I was speaking with a friend the other day about how much time he should spend in practice focusing on individual instruction in practice for his high school team. One aspect that came up was playing 1 on 1. I really believe that playing 1 on1, the correct way, is one of the most overlooked ways to improve your game both offensively and defensively. Think about it. How hard should it really be to defend someone when he has the entire floor to use?
1. If you can defend your own player, keep them in front and contest the face on the shot your team defense will be much better.
2. If you can beat your defender off the dribble, make the defense help and closeout, how much better will that make your offense?
If you can get players to defend with the same mindset as they should when they play 1 on 1 I think that can benefit your team defense tremendously. Playing 1 on 1 there is an increased sense of accountability because “it’s all on me”.
I got this drill from Ganon Baker, Nike Skills Academy Drirector, at a clinic a couple years ago. Check out the KOBE 1 on 1 drill below.