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Two Things Kobe Bryant Wished He Knew At Age 18: Empathy And Compassion

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Graham Betchart is the director of mental training for Lucid Performance Inc. (@trainwithlucid). He is also the mental skills coach for many elite athletes, including several collegiate and professional basketball players. He has worked with the No. 1 draft pick in the last three NBA Drafts ('14, '15, '16), the NBA Player’s Association, USA Basketball and many other organizations. Betchart passionately seeks to unlock the full potential in each of the athletes he trains.

As Betchart brainstormed about how to get coaches to embrace empathy and compassion as important elements of coaching, he reflected on the two things Kobe Bryant said he wished he knew when he entered the NBA at Age 18. Looking back on his career at age 36, Bryant wished he had known empathy and compassion earlier, as it would have helped him develop throughout his career.

Often coaches are threatened and think they know it all, but if they were presented with this information about Kobe Bryant, those coaches that are "old school" or have a narrow focus on how to win may be more willing to change their coaching ways or at least be open to suggestions that there are other ways to win and develop athletes.