Team USA got Olympic preparations underway this week at the Mamba Sports Academy. The nation's leading experts in sports performance were in attendance including Champ Kobe Bryant in an effort to prepare surfers for the podium in 2020.
"This is an exciting time for surfing as they prepare to bring their mastery to the global stage at the Olympic Games," Bryant told USA Surfing. "Competing at this level is not just about training the body, but also training for the mental and emotional challenges that accompany the Olympic journey. I've lived through this experience twice and look forward to passing any knowledge along to help them bring home the gold."
"It was pretty amazing to see what a champion like Kobe Bryant has achieved in his career and what he had to do to be the best -- physically, emotionally, mentally," Seth Moniz said afterwards. "He's so gnarly. He's really hard core. Zero excuses. If you have that mental and competitive edge, it will take you far."
Over the course of the two-day training session, Bryant focused not only on the physical aspects of getting ready for the Olympics, but also what it takes mentally and physically to be ready for the overwhelming experience.
"I didn't know what to expect at first, but when he walked in the room his presence was just a calm, confidence," Courtney Conlogue said. "It was cool how genuine and sincere he was with us about what it takes to accomplish your dreams and become everything you want to be. When you have someone who has accomplished what he has to be super up front about what it takes to get to the top was inspiring."