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Basketball Drill:
Full Court 1 on 1



This basketball drill provides great focus in two fundamental areas - man-to-man defensive movement and basic control dribbling moves.

One particularly frustrating situation to be in is to watch one of your defensive players run alongside his mark, while the mark is dribbling the ball. The defensive player isn't stopping the ball handler, or even causing him any grief - he's just keeping up with him.

This basketball drill teaches players to get in front of the man they are guarding, to get in the man's path and force him to change direction. In other words, it puts the defensive player in the position to control the ball movement, which is what we should always strive for when we play defense.

Instructions to Players

Here's what players need to focus on in this basketball drill:

  • When the defensive player is in the ball handler's path, he should be in proper defensive stance; but when he is moving into position, he'll have to come out of the stance and sprint hard to get around the ball handler and back into his path

  • The objective for the defensive player is to move the offensive player back and forth across the court - i.e., direct his path of motion. He can only do this if he can get directly in his path - perpendicular to his line of motion. Not next to him or at a shallow angle.

  • If the defensive player can get around the ball handler and into his path quickly enough, the ball handler should not be able to build up enough speed to get past the defense

  • The ball handler must be confined to the lane between the side line and the extended key - if given the entire court to work with, it would be impossible for the defensive player to control him; also, in a game, he wouldn't have that full court anyway - other players would interfere.

  • While this is primarily a defensive drill, it is also a great opportunity for the offense to work on ball handling - have offensive players practice crossover, spin, behind the back dribbles. Also, be sure they protect the ball with their free hand so that the defense doesn't slap it away.

How this Basketball Drill Works


  • Players line up on the baseline, one behind the next.

  • The first player in line will be the defensive player; the second player has a ball and becomes the offensive player


  • The defensive player sets up at an angle to pressure the ball carrier toward the sideline

  • On the coach's whistle, the offensive player starts dribbling up court, protecting the ball from the defensive pressure

  • The defensive player quickly shuffles in front of him, blocking his way and forcing him to dribble in the other direction
Basketball Drill - FC 1 on 1A

  • Once the offensive player begins moving in the opposite direction, the defensive player sprints ahead of him and then drops back into his defensive stance, once again in the path of the offensive player.

  • The offensive player must again change direction and move in the other direction
Basketball Drill - FC 1 on 1B

  • Once the offensive player begins moving in the opposite direction, the defensive player sprints ahead of him and then drops back into his defensive stance, once again in the path of the offensive player.

  • The offensive player must again change direction and move in the other direction

  • And again, the defensive player sprints ahead of the ball handler and drops into his defensive stance directly in his path.
Basketball Drill - FC 1 on 1C

The pair continues in this fashion all the way up the court, with the objective that the defensive player makes the offensive player change direction as often as possible.

It is important that the offensive player works hard against the defensive player, forcing him to adjust and get all the way around - if the defensive player isn't directly in the line of the offensive player's path, the offensive player can continue past him and break for the basket.

A great basketball drill for developing good defensive attitude and skill that should carry over well into the game.



More Defensive Basketball Drills here


Go to the Better Basketball Coaching home page







"Every game is an opportunity to measure yourself against your own potential."
- Bud Wilkinson













Want something more visual?

Check out UMass Head Coach Derek Kellogg's video package of drills

eBasketballDrills



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