Train Like Kobe

Train Like Kobe

Kobe Bryant’s work ethic is legendary. In high school, Bryant showed up at 5 a.m. and left practice at 7 p.m. Daily.

This behavior continued throughout Bryant’s illustrious career. He even used to practice by himself, without a ball. In his book, former teammate Shaquille O’Neil wrote:

“You’d walk in there and [Kobe would] be cutting and grunting and motioning like he was dribbling and shooting — except there was no ball. I thought it was weird, but I’m pretty sure it helped him.”

All those hours and all those reps. What exactly was Kobe working on? How was he able to climb to the top of the NBA and dominate the game for so many years? How was he able to make so many elite NBA defenders, who were charged with the single task to STOP KOBE, look foolish on a nightly basis? According to an interview he conducted in China, he explains that he simply has just two moves offensively. On the perimeter he has a pull up of the dribble and a turn around jumper in the post.



Kobe was able to master 2 simple moves with well over 50,000+ reps and terrorize the league. Kobe was able to think fast and move even faster on the court. Kobe had a focus and a strategy as he worked to grow and develop his game. He would pick a spot on the floor like the mid post and develop a go to move like his turn around jumper. He would work on every little aspect of that move from feet, to hips, to hands, to shoulders and so on until it was perfected. Once he perfected that move he then would start to add a counter such as his pivots, ball fakes and stepthroughs.

The Matrix below shows exactly how many reps it takes to truly master a certain skill. As we all know with Kobe’s well documented work ethic he got many more than 10,000 reps to master his game.

“Obsessed is a word that the lazy use to define the dedicated”

Cognitive  (0-999 Reps)
Unconscious Incompetent


Think Slow / Move Slower


Think Slow /Move Slow

101 – 499

Conscious Incompetent


Think Quick / Move Slow

500 – 999

Associative (1,ooo-9,999 Reps)

Conscious Competent

1,000 – 9,999

Think Quick / Move Quick


Think Fast / Move Quick


Autonomous (10,000+ Reps)
Unconscious Competent


Think Fast / Move Fast


Think Fast / Move Faster


Image result for kobe bryant step through high post

So as you work on your craft think about how you are spending your time. Are you spending time becoming a player that is ok at a handful of skills and a master of none. Many people make this mistake. They get in the gym and work on a new move every workout without mastering anything.

Be strategic and master of a go to move. The off season will be over before you know it. Spend your time wisely. If you can create a go to move that will translate into just 4 made baskets a game this coming year, that’s 8 easy points per game.  Once you have mastered the Go to move it is time to add a counter.

With Repetition comes skill and also Confidence. Kobe said the following about confidence stressing practice and repetition:

”Practice. Confidence is a tangible thing, it comes from practice and repetition. You have to put in the work in order to build that confidence. When others see you have that confidence, they will gravitate around you and have confidence in you. But it starts with you.”



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