The Kobe Defensive Suicide Drill will help you develop a killer instinct. And with this attitude, many other basketball skills will improve as well.
Kobe Bryant was one of those guys who enjoyed pushing himself to his limits.
He believed he improved more this way.
This is how he went from being a scrawny teen who barely played to an All-Defensive Player in four years. This is how he went from being a low-IQ shooter to an All-NBA Third Team Player in three years.
Because he trained hard on a regular basis (even in the off-season), he was able to bully his opponents whenever he wanted.
In the video above, you saw a Kobe Bryant full-court press a Dwyane Wade.
The game clock, if you were paying attention, is roughly 26 seconds.
There were 26 seconds left in that quarter and the Los Angeles Lakers (Bryant’s team) were up by 9 points.
Kobe didn’t need to full-court press. But he wanted to put pressure on Wade to show that he could.
He also wanted to show Wade and the Miami Heat that the rest of the game wasn’t going to be easy.
And this, my friend, is the Mamba Mentality.
The Benefits of Having the Mamba Mentality
Having the Mamba Mentality is beneficial for basketball, especially on the defensive end. On this side of the court, success comes to those who are tough and who play hard.
Just look at all the great defenders (Gary Payton, Michael Jordan, Ben Wallace, etc.) and you’ll see what I mean.
Kobe is among that list of greats. Many forget (or ignored) that he was a 9-time All-Defensive First Team member. He wasn’t just a great scorer –he defended the crap out of opponents too.
I personally believe that all players should develop the Mamba Mentality. It’ll make you tougher and give you an edge when you need it.
The Kobe Defensive Suicide Drill
So, here’s a drill you can do to push yourself:
How to do the Drill:
- The two players will start at the baseline.
- The ball handler will dribble left for 3-4 dribbles, then crossover and dribble right for the same amount (these are called zig-zag lines).
- The ball handler will follow this pattern until he/she reaches the half-court line.
- The defender will follow and defend the ball-handler the entire time.
- After the defender has guarded one person, he/she will jog back to the baseline and defend the next ball handler.
- Remember to pass the basketball to the next ball handler as quickly as possible after you finish your turn.
Kobe normally did this drill in the off-season and pre-season.
When he did it, he did a minute and a half of non-stop lane defending.
But he’s a pro.
And you are not, clearly (neither am I, so don’t get your feelings hurt by that comment).
Thus, I suggest you go for 20-30 seconds to start and slowly progress to 1 minute.
Additionally, do you notice how Kobe stayed low as he defended the ball handlers?
You will have to as well because this is good defensive form. And notice how he always put in maximum effort, regardless of how tired he was?
You will have to as well or else this drill will be worthless and a waste of time.
And those things and the Mamba Mentality don’t mix. Seriously. I tried mixing the three together one time and my gut did not feel well. I was all gassy and whatnot.
It must have been the basketball gods punishing me for slacking on the sacred court.
But that’s TMI.
How to Do Kobe’s Defensive Suicide Drill Solo
Anyway, if you don’t have any teammates or friends to run this drill with, you can do it solo.
You just have to do all the movements Kobe does in the allotted time by yourself.
But -and this is important- you have to hold yourself accountable. You have to keep going.
Don’t get lazy halfway into the drill and slack off or quit. Put in your best effort the entire time that you’re working. It’s okay to slow down, but you have to keep moving until the timer stops.
This means staying low with your stance and zig-zagging as quickly as you can every set.
Remember to “focus” the entire time, as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson often says.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention: You will do 3-5 sets of this exercise. Your break should only be a maximum of 2 minutes.
As an alternative solo exercise, you can do suicide runs.
But the con to this is that you won’t strengthen the muscles that are required for perimeter defense. You will develop a tough mentality and cardio though, but you won’t get stronger.
The Kobe Defensive Suicide Drill will build more than just the Mamba Mentality.
You will also strengthen your legs, improve your cardio, and improve your footwork.
And since all of these things are improving, your perimeter defense will get a boost as a result.
So, do this drill, get better, and attack every play like Kobe.
P.S. If you’re struggling to improve in basketball, you may be training wrong.
This is why you need to check out my Old Man Game Activity Guides. They are convenient training systems that will help you work on your fundamentals and conditioning.