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Tim Grover | Mamba Mondays

Tim Grover is an NBA trainer who trained Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. The story about how he became Michael Jordan's trainer shows the difference between good and great.

Grover's parents both grew up in India and as a son of Indian parents, he said he had two options: be a doctor or be a doctor.

He was making $3.30 an hour working at a local health club when he saw a newspaper article that said Michael Jordan was tired of taking physical abuse from the Detroit Pistons. So he hand-wrote 14 letters. There were 15 players on the team, so he wrote to everyone except Michael Jordan. Jordan was the best on the team, he had never worked with a professional athlete, so he didn't think there was any chance he could work with him.

Jordan found the letter in someone else's locker, he gave it to the athletic trainer, and told him, "Find out what this kid is about."

The lesson Tim Grover took away from that was: The best of the best are always looking to get better.

Grover said his workouts were very intense, and he had to study to prepare for it. He would record every game and count his steps. He would count how many times he stepped right and left, and he counted how many times he landed on one foot versus the other. Grover said Jordan was open to doing whatever might work because he was so obsessed with winning, and Jordan said, "I don't want to do what everybody else is doing because if I do what everybody else is doing, I'm going to be likely everybody else.

At the 4:40 mark of the video above, Grover says:

Everybody knows you have to pay a price for winning, but most people aren't willing to pay it. They may pay it once, but you literally have to pay it every single day. The crazy part about that is the price changes daily. Just like the stock market goes up and down, the price of winning changes on a daily, daily basis. You have to be willing to pay that price, no matter what it is, on that day.

At the 7:40 mark, Grover talks about Kobe Bryant. He said Kobe was the definition of winning. Kobe was a grinder. You have to know you are grinding for a purpose. If you take two objects and just grind them together, they turn to dust. But sculptors grind away the non-essentials so you can create what you want. Kobe grinded away the non-essentials so that he could have a sculpture of what winning looks like for him.


1 - What was your biggest takeaway from the video?

2 - If you were Michael Jordan, what would you do with the letter? Would you have used it or ignored it?

3 - Are you willing to learn from anybody who might be able to teach you something new?

4 - What does winning look like to you, and are you willing to do what it takes to win at the highest level?

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