Monday, February 29, 2016

Winner's Mentality by Robert Horry

Robert Horry, Big Shot Bob, game winner, game winning shot, Lakers, Kings, 2002
Robert Horry hits game winner, Lakers vs Kings, 2002
When I got traded to the Lakers in ’97, Kobe Bryant was just a rookie. The dude couldn’t shoot threes. We would play this shooting game every day after practice. It was me, Kobe, Brian Shaw, Mitch Richmond and Kurt Rambis. Kobe would lose every time. We would get to practice the next day and sure enough, Kobe would already be there shooting nothing but threes. Like clockwork, at the end of practice he’d say, “Let’s play the game! I’m ready for you.” And we would beat (him) again.
He would never stop. It was incredible. He practiced until one day, a couple months later, he finally won. If you literally said, “Kobe, I bet you can’t make five in a row by dropping the ball and kicking it in from half court,” that (guy) would go out there and practice it until he could do it. And that’s what people don’t understand when they talk about champions — when they talk about a winner’s mentality. Kobe’s dedication to the game is unreal. And I mean that in the truest sense … it was literally unbelievable. The common denominator in every championship team is the mentality that Kobe has. You have to be so obsessed with winning that you pull no punches with your teammates, even when you’re in first place. Even when you’re a defending champ.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Competitive: Kobe Bryant Loses in Ping-Pong, Orders Table to His House

Mike Trudell has been the beat reporter for, since the 2008-09 season, and is the team’s sideline reporter for Time Warner Cable SportsNet.  Trudell recalls a favorite Kobe memory involving Thanksgiving dinner and a Ping-Pong table.
Kobe Bryant Competitive

“​Thanksgiving 2013, and the team was in Detroit. None of us had plans. We thought we were going to have Thanksgiving alone. So, Kobe basically made sure that one of the ballrooms was open and had a fully catered Thanksgiving meal for everybody. Inside this room there’s a Ping-Pong table and some of us are playing, and I grew up with a Ping-Pong table, so I’m pretty good. At some point, Kobe makes a comment about one of the players I had just beaten. So I said, ‘Kobe if you want to, I’m happy to give some to you next.’ So, we play the first game and you can tell he can play, but he’s not a super experienced Ping-Pong player, so I sense a couple weaknesses and beat him rather handedly the first game. He is talking a bit of shit, mostly just calling me a MF-er. But, the reason I’m telling this story is not as a humble brag but because during the entire game, he was literally watching every point and learning as the game is going on. So, we get done with the game, and he wants to go again. Now, I beat him again the second time, but he got much closer. Within 5 minutes, he was taking the Ping-Pong game so seriously, and I thought, this is why he’s so great at basketball. I’ve never competed against anybody in anything, and I played a D1 sport, that felt as intense as that Ping-Pong game.”​
One week later, Kobe ordered an Olympic sized Ping-Pong table delivered to his house.
Kobe, Ping-Pong
Kobe Bryant plays Ping Pong, Thanksgiving 2013.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Mine, Yours, OURS!

cooperation, competition
Materials needed:

  • Five hula hoops or circles of rope (one for each team)
  • as many balls as you can get, hopefully 50-60


  1. Lay out the play area of at least 30' x 30'.
  2. Put a circle in each corner, and one in the center of the area of play.  
  3. Place all the balls in the center circle.

Teams begin by standing in or behind their circle.  In three minutes, your team's objective is to have all the balls inside your circle. 


  • Cannot throw balls.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Taking Care of Your Teammates - A letter from Jake MacDonald

All leaders are held to two standards: mission accomplishment and taking care of your people. If polled, I’m confident most people would agree that accomplishing your mission is the more challenging of the two. Taking care of your people is easy. As a young officer in the Marine Corps, I certainly thought so. Accomplishing the mission was the tough part. I enjoyed taking care of my Marines. I was good at it. To me taking care of my Marines meant letting them out early on a Friday, it meant getting some “hot wets” (hot coffee and soup) brought out to the field when we were training in the cold. It was making popular decisions that helped my Marines like me. I thought this way up until my first time in a combat zone.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Help Your Team While You're Injured, with Brandi Chastain

It can be difficult for the injured athlete to continue to feel connected to the team, to feel the same connection as their healthy teammates.  But the job of staying connected is almost entirely up to the injured individual.  In practice, the injured athlete needs to show his/ her teammates that s/he is willing to do everything s/he can to physically get better.  That means seeking out alternative exercises that s/he can do on the sidelines while teammates are practicing (push-ups, sit-ups, squats, riding an exercise bike, etc.).  The injured athlete must always remain 100% focused during practices and games, watching and learning from teammates' successes and failures in drills, scrimmages and games.  This focused engagement in team practices and games helps prepare the injured athlete for when s/he is ready to step back onto the field, and it helps teammates know you are with them.