2 Alternatives to 1-on-1 Basketball

It is unfortunate that the game players play the most is also the least relevant to the game of basketball--One-on-One.

Go past any schoolyard and you'll see two players playing one-on-one. Take the ball out on the top of the key, take 10-12 dribbles to back the opponent down to the basket and then try to shoot over him. That is the way 99 percent of all one-on-one games go. It builds bad habits, limits understanding of the game and erodes needed skills.

Below are some different one-on-one basketball drills that might do a better job of improving players' skills and help them reach playing objectives.

Half Court One on One

  • Place two chairs just short of mid-court on the right side of the court.
  • Players start on the baseline, opposite the chairs.
  • The player on the outside has the ball.
  • On "Go," both players take off at full speed. The player with the ball goes on the dribble, the player without the ball goes on the sprint.
  • Both players go around the right side of the chair and head back toward the basket.
  • Once headed back toward the basket, the player with the ball becomes offense and the player without the ball becomes the defense.
  • Add a dribble limitation, such as 2 dribbles after turning on the chairs, to add effectiveness.

Full Court One on One

  • Place two chairs on the right side of the court, a little higher than the foul line extended.
  • Place two more chairs on the other side of mid-court, just above the 28-foot marker (or above the coach's box).
  • Players start on the baseline and the player on the outside has the ball.
  • On "Go," both players take off. The player with the ball goes on the dribble, the player without the ball goes on the sprint.
  • The players cross with the dribbler going around the inside chair and the player without the ball sprinting around the outside chair.
  • Once the players clear the chairs, they cross again with the dribbler going around the outside chair and the player without the ball sprinting around the inside chair.
  • Once clearing the chairs, the dribbler becomes the offensive player and the other player is the defensive player and the game is on.
  • Add a dribble limitation, such as 2 dribbles after turning on the last chairs, to add effectiveness.

These basketball drills work on ball handling, explosiveness, decision making, defense in transition, finishing at the rim and are great conditioners. They are also high intensity and a lot of fun so players will enjoy them.

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