Competitive One on One Fast Break Drills - 1v1 Attack

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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% 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. These are also great drills to simulate fast break situations.

Here is a video clip of the drills from Don Kelbick's Transition Offense and 4-Second Fast Break DVD


Half Court 1v1 Attack

  1. Place 2 chairs just short of mid-court on the right side of the court.

  2. Players start on the baseline, opposite the chairs.

  3. The player on the outside has the ball.

  1. 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.

  1. Both players go around the right side of the chair and head back toward the basket.

  1. Once headed back toward the basket, the player with the ball becomes offense and the player without the ball becomes the defense.

  2. Add a dribble limitation, such as 2 dribbles after turning on the chairs, to add effectiveness.

Full Court 1v1 Attack

  1. Place 2 chairs on the right side of the court, a little higher than the foul line extended.

  2. Place 2 more chairs on the other side of mid-court, just above the 28' marker (or above the coach's box.

  3. Players start on the baseline and the player on the outside has the ball.

  1. On "Go," both players take off. The player with the ball goes on the dribble, the player without the ball goes on the sprint.

  2. The players cross with the dribbler going around the inside chair and the player without the ball sprinting around the outside chair.

  1. 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.

  1. Once clearing the chairs, the dribbler becomes the offensive player and the other player is the defensive player and the game is on.

  2. 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.

Related Pages & Helpful Resources

5 on 3 + 2 - Fast Break Drills
Attack Off of the Foul Shot - Foul Line Fast Break
How To Run The Basketball Fast Break Offense and Transition Offense - Philosophy, Offenses, Drills
Basketball Fast Break & Transition Drills - Full Court Drills

Want to learn how to build your fast break and transition offense step by step?

Don Kelbick's Transition Offense and the Four-Second Fast Break
This DVD shows you how to build your fast break and transition offense step-by-step, so you can easily teach it during practice. It will also show you how to seamlessly transition into your half court offense to keep the defense scrambling. As every great defensive coach will tell you, they play their best defense when they have their 5 players back. This DVD will show you how to take advantage of the defense when they're not set and currently in transition. It also includes many fast break and transition drills that build mentality, aggressiveness, decision-making, and basketball skills. This DVD is 110 minutes long and neatly organized ... (more info)

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


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Ken Mitchell says:
2/12/2008 at 9:48:47 AM

Why do you suggest two dribbles after the last chair? That would take the ball to the 3-line...

I know this is not limited to "two dribbles"... Anyone using the drill may select any number of dribbles or leave it open or take it to the hoop...

Just wonder why you suggest two dribbles?


roscoe says:
2/12/2008 at 12:01:52 PM

Hi the drill sounds useful and fun. Just one question though? Are they dribbling between and running around the chairs for conditioning and ball handling only? Can you rovvide more logic for the usefullness of the drill? thanks!


Brian Rooney says:
2/12/2008 at 3:41:17 PM

We've used this drill and similar. It's a great way to get the boys moving and thinking quickly. Hustle plays a big part. If you dog it, you get beat.

Also works on decision making because the ball handler has to know how to:

2) Think quick! If the defender is slow, he can just explode to the basket. If the defender is fast, he will need some dribble moves to break him down, and so on. Since no two boys face off with each other over and over again, it constantly changes the matchups.

For added fun, we ran 4 chairs and 4 lines.

The two on the outside would be offense.
The two on the inside would be defense.

Then 1 and 2 would be offense and 3 and 4 would be defense.

It keeps things moving quickly.
It makes the boys think and react quickly.


Joe (Co-founder of Breakthrough Basketball) says:
2/12/2008 at 5:33:04 PM

Hi Ken,

You can adjust this dribble limit on the age level. 10 & 11 year olds may take 4 dribbles, while Varisty or collegiate players may be limited to 2 dribbles. This is done so that the players make a move with a game-like feel. Players don't have time to sit there and dribble during a game. If you put a dribble limit on the drill, it forces them to make a quick move and decision.


LANS says:
2/19/2008 at 2:12:29 PM



Vanessa Zavala says:
2/27/2008 at 7:12:46 PM

Hi I am wondering how I can get into coaching with someone else. I am a 21 yr old with 17 yrs of experience on basketball. I have coached grammar school boys and I have played all through my 1st year of community college. Anyone need help out there?
Vanessa Zavala


Joe (Co-Founder of Breakthrough Basketball) says:
2/28/2008 at 7:19:25 PM

Hi Vanessa,

Contact schools in your area. Look at school district websites for job openings.

If you have little or no experience, you may want to be an assistant in your first few years or coach at the middle school or junior varsity level.

If you are having problems finding a job, offer to be a volunteer assistant coach.


bonheur says:
3/6/2008 at 12:16:19 PM

i reallly like it,but i don''t understand it very well i''m just asking if i can get the first step of basketball?cause i''m still a begginer


howard says:
9/9/2008 at 1:41:17 PM

great site thanks for your hard work


john says:
10/16/2008 at 4:41:17 PM

I am a first year coach of a midle school team an I was wonering if anyone had any avise on rills I should use. i haved looked through the one's on here and they look greqat but not sure which ones would be best for middle school aged kids.


Joe Haefner says:
10/17/2008 at 8:14:51 AM

Hi John,

We have a section dedicated to middle school coaches that lists our top drills to use. You can check it out here:


Rashamel Jones says:
10/24/2008 at 9:36:47 AM

I run the two chair half court drill but I really love the 4 chair full court one even better. Coaches, if you want your team to get the maxium conditioning and skill work all at once this is the drill for you. It helps your guards and forwards understand and improve their creativity and attacking on offense better.


Chad Roderick says:
10/27/2008 at 7:36:58 AM

I Really like this drill and I like to add a hand check on Def. and a box out. If the Off. gets their own rebound then we do a unified team suicide at the end of the drill. Just to add a little compettitiveness and enthusiasm during practice. Thanx


tc3 says:
1/5/2009 at 11:19:53 AM

i do dis basketball drill all da time i am n 7th grade starting on 8th grade team averaging bout 20 points a a shooter and i do this drill going 2 da hole and pulling up for da 15 foot jumper thankz dawg


1/22/2009 at 11:58:21 PM

I am working jimma unvirsity in Ethiopia as physical education and sport instructor in addition to this i am coaching basketball for the purpose of inercolligate b/n 25 university in our country so your handout have alot of advise for me i really appraciate your suggest of basketball . please continuie this kind of advise for basketball coach .God bless you.THANK YOU A LOT


Bob Alexander says:
1/26/2009 at 5:34:12 AM

it is great to see a drill i gave to Kevin Eastman spread around. there are no secrets or selfishness in teaching sport. older coaches helped me when i was young, and it is an honor to help others.


Danny says:
1/27/2009 at 1:15:22 AM

Hi.. I really exicited with your explanation. I also found that when I teach individual defense. The game grew nicely.

I really happy if you share more about developing young atlethe to learn one on one


Marlene Bullard says:
1/28/2009 at 11:48:08 AM

Have done the half court two chairs drill for many years now, really like the half court but expecially the four chairs and added offense/defense perspective.


jose says:
1/28/2009 at 2:12:11 PM

Hello, sounds like a good drill, just wondering if there is a problem with the players colliding as they cross paths on the full court version. Thanks.


randy jacksen says:
2/6/2009 at 5:21:20 PM

this is tight dawg


jrod says:
2/10/2009 at 3:55:25 PM

Each week I visit this site and come to practice prepared to teach my 3rd and 4th graders the skills of basketball. This site is so useful and the improvement in my players is fantastic. I appreciate all your efforts and willingness to share them with us so we can continue to develop solid basketball skills from the start!!


Michael moses says:
3/19/2009 at 10:19:55 AM

great drill, thanks


Michael moses says:
3/19/2009 at 10:22:47 AM

Hi, i just signe in to this site havent hard much time to read theough a lot yet, but i will because i''m very interested in learning to coach kids and would like sme help as to get started, if its possible,, i''m 37 yours of age been playing since ag 15, be around for a while and would love revy much to past on the knowledge of the game to the youngstarts around me, so if you can offer some advice as to how I can get started i''d aprciate it very much, one queston one the one and one drill,, you said limite the dribling to 2, do the guy with the ball, after going around the chair, dose he holds the ball and then satrt with the 2 drible drill or just gose directly after passing the chair? thanks very much...


kwao philip atterh says:
3/25/2009 at 5:34:46 PM

i think this is the best information i need ,to develope my dribbling skills thank u. but please am a basketball beginer who has no foot wear or ball for training.and so am there for plaeding with u to send me so for effective practicing thank u.ADDRESS
post code 00233


Nadia says:
9/23/2009 at 5:29:01 PM

Michael Moses 3/19/09 - Scrope is that you?


Bob Alexander says:
9/24/2009 at 4:38:21 AM

We are european basketball club located in northern germany. this year we will play in the NEYBL boys born 94, second division. we are interested in opening exchanges with teams in the states. next summer we will be coming to the states for a couple of tournaments. looking foward to hearing from you. respectfully Bob Alexander


Helio mendoza says:
8/11/2011 at 8:19:21 PM

i coach and own a basketball club in Guadalajara Mexico .I will like to take a one or two months course of high school basketball training, of prefernce in the southern states of usa.


BASKAR says:
12/20/2011 at 10:21:47 PM

nice drill .....
we can use for more aglity as well as to develop the 1 on 1 defense.
basketball coach,India.


Steve Dilley says:
6/27/2012 at 7:11:47 PM

I also like to have our guys play "spots." It's 1-on-1 from various spots on the floor. They pick a spot (ie., elbow) and play from that spot to 3. Limit 2 dribbles inside arc & 3 outside. After a winner, pick a different spot. Anywhere on the perimeter, the low post, etc. Work on facing up and attacking.


Joe Haefner says:
6/28/2012 at 8:24:07 AM

Steve, I really like that. Thanks for sharing!


Fede Agostinelli says:
6/29/2012 at 12:14:11 AM

This is really interesting, i have been reading the page for some weeks, im studying in Argentina to become a coach, i was a player for some years, and i found all your information quite useful, i´d really like to find some warm up for classes for children under 15 years old, and activities to improve their skills in transition.
thanks from Argentina.


Mike Morrison says:
8/29/2012 at 10:24:48 PM

The two dribble limitation is great because in all actuality a high school student can be on a fast break and take 3 dribbles and make it to the basket for a lay up. If you make them only take two dribbles it makes them make a decision very quickly and very efficiently. It also helps put these guys into thinking attack the rim because you only have 2 dribbles. This is a good drill especially for good athletes with poor fundamentals.


Flip says:
6/8/2013 at 7:52:41 PM



Shawn Brown says:
7/17/2013 at 1:16:09 PM

One of the best drills to have the players learn to attack the basket.


Kirk Olsen says:
1/28/2014 at 4:06:32 PM

The half court 1 vs 1 drill looks like it would be a good drill for my 3rd grade and 4 grade girls. With limited practice time, I would get dribbling, defense, and shooting in.

Is this a good drill for that age group?


john mark says:
6/16/2014 at 12:11:03 PM

yes.... i like it not making contact, to focus on making a shot and preserve strength. i really like it coach more power to u^^


Graham says:
4/6/2015 at 6:07:17 PM

Coaching at russell hoops camp for next 3 days. Will put this in tomorrow when we focus of the day is individual offence. We want the kids to have fun and play as much as possible in real game scenarios. So this drill is ideal and simple to explain. Was a bit concerned about the cris cross but I guess younger players could just run in straight lines for the full court drill past the two chairs and then play one on one...
Thanks Graham H


Ebuka nwaju says:
5/5/2015 at 5:06:07 PM

Nice drill! But how do you improve dribbling and perfect a lay-up? Need answers ASAP!

  1 reply  

Joe Haefner says:
5/5/2015 at 5:18:47 PM

This page has a lot of ball handling and dribbling tips:

Here are some tips for making lay ups:


Brandon E says:
8/15/2018 at 9:06:58 PM

I am an underlooked guard on my high school team. How do I get noticed more? What drills do I need to do to improve myself all-around?

  1 reply  

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