Kobe Bryant ended his career as the third-leading scorer in NBA history, but his legacy is his calculated creation of a game-specific persona—Black Mamba— separate from his everyday self. Mamba Mentality (MCD, $35), released last October, inspires and challenges in equal amounts. Are you a little soft come tee time? Kobe’s insights into focus, prep and opponent awareness can give you the killer instincts to win every match.
The Best Part: Each year before the playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers would stage a lavish team dinner. As Pau Gasol notes, Kobe got up from the table at the end of the evening one year, heading home for some rest, Gasol assumed. Incorrect. Bryant bolted to the gym for a late-night workout.
The Takeaway: Winners never lose sight of the target or the willingness to improve, even on an off-night.