Game Change Nation

Trust the Process: Kobe’s Rookie Playoff Game Story

Kobe Bryant’s rookie season concluded in Utah with him shooting four airballs in the last five minutes of a game against the Jazz that bounced him and his Los Angeles Lakers teammates out of the playoffs. 

The Lakers boarded their team plane and arrived late at night in Los Angeles. Time to lick their wounds and get some sleep. Not Kobe. After landing at the airport, Kobe went straight to Palisades High where someone opened the gym for him. While the rest of his teammates (and most Angelinos) were sleeping, Kobe took jump shot after jump shot, practicing all through the night and into the morning.  

This was Day 1 of the offseason for Kobe and he spent the rest of those months repeating the same routine he performed that evening. Go to the gym and put up the shots. After Kobe became a star in the league, and no longer just a rookie trying to make his mark, the routine did not waver. Go to the gym and put up the shots.

Kobe trusted the process because the process got him there and it kept him there. Too many other people want to take shortcuts or get instant gratification. They’re looking for the lottery prize. Champions are made by those who view life as a marathon and don’t give up after a short run doesn’t yield the desired results. 

When in doubt, trust the process. 

Throughout the journey there will be times when you fall short, times when you fail. You may not shoot four airballs in front of 18,000 people, with millions more watching on TV, but you will have your stumbles. These are the times when self-doubt might start to creep in. We all have it and, for some, it can become paralyzing. 

The best response to a crisis in confidence is to go back to the basics and keep doing the work. If you stick to your plan and keep getting better, your day will come. Trust the process!

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