Having a Mamba Mentality (created by Kobe Bryant) is the ability to dedicate oneself to excellence with no excuses focusing on improvement every day, no matter the goal, no matter the adversity faced.
This is the mindset 16-year-old Grant Jackson took on when he rejoined the soccer team after five years. He took a break due to other interests and the Covid-19 pandemic. When he realized his school soccer team was down one player due to injury, he stepped into the position of goalie.
Now, with one season under his belt and being named District Newcomer of the Year, District Goalie of the year, Team MVP, and 1st Team All-District, all while maintaining a 3.5 GPA with AP and Honors courses, he’s riding high and setting his next goals.
“In the coming year, I hope to repeat as 1st Team All-District Goalkeeper and of course, win more games,” the rising junior said. “I look to someone like Kobe Bryant for inspiration because of his never lose attitude and mindset.”
Re-entering the world of soccer has presented a few challenges for Jackson. As a new goalkeeper, he’s learning a lot of crucial components on how to protect the team’s goal from opponents by catching, clearing, or redirecting threatening shots from crossing the goal-line using his hands and body (all of which is new). Prior to this year, he played center back, relying more on his speed, agility, and footwork. “As a goalkeeper, I am able to dominate because of my reflexes combined with my recognition of angles and speed is an asset,” he shared. “I love reading the field and understanding all the positions of the game. At some point, I have played as an attacker, midfielder, and defender.”
To prepare for the upcoming season, he’s participating in the University of North Texas Mean Green Soccer Camp, running track, and playing basketball, all helping to increase his speed and leg strength. Jackson is excited about his future in soccer and looking forward to growing and learning more on the team. His current top three college choices are Louisiana State University, The University of North Carolina, and the University of Southern California.
With the attitude “failure is only failure if you allow it to become a failure,” follow Grant Jackson on Oowee Sports Nation (a network for youth athletes) as he continues to channel Mamba Mentality.