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Larry Bird, Michael Jordan Show Mindset Is the Key to Slam Dunk Investing

By Jennifer Reardon - Feb 8, 2021 at 6:00AM

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Find out how mindset helped some of the greatest athletes achieve success.

What makes some of the greatest athletes of all time, the greatest athletes of all time? Hint: It's not just skill.

Here, in a video recorded live on Jan. 6, 2021, Motley Fool Analyst Tim Beyers discusses how mindset helped some of the greatest athletes achieve success, and how you can do the same as an investor.

Tim Beyers: Alright. We're going to get to question number 2, but Michael's question here I think is really important, because Michael asked, "Explain mindset for us newbies so we can get the most out of it. Thank you in advance." Great question, Michael. Wonderful question. I'm glad you asked that.

When we talk about the inner game, and when we talk about mindset, think about athletes you admire. I'll just name one of my favorites, dating myself, Larry Bird. What is the thing that I love about Larry Bird? Well, I love his skill and I love his competitiveness. But what makes Larry Bird Larry Bird as a player, in my opinion, what makes him the guy who he was, is that he always wanted the last shot.

"Give me the ball. Give me the ball. I want the ball. I'm going to take the last shot. Win or lose. That's mine. You can't stop me. I've got the ball."

Many, many times over a long career, over just hours upon thousands upon thousands upon thousands of hours of practice, it wasn't necessarily just about his technique, but building up a mindset that says, if I get the last shot, if you give me a chance to win the game, I'm going to win the game. More often than not, he was right.

So what makes Larry Bird Larry Bird is mindset. What makes Magic Johnson Magic Johnson is mindset. What makes Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Steph Curry, name your athlete, what makes them who they are is their mindset.

Now apply this to investing. What makes you an investor that is going to meet their goals? Your mindset.

We can teach you all the techniques in the world, but until you develop that inner game and really build up the muscles that are required to meet your investing goals, those mental muscles, it's going to be difficult.

You can't just do it with technique. Because if it was just technique, then there would be such a thing as a technical trader that could hit every mark and do things amazingly well, and they would be unbeatable. We're human beings and that's just not how it works. We do have to build mental resilience.

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