With the two-on-one rule, dribbling and facing off against opponents in one-versus-one matchups is an extremely important skill. It can be hard, however, to practice these skills in anything other than a scrimmage or real game. Whereas setting up plays or practicing shooting is relatively straightforward, the same cannot always be said for practicing one-versus-one in a game accurate way. Here are three ways to practice 1v1’s:
- Corner-Pass Drill - put a defender and an offensive player near the corner of the court and have them lock up on the ball. Then just allow play on the ball in the same way as in a game. The aim here is to mimic the common situation where the defender gets dragged towards their own goal while the offense tries to pass up to a teammate. Optionally, put in a goalkeeper and two other offensive players to play out the entire game situation.
- King of the Hill - this is the most simple and straightforward 1v1 drill. Just have two players face off on the ball with one trying to defend the goal and the other trying to score. If the defender manages to work the ball out past the free-throw line, they then switch roles of the other player and try to score themselves. This cycle can continue until player either scores for a time limit is reached. Besides just the general one-on-one skills, this also teaches players to know when transition from offense to defense while locked up with another player.
- Breakaway Scenario - the purpose of this play is to simulate a breakaway after the ball is cleared from the box. Just set up players in a corner kick scenario on one end of the court with a goalkeeper in the other goal. Then have someone kick the ball out of the box as if it has just been cleared and let the two players sitting outside the box intercept the ball and maneuver it against the opposing goalkeeper. Often one of the players will end up in a 1v1 with the goalkeeper and will have to either create a pass to a teammate or dribble past to the open goal.
These are just three simple ways to practice one-versus-one beyond just having two players go at, while also being able to include the whole team at practice. Most of these situations will occur multiple times throughout games and being able to anticipate what could happen is almost as important as being able to execute what you want to do. That wouldn’t be possible without having reliable practice drills that accurately depict the situation.