1 v 1 Speed Dribble Drill
The 1 v 1 Speed Dribble Drill is a simple, yet effective activity for helping players to develop their own ability to advance a ball up the court at pace. Too often players struggle to control the basketball when dribbling once they achieve a certain speed. By practicing this technique within the 1 v 1 Speed Dribble Drill players will develop more confidence and competence in performing this very under-trained skill.
The drill starts with two lines of players on opposite sides of the baseline. The offensive player (One) starts with the ball.
On the One’s dribble the defence (Two) is allowed to become live and engage the dribbler.
The objective of the 1 v 1 Speed Dribble Drill is for the offensive player to dribble the length of the court and make a scoring shot.
The defender simply tries to prevent the offensive player from scoring.
Points of Emphasis
- The dribbler should focus on keeping the ball out in front of the body while dribbling; so to prevent kicking or tripping on the ball
- The dribbler must look to get up to speed as soon as possible; players should start in a low stance, ready to explode off the mark
- The defender should attempt to wedge in between the dribbler and their line to the basket; this will effectively create a harder angle for the shot
- Remember: the aim of the drill is to be able to perform the technique of a speed dribble as fast as an individual’s ability allows. The 1 v 1 Speed Dribble Drill is not about just scoring
For younger players the ability to develop the skill of a speed dribble can be hampered by the introduction of defence within the activity. If a player or team is struggling to master the technique initially, then one variation to the 1 v 1 Speed Dribble Drill is to simply remove the defence from the drill. A competitive environment can still be maintained through the use of limiting the number of dribbles a player has to reach the other end of the floor and perform a lay-up, or timing a player so they are working against their personal best with each repetition.
Once players start to become more and more successful in reaching the other end of the floor at pace. Increasing the difficulty can continue to challenge a individual. One option for the 1 v 1 Speed Dribble Drill is to simply add a shot clock. Allowing players only five seconds within which to make a shot will add some additional pressure and drive the players further along in their development.
Another option for the 1 v 1 Speed Dribble Drill is to play up and back. If the defender steals the ball or secures possession without their being a score then a handy variation is to allow the defender to now break back and dribble back to the starting end of the floor for a lay-up. This is useful for those teams finding that they have gaps in the different phases of the game because players are taking too long to switch between offense and defence while on the floor.
The 1 v 1 Speed Dribble Drill is easy to set-up and a high number of repetitions can be executed in a small amount of time. When utilised as a conditioning drill as well the 1 v 1 Speed Dribble Drill provides a very useful option for many teams focusing on the technique of speed dribbling, or fast break and transition phases of offense.
Nice and simple drill, this 1v1 speed dribble drill seems like a great introduction to handling defenders, especially when running down the court.
I think you could also add some more variations, most notably different dribbles once the offensive players meet the defense. As mentioned in this article, https://ballamazingly.com/top-basketball-dribbling-drills/ you could use a crossover or pullback dribble.
With a crossover of some sort (behind the back, in front, through the legs) you get to practice lateral movement to move past opponents, and with a pullback, you can easily catch the defense off guard to get past them.
In either case, this drill is fantastic and serves as a fantastic template to build upon.
Competitive drills should be the basis of a large majority of the activities utilised during training. It helps players make the right read more often as well as applying their knowledge and skills in unpredictable scenarios.