Kobe Bryant. Michael Jordan. Dwyane Wade. Those are just some of the greats in NBA history that have worked with legendary trainer Tim Grover. What he does is take some of the greatest talents and make them ever better. As the Bryant attempts his recovery from a torn Achilles, it will be Grover that will be working with him hand-in-hand once again. He doesn’t get the spotlight, he doesn’t get the attention but if Bryant returns by the time next season starts and he regains his previous form or something close to it, it will be Grover who was largely responsible for pushing him and getting him back to that level.
Tim Grover joined WYGM in Orlando with Mike Bianchi to talk about why he wrote his book “Relentless” and chose to gave away his secrets, if he notices all the greats have something in common, whether he thinks Kobe Bryant can come back better close to what he once was, whether a torn Achilles is tougher to recover from than a torn ACL and where Kobe ranks in terms of hardest workers he has seen.
Why did you write this book and give away your secrets?
“This is not really secrets. This is not a training book. It’s not how to play basketball like these guys. This is more about how these guys think and how they act from the neck up. Why they are champions and the reason they do certain things that they do. And that is the point we make in ‘Relentless’ is that it’s not about the physical, it’s about the mental and how everybody can think like a champion and do all the things these guys do to be successful.”
Do all the greats have one thing in common?
“We have a list in the book called the ‘Relentless 13’ and there are 13 traits of what we call a ‘cleaner,’ which is the ultimate competitor. All these guys have a majority of these traits in them. Something like, ‘they keep working when everyone else has had enough. They know exactly who they are. They prefer to be feared than liked.’ We have these characteristics of what these champions have inside of them that make them who they are.”
Do you think Kobe Bryant can come back close to what he once was?
“Everyone is saying ‘can he come back close to where he once was?’ My job is to get him better than he once was. With all the technology that is available to us and all the different resources and the training available for this surgery now, there is no doubt in my mind that can happen. Yes, he does have a lot of miles but again, the battle with him is going to be from the neck up. It’s not that he is not going to be able to do this, it’s going to be a matter of slowing him down so he doesn’t overdo it.”
Whether a torn Achilles is more serious than a torn ACL:
“It is more serious than a torn ACL. Yes it is, but again a lot of players have come back from it. There is no reason he won’t. It’s going to be how you attack it from a mental standpoint, not a physical standpoint. I’m not worried about him from a physical standpoint being able to do this. This is more of a mental battle than anything else. Just like most injuries are. How you overcome them, you can get back to where you are physically, it’s whether you get to the point where you don’t think about it. That is one of the main things about ‘Relentless’ that we talk about. You get to that point where you are so finely tuned that you don’t think about it.”
Where Kobe Bryant ranks in terms of the hardest workers he has ever seen:
Him and M.J. are right up there. I mean they’re together. This guy is relentless in his pursuit to get himself better and go after the ultimate goal. That is the point that we are trying to get at is that anybody can be like that. It’s not about the physical. In continuing to work hard, it’s a mental battle. We say the mind controls the body, the body doesn’t control the mind. If you can mentally push yourself through these different barriers that are going to be put in front of you then you can achieve whatever you are trying to get to.”
So Kobe can come back better than ever?
“Yes. He told me the other day, he goes listen ‘ I hire you for 4th and 15 with little time on the clock, not for 1st and 10. There’s little time on the clock so let’s get this done.”