memorable interview, Kobe Bryant said “Life is too short to be bogged down. To be discouraged. You have to keep going, you have to keep moving. Put one foot in front of the other.” I think this is amazing advice that can help everyone pick themselves up when they have fallen and just want to give up. Use the “Mamba mentality” – finding your drive to keep pushing and advocating for your son or daughter no matter what!
Frances Victory, Ph.D., C.P.C., is a Developmental Psychologist, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Speaker, and Certified Life Coach at Victory Coaching LLC. For more information about her services, please check out her website: www.drvictorycoaching.