In our last +1, we talked about LeBron James and the fact that he tries to get 11 to 12 hours of sleep per day when he’s training. (So does Roger Federer. And, Tom Brady is in bed at 8:30.)
Let’s talk about LeBron a little more today.
Renowned mental toughness coach Bob Rotella kicks off his bookHow Champions Think with a story about how LeBron thinks.
It goes something like this.
Once upon a time early in LeBron’s career, Rotella spent some time working with LeBron. He knew the basics. Six-eight. A chiseled two hundred fifty pounds with explosive speed. A proven superstar. But it wasn’t until they sat down and chatted that he REALLY got LeBron’s power.
Rotella asked him about his goals. LeBron told him:“Iwant to be the greatest basketball player in history.”
Rotella thought:“Beautiful.This is a truly talented guy.”
He tells us what he was MOST impressed by:“Itwas not that he had physical gifts. It was LeBron’smind.”
Specifically, it was the way he saw himself that most moved Rotella:“Thevital importance of that sort of attitude is the foremost thing I have learned about exceptionalism in my decades of work with people striving to be great.”
That’s worth repeating. Rotella has worked with THE top performers for DECADES. The “foremost thing” he has learned about exceptionalism and people striving to be great? The vital importance of seeing themselves and their potential with such audacious (!) clarity.
Which begs the question: How do YOU see yourself?
Now, continuing our story… After LeBron told Rotella he wanted to be the greatest basketball player in history (!!!), Rotella asked him where he thought he stood in relation to that goal. LeBron told him he thought he was doing pretty well but that he wasn’t going to be the greatest if his teams didn’t win championships and they weren’t going to do that unless he became a better three-point shooter.
Long story short: Rotella told him to create a video montage of him nailing threes from every spot on the court. Set it to music. Watch it every night. FEEL it. Program his subconscious mind.
And, he told him to hire a shooting coach, work with him every day and make two hundred three-point shots off the dribble every day while imagining the best defender guarding him. Then make another two hundred catch-and-shoot three-pointers.“Itold him I didn’t care how many shots it took to make those four hundred three-pointers, or how long it took. If he wanted to be great, he would find the time and find the energy.”
Rotella continues:“Theactual number of shots I suggested was not as important, in my mind, as the idea that LeBron would set a practice goal for himself, commit to achieving it every day, and wait patiently for the results.”
Fast-forward. LeBron went from being a 29% three-point shooter in his rookie season to a 40% beast—collecting a few championships en route to his quest to be the greatest player ever.
Of course, this Idea has nothing to do with LeBron James and his three-pointers.
It has to do with YOU.
In what domain are you committed to beingexceptional?
Where do you think you stand in relation to that goal?
And what do you think you need to do every day (!!) to have a shot at being your exceptional best?
Find the time. Find the energy. Be an exception. Be exceptional.