Improve Your Ballhandling, 1 on 1 Moves, and Defense With The "High Five" 1 on 1 Drill

By Fabio Fogato

Home > Coaching > Drills > Dribbling > "High Five" 1 on 1 Drill
Drill Purpose

This is a really good competitive drill to improve ballhandling, 1 on 1 moves in the open court, close outs, and 1 on 1 defense.

The "high five" in the middle adds a fun element to the drill and requires players to dribble with their eyes up.


  1. Two groups of players out of bounds, free throw line extended. Each player in group 1 (attackers) has a ball. Group 2 players (defenders) are on the opposite side.

  2. Players 1 and 2 step in. Player 1 starts dribbling while player 2 starts running.

  3. They meet at the free throw spot where they exchange a "high five".

  4. Player 1 changes direction and dribbles fast to half court, he touches the midcourt line and attacks the basket. Player 2 runs under the basket and closes out defending against the advancing dribbler.

  5. 1 on 1 follows. Both players can rebound a missed shot and shoot again to a score (at the same basket).

  6. When a basket has been made or when a given number of shots (2 or 3) have been taken, players switch groups and roles.

Teaching Tips:

  • The defensive player must play aggressively: Rush at the ball handler (never wait for him in the paint). Stop quickly so the attacker can't beat you. Contest any shots (including three pointers) and any drives to the basket.

  • Work on proper defensive stance and footwork. Pay attention to the offensive player’s strong side.

  • The attacker has to create an advantage for himself (using dribble moves, hesitations and so on), trying to take an open shot or an easy drive to the basket.

  • Don’t stop! The attacker should make a move immediately and take advantage of the space they have in the open court. Get the defender on their heals and beat them right or left. A quick inside-out dribble move or quick change of direction attacking the defender's top foot should allow the attacker to maintain momentum to the basket.

  • Box out after any shots and fight for the rebound.


  • Make it more competitive: the “losing” player always goes (or remains) in the defensive players’ group.

  • Set a time limit for every action.

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


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Harleen Hundal says:
12/11/2015 at 2:23:08 AM

Hi, I play the position of shooting guard. I'm a grade 10 girl and I play on my schools team and outside in a club as well. At my club practices, I do personal training where I have learned to handle the ball and picked up lots of new moves. Even though it might seem weird for a shooting guard, I end up in situations during my school games where I need to beat my defender 1v1 and have to bring up the ball sometimes. I am one of the very few on my team that can shoot and dribble well. I have learned a lot of ball handling moves but when it comes to games, I lack the confidence to use them. How can I fix this? I want to be able to get around my defender for an open shot.I need some tips on how to take on a 1v1 and get around them.

  1 reply  

Jeff says:
12/13/2015 at 12:13:39 PM

For 1v1 you need to change speeds, retreat dribble when you are in bad spots (double teamed or pushed next to the sideline), have a great change of direction move (cross or behind back), and great fake of change of direction (hesitation or in/out move).

Practice those skills on your own. Then play someone 1v1 full court with them pressuring you. Combing both unopposed skill work with competitive (1v1) practice will help you tremendously.


mollautt says:
12/22/2014 at 4:30:41 PM

=>Just invented a variation on this that can make this a 2v2. Just add another another group makings High 5s (both without a ball) - with one on defense and the other on offense.

Can make 2v1 as well and maybe defender has to High 5 both offensive players.

Think of this progressive.

5 mins of 1v1
5 mins of 2v1
5 mins of 2v2


Guinness says:
12/13/2014 at 10:48:56 AM

Love that this can intro a degree of competition for beginning players as well - and the h5 at the start is a GREAT touch!

Thanks! Will try it out next session.


Tony Grant says:
12/13/2014 at 7:38:39 AM

Good drill, I have a rec league team right now be fore i start the travel season , I'm going to have them say their teammates name as they high five to help create camaraderie with our limited practice time.

  1 person liked this.  

Justin says:
12/13/2014 at 7:33:55 AM

Great drill for any age!

  1 person liked this.  

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