Time & Productivity

How a Mamba Mentality Can Benefit ADHD Brains

Sports psychiatrist Dawn Brown explains why ADHD brains struggle to set intentions, and looks to Kobe Bryant’s “mamba mentality” for encouragement.

Dopamine is the fuel that converts our intentions into action. It regulates the brain’s pleasure-seeking behaviors, and it motivates us to take action in anticipation of a future reward. Good intentions are clear and deliberate; identifying and defining them helps enormously in the lifelong quest to achieve our goals.

But setting clear, deliberate intentions can be problematic for people with ADHD, who are known to have a deficient dopamine reward system. They know what they need to do but struggle to get there – to see past the daunting hard work to the achievement itself. It’s why ADHD might be better described as an intention deficit disorder, says sports psychiatrist Dawn Brown, M.D.

The late basketball star Kobe Bryant also struggled to set intentions. It’s what led to his legendary commitment to the game. “Mamba mentality,” as he famously called it, was all about completing smaller tasks in order to accomplish bigger goals. Bryant didn’t focus on achieving the triple double — instead, he looked at the process of what was needed to get there.

In the video above, Brown explains how to harness Bryant’s “Mamba mentality” for your ADHD brain.

For more sports-psychiatry insights into ADHD motivation, watch Dr. Brown’s ADDitude webinar, “How to Leverage Sports Psychology to Benefit ADHD Brains.” Dawn Brown, M.D., is a sports psychiatrist and founder of the ADHD Wellness Center.

How to Set Intentions with ADHD: Next Steps

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