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  • Writer's pictureKen Jee

The #1 Lesson from 18,000+ Hours of Coaching Elite Athletes | #007


Kobe went public with his alter ego, the black mamba after winning the NBA Championship in 2009. What most don’t realize is that this alter ego was in the works since 2003. It was painstakingly crafted and iterated on with the help of a performance coach specializing in identity based performance.


Today’s guest is the man that actually constructed the Black Mamba with Kobe. As a coach, he has helped thousands of athletes, leaders, and public figures get out of their own way to reach their potential. Todd Herman has logged over 17,896 hours of one-to-one coaching, and his courses, and training programs, and businesses have transformed the lives of over 2 million people, not just pro athletes. His book “The Alter Ego Effect” was a massive eye opener for me into how changing our perspective can change our life.


In this episode, we learn how our imagination can be one of our greatest assets in improving our performance, the specifics of how Todd worked with Kobe to craft the black mamba, and what traits many of the high level athletes Todd has worked with share.


The Alter Ego Effect Book: https://amzn.to/49vrmFW


Exponential Athlete Socials


0:00 Intro

1:15 Todd's Origin Story

4:30 How do you define the "self"

7:31 What is "Identity"

9:50 Changing Identity

12:00 Discovering the Power of Identity Change

16:30 How many elite performers use an alter ego?

19:20 Why do athletes love Joseph Campbell

26:00 Nuance vs Execution

32:30 Art and Science

36:00 Power of the Alter Ego

41:30 Using Data to Ground Reality

45:45 Misconceptions about Alter Ego

53:25 Can you Teach Playfulness?

59:55 Borrowing Comfort

1:04:25 How to Time Travel

1:09:30 Why Kobe Needed Mamba

1:15:00 The Mental Movie Theater

1:19:30 Using the Darkness

1:23:30 The Iterative Nature of Alter Egos

1:27:30 Imagination: The Secret Weapon

1:35:00 Visualizing without Eyes?

1:39:00 The Myth of Specific Goals


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