1 on 1 Ball Tough Drill

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Categories: Offensive Moves  
Ages: All Ages  Youth  Middle School  High School+  

Purpose of the Drill:

This is a great drill that emphasizes ball rips and strong pivots to create space from the defense. As a result, players will get stronger with the ball and turnovers will be reduced.

Check out this video from Chris Oliver of Windsor University. Chris is also a Camp Director for Breakthrough Basketball Camps.


  • Offensive player cuts to the wing and receives a pass. Player could also flip the ball to himself.
  • Defensive player closes out.
  • Offensive player can not dribble. They must pivot and use ball rips to keep the defender from crowding.
  • Set a time limit (Ex: 5 Seconds).
  • If the offensive player keeps the ball, offense wins. If defense gets the ball, defense wins.
  • Variation - 1 on 1
  • After the time limit and the offense still has the ball, allow them to go 1on1.
  • You can verbally say "go" or whistle to signal to the offense and defense that it is time for 1on1.
  • Variation - 5 Second Pivot, 5 Second Dribble
  • Another variation would be to have the offense pivot and ball rip for 5 seconds, then perform a stationary dribble for 5 seconds. The defense can be aggressive and go for the steal. Offensive player can not attack the basket.
  • You can also continuously alternate between the pivot and dribble.

Points of Emphasis:

  • Use space step.
  • Rip the ball
  • Pivot through. Get your head, shoulders, feet, then the ball would be the last thing to come through.
  • Square to see the rim.
  • Do not lean away from the defender.
  • Make conditions in practice harder than what you are going to face in a game.

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Mike says:
1/26/2015 at 4:17:41 PM

If you keep elbows up and out and arms strong I think you can rip to hip. The ball actually finishes at rest on your hip bone giving three points of stability and less chance to get swatted away. This works especially well for young kids or girls who may not have the hand strength or arm dexterity that boys have. I'm not saying it is the best rip, but is done correctly, it works too. The problem I see in young, tentative players is that they rip with their elbows down and in... and invitation for jump balls and steals.


Joe Haefner says:
9/29/2014 at 9:38:46 AM

Great points, Rob.

We teach rip below the knees and above the forehead.


Rob says:
9/28/2014 at 8:05:24 AM

I like the drill for guided practice with a "soft" defender and then loading in 1v1 game situations, but we need to be careful to avoid building bad habits. A major part of this drill is the rip, and the rip needs to be shoelaces low or high. All rips in this video were done through the middle, which is an easy way to be stripped of the ball. The rip is just as important as the pivot in this situation.


Ernie says:
1/22/2014 at 12:11:09 PM

It is amazing that the newsletter shows up just when I need some help!
After two games my 2nd graders NEED this drill and I think it will become a regular. We are doing well at most aspects of the game, but not being STRONG with the ball or STRONG gong to get the ball is killing us. Too many "turtles" as Sean said and shying away from the other team...


Sean says:
1/22/2014 at 11:39:28 AM

This is a great drill! It's a common thing to see many kids not strong with the ball when under defensive pressure from one defender. This should help to get rid of the dreaded "turtle" (turning back to defender & basket to protect the ball).


Ken Sartini says:
1/22/2014 at 9:12:55 AM

Jeff -

I think the goal of the drill is to make the player tougher so he doesn't turn his back, that he is strong with the ball and no turnovers.

This is not a game situation so of course in a game if you got the opportunity you would take it to the basket.

Some kids are not very strong with the ball, this is one way to toughen them up. JMO

I think that most coaches have their favorite drill that they use to prevent turnovers.


Jeff says:
1/22/2014 at 6:37:39 AM

Good drill, but two concerns with this drill : player turns back to basket and offense. Also, over aggressive defense against a player who still has a dribble can lead to break to basket. Good daily warm-up with partners, 2-3 minutes top.

  1 reply  

Mike says:
12/3/2014 at 12:27:41 AM

It's a tough with the ball drill. The defensive player is trying to take the ball. Of course, he is being aggressive. There is no dribble worry in the drill


Coach Brian says:
8/14/2013 at 2:08:12 AM

Great drill, i still use it for my senior team... Thanx


Jason says:
7/24/2013 at 12:04:01 AM

Am I wrong in thinking that Pat also traveled when he swivel-walked his pivot foot back?


steve again says:
10/11/2010 at 8:26:11 PM

sorry, but teaching the straddle is likely to cause a violation of the rules - every player has the right to stand up-right. the player straddling his leg has caused a foul when the offense straightens up.


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