3 Secrets From Larry Bird: How He Trained, and What Made Him Great | Exploring Markets

3 Secrets From Larry Bird: How He Trained, and What Made Him Great

We spent several hours researching Larry Bird. We wanted to discover what truly separated him from everyone else and if any lessons were there. What we found was incredible and could inspire anyone.

First, Bird had a remarkable work ethic and this quote, from Mark Shaw's book Larry Legend, says it all:
"While most players waltzed into the locker room the required 90 minutes before game time, Bird has been on the floor by at least 6:00, more than two hours before tip-off. In the loneliness of Boston Garden, with only attendants and a few Celtics season ticket holders present, Bird shot more than 300 practice shots. He’d start with 6 to 10 free throws, move out on the court a bit, and then start firing away at a comfortable pace as comrade Joe Qatato hit him with perfect passes. Then the “Parquet Picasso,” as he was dubbed, would speed up the routine and by the end of the workout throw up rapid-fire shots, many featuring the Bird “drop back a step” maneuver that guaranteed him an opening from every angle. “I really don’t count my shots,” Bird said. “I just shoot until I feel good."
Second, Bird understood teamwork and toughness. That came from the town he grew up in and family that raised him. As explained by Investor's Business Daily, never overlook this in anyone:
"Bird's focus on teamwork was learned at an early age. He came from a large family, with five siblings. People in his hometown worked hard to earn modest livings. Residents of the community shared a "we're all in this together" attitude. "My father had taught us all to watch out for one another, no matter what the circumstances," he said. "As a matter of fact, he told us that if he ever heard we didn't stick up for one another, we shouldn't bother coming home." The point was shockingly reinforced when Bird was 19. His father took his own life, apparently in despair about not being a better provider."
Lastly, one of Bird's famous coaches, Jimmy Rodgers, once told NBA.com about something that completely impressed him. It was his routine and ability to be up and working before the sunrise:
"He loved to fish. He had some great spots out there around the French Lick area. This was during the middle of the summer, and I know because I was staying in another room, and he would be up before the sun rose. He would be out either running, getting on his bicycle. He did all of his work. He was very methodical, a planner. He would do all of his physical work, all his conditioning before the sun was up very high in the sky. He’d get all that done and then went on with his day, whether it was fishing or whatever he had to do. I saw that and that kind of registered in my mind. Well this was what this guy does. This was why he comes back every year and is a little better player, because he’s doing something. He’s not sitting there knowing that he is a great player. He’s trying to become a greater player and that to me was very impressive."