Coaching basketball is a dynamic and complex task that requires a combination of skills, strategies, and effective training methods. Moreover, one crucial aspect of improving a basketball team’s performance is mastering the art of one-on-one drills. These drills not only help players develop their individual skills but also enhance their ability to perform under pressure. In this article, we’ll explore various one-on-one basketball drills that can be utilized to train players at different levels.

The Power of One-on-One Drills

One-on-one drills are essential for teaching the game of basketball because they focus on individual skills and decision-making. Furthermore, these drills can be adapted to suit the age and skill level of the players, making them a versatile tool in a coach’s arsenal. They encourage players to think on their feet, improve their ball-handling, and develop the ability to score in challenging situations.

Drill 1: Spin Back (Curl Back) One-on-One

  • In this drill, two players start under the basket.
  • To begin with, the offensive player jogs to about the three-point line and spins the ball back to themselves.
  • After gathering the ball, the offensive player gets one dribble to make a move and take a shot.
  • This game is played one-on-one.


  • For younger players, consider allowing more dribbles. Moreover, you can limit shots to inside the three-point line or in the paint, or encourage the use of the non-dominant hand.

Drill 2: Post Moves One-on-One

  • Designed for post players, such as centers or power forwards, this drill starts with the offensive player at the top of the key.
  • Importantly, there are no dribbles allowed in this drill.
  • The offensive player must use their post moves to score.


  • Allow one or two dribbles for added challenge. Additionally, restrict players to specific post moves or hand preference.

Drill 3: Sideline One-on-One

  • In this exercise, players start on the sideline with their non-dominant hand touching the sideline.
  • The offensive player decides which way to go and must reach the ball first.
  • The first player to reach the ball goes on offense, making it a great conditioning and fast movement drill.

Drill 4: Half Court One-on-One

  • Here, one player stands near the basket with the ball, and the other player is at half court.
  • The player with the ball initiates the game by passing to the other player.
  • The offensive player has four dribbles to score while the defender tries to stop them.


  • Adjust the number of dribbles based on the players’ age and skill level.

Drill 5: Three-Quarter Court One-on-One

  • The offensive player has unlimited dribbles to score on the far basket, but they must score within five seconds.
  • This instills a sense of urgency, mimicking fast breaks.


  • Encourage players to take jump shots and not give up easy layups.


In conclusion, one-on-one drills are invaluable tools for basketball coaches looking to develop their players’ individual skills, decision-making, and ability to handle pressure situations. Furthermore, these drills can be customized to suit players of all ages and skill levels, making them versatile and effective for improving performance on the court.

By incorporating these one-on-one drills into your training regimen, you can empower your team to become better basketball players and enhance your chances of winning more games. So, get out there, practice these drills, and watch your team’s skills soar to new heights.

Related: Choosing the Right Defense for Your Youth Basketball Team


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