1v1 Foster Drill - A Dribbling Drill I Use Every Other Practice and Mistakes I Made That You Can Avoid

Below I'm going to show you a great 1v1 drill for offense and defense... and it works for all age levels!

Previously, I discussed how I'm putting a bigger emphasis on dribble drives to initiate offense this season with the 4th/5th grade rec team that I'm coaching this year.

I created my own youth version of the Hybrid Attack Offense with dribble drive and motion offense elements.

You can read the detailed explanation here if you haven't already.

Also, I know this advice below applies to middle school teams too!

For high school, college, and pro teams, this is a great drill to use as well. You can just ignore some of the advice specifically for youth teams.

A little background first...

Due to our shortened season (7 games) and limited practice time (10 practices for 1 hour each), my emphasis has been competition, play some games, scrimmaging, and most importantly have some fun!

So right or wrong, I'm not doing a lot of breakdown drills without defenders when we get on the court.

But don't worry... you can easily remove the defender from these drills if you prefer to.

(Note: I am having the kids get there 30 minutes prior to practice. We found an empty space and a hallway next to the gym to work on some ball handling (mostly stationary), footwork, pivoting, and athletic development exercises.)

The 1v1 Foster Drill - Great for 1v1 Offense and Defense!

This is a great 1v1 drill for offense and defense! You improve speed dribbling, hesitation moves, change of direction moves, finishing, and the attack mindset.

It is a great tool to use to improve your 1-on-1 defense and your ability to stop dribble penetration


Offense and defense are back to back at the free throw line.

On your command or when the offensive player starts, the offensive player speed dribbles to half court, touches the line with their foot, then turns to attack the basket.

At the same time, the defensive player sprints and touches the baseline with their foot, then sprints out to stop the ball.

The offense tries to score. The defense tries to stop them.

foster drill 4

Drill Adjustments

Here are some adjustments I made...

  • Shift Starting Position To The Right and Left
  • I did shift it to the right side of the court a little bit to better replicate our youth offense.

    The player starts around the elbow. When the offensive player moves, the drill starts.

    Also, make sure to start on the left side of the court and practice with the left hand for general skill development.

    foster drill 3
  • Lay Ups Only
  • The offensive player's goal is to attack the basket and get a layup. I tell them that we don't want any jump shots. I want them to develop an attacking mindset.

    The defensive player's goal is to force a contested shot outside of the perimeter. I also set a rule that they must get both feet above the 3-point line when closing out on the ball handler. I don't want them just sitting in the lane.

  • Scoring System
  • You could also set a scoring system to emphasize and produce certain results.

    Here is an example to emphasize layups for offense and the defender meeting the defender above the 3-point line:

    • +1 Offense when they get a shot in the lane
    • +1 Offense for a made shot
    • +1 Offense for drawing a defensive foul
    • +1 Defense gets both feet outside the 3-point line
    • +1 Defense forces a shot outside the paint
    • +1 Defense for a stop
  • Youth Players - "No Steals Allowed" Half of the Time
  • When players are really young, it can turn into a steal almost every other possession.

    So I would do half of the time with no steals and half of the time with steals allowed. This will help some of your lesser skilled players gain confidence and improve their ball handling... while also providing a challenging element for the more advanced players.

    I also like the fact that your defensive players are building the habit of focusing on proper positioning. And they aren't developing the habit of lunging for steals all of the time. Lunging for steals against skilled ball handlers can create a lot of problems for your team.

  • Split Up Advanced Players and Beginners
  • I don't do this the whole time, but I will organize groups by skill level. This helps challenge them appropriately and improve skill development.

    You could also split up your advanced players to another basket and allow steals the whole time.

  • Use Random Shot Clock or Countdown
  • Also, if you notice that players start to dribble too much and aren't attacking, I'll incorporate a countdown. "5-4-3-2-1" or "3-2-1". And you can make a buzzer sound with your mouth.

    But be careful, I think kids enjoy this a lot. I think some purposely slow down, just so I'll do the countdown.

    If that happens, you can just start the countdown every time. You could start the countdown when they reach half court or when they are near the 3-point line.

  • Adjust Starting Point and Distance of Players
  • Based on the length of the court, you can adjust the distance. My goal was to give the defender enough time to get above the 3-point line around the same time the ball handler was 25 feet away.

    Now, it's okay if the defender is a little early or late as well. It's good to give the offense different looks... exactly like what would happen during a game.

    You can also give them shorter distances to cover. This can help you get more reps in.

    foster drill 2

    However, the longer distance allows them to get in more dribbling repetitions and practice the speed dribble. Pros and cons to both ways and it’s probably good to mix it up to get the benefits of both approaches.

  • Use Cones To Narrow Court and Create Straight Line Drives
  • Another idea that I like is to add cones to prevent them from getting too wide with their dribble attacks. You want them to attack in straight lines as much as possible.

    foster drill 1

Watch the Foster Drill In Action and Get More Detailed Explanation!

If you'd like to see the video and a more detailed explanation, you can Watch the 1v1 Foster Drill here.

Whether you use a modified Youth version of Ryan Schultz's Hybrid Attack Offense like me or just want to get your players better at dribbling and attacking the basket, this is a great drill to incorporate into practice at all age levels!

Next, I'll show you a few 2v2 and 3v3 drills I'm using and how I teach our players to move off dribble penetration. I just copied the concepts from Ryan Schultz's off-the-ball dribble penetration movements.

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


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