Written by Abe MaingiSenior Analyst, Kineticos

Prior to starting my professional career as an analyst at Kineticos, my primary interest was collegiate and professional basketball. I was one of those college students that would have much rather watched (and thoroughly analyzed) an NBA game in the comfort of my own or apartment as opposed to competing for a spot at the local bar. The aspect that I found myself wanting to understand the most was, for the players that made it to the highest level (the NBA), how much of it was natural talent and how much was hard work.

Fast forward to present time. In my 3+ years at Kineticos, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the brightest executives in the life sciences industry. Through engaging with this elite group of professionals, I’ve gained insight into what it takes to make it to the highest level in a business environment; primarily hard work. Naturally, I wanted to know if it was the same for professional basketball players.

Fortunately for me, last year, I had the opportunity to work with a very well known trainer who prepares top-rated college players for the NBA.  This was my chance to answer my life long question about what makes an athlete great. After gaining approval to take a leave of absence from Kineticos, I applied and was eventually selected to help prepare a handful of the best NBA prospects for the 2016 draft.

About a year has passed since I participated in the camp and I think I’ve come to my conclusions on what shapes elite performance.

  1. The magic is in the work. There’s no secret formula to success. These athletes simply work incredibly hard and smart. Here’s what the daily schedule consisted of for 10 consecutive weeks:
  • 8:30-10:00am: Shooting workout
  • 10:00-11:30am: Strength, mobility, explosiveness workouts
  • 7:00-8:30pm: Skills workout
  • 10:30-11:30pm: Film session
  1. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” couldn’t be more true. Every player has a few simple moves that they work on mastering on a daily basis. For example, a guard might work on reading the defense during a pick and roll while a center/forward is more likely to work on his touch around the rim. They work on specific skills that they’ll do over and over in a game, master them, and then move on to the next skill.
  1. Relationships are everything.  Like most areas of life and business, relationships are critical. Something counterintuitive I’ve noticed: relationships are built outside the gym, not in it. During my time at training camp, when we weren’t in the gym, we were often together either on the beach or at the theatre catching the latest Marvel movie. Not to mention, most of us were living under the same roof as well. Sure enough, there were some durable relationships established last summer.

I’d be lying if I said natural talent doesn’t play a much larger role in making professional basketball players great than it does with executives. To help illustrate that, I’m 6 feet, 3 inches tall myself and spent all of my waking hours last summer looking upward instead of my usual downward tilt. However, it’s just as obvious to me that hard work, mastery, and relationships are the foundation of becoming successful in any professional environment.

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Abe Maingi, Senior Analyst, is responsible for the delivery of customized solutions to clients across the life science ecosystem.  Mr. Maingi’s analytical mindset and problem solving skills help him execute on client engagements ranging from market research, strategy, and operational excellence.

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