Breakthrough Basketball Newsletter:
3 Steps For 1v1 Drills

September 28th, 2021

Previously, we discussed the problem with using reaction drills and auditory cues...

Because an offensive player's actions are mostly based on what they SEE! (visual cues), not what they hear.

You can catch a more in-depth discussion here.

However, I also want to build off this and point out another issue.

Some players aren't ready to apply certain skills against a live 1v1 defender yet.

This can hinder development and hurt confidence.

So you need to include progressions to live defenders.

Here's where you can start:

1 - Defense Dictates

With this progression, the defender dictates what an offensive player is going to do. However, the defender has no intention of stopping the offensive player.

For example, if you're dribbling full court, the defender might cut off the offensive player forcing them to change directions with a dribble move.

This gets the offensive player accustomed to dribbling with a defender present while developing confidence.

2 - Offensive Advantage

Next, you add some sort of constraint that gives the offensive player an advantage.

To use the ball handling example above, you could now play live except the defender can't use their hands to steal the dribble.

Another example, if an offensive player is cutting from the corner to the wing, you might delay the defender's start. This will give the offensive player an immediate advantage on the catch.

3 - Live 1v1

From there, you can go to Live 1v1. There is no advantage. The offense tries to score. The defense tries to stop them.

And you can progress to 1v2 to even make it more difficult for advanced players.

As you can see, it's important to have progressions even for your game-based drills.

Another important note...

You should work through all of these progressions within one workout or practice.

Even with beginners, I will progress from Defense Dictates to Offensive Advantage to Live 1v1.

It's not going to be perfect, but it will help you challenge each player on your team.

And it gives all players immediate feedback, so they know what to improve and practice.

Example - If your crossover move is slow or you give cues to the defender that you're going to use the move, the defender is going to steal it or stop you.

So you immediately know (with some helpful coaching as well) what you need to improve.

And coaches can give some guidance on what to practice at home in between workouts or practices.

What do you think of these 1v1 progressions? Have you used these in the past?

I look forward to reading your thoughts.

All the Best,

- Joe Haefner
Breakthrough Basketball