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4 Tips For One-on-One Play

Jun 9, 2008
During a basketball game there will be many situations where players will be dealing with one on one play. It can be guarding the basket, following the ball, preventing a shot or whatever is happening that dictates players going directly against another player on the opposing team.

One on one play is very important to the game. It is something that players must practice and that they must master in order to be an effective basketball player. No player can be good without learning the basics of one on one play.

The following four tips outline some important things to keep in mind when practicing one on one play or during a game when you are using one on one tactics.

Tip #1 Master Stationary Moves

Stationary moves are used once you have the ball. You will either step and pass off to another player or square up to the basket and shoot. You should practice them with another player or a couple other players. You want to master shooting, catching and passing. It is important during stationary moves that you are aware at all times. You do not want to get a violation for holding the ball or have the ball stolen by opposing players.

Tip #2 Have a Strong Side Drive Strategy

When you get the ball and are trying to get around a defender you need strong moves to do so. A strong side drive will allow you to fake out the defender so you can take advantage of his reaction and move around him or pass off the ball. You need to be able to react quickly to whatever the reaction of the defender is. You should be prepared for every possibility so that your reactions become second nature. You have a split second to decide what your move will be so you have to have your moves perfected.

Tip #3 Master the Cross Over Step

The cross over step is used after a side drive. The crossover prevents the player from getting wrapped up in his own feet and falling. It is a coordinated move that allows the player to be fluid and quick when cutting back to dodge the guard. Every player should practice doing a jab step then cross over step. This is essential to being able to get to the basket and in moving around opposing players.

Tip #4 Know When to Dribble and When not to Dribble

Dribbling is often given a lot of attention in the beginning when a player is learning the game. It helps improve coordination and gets the player comfortable with handling the ball.

The problem with dribbling, though, is that there are many violations that can be called due to errors or slip ups when dribbling. It is too easy to make a simple mistake and get fouled.

Another issue with dribbling is that it is a slow method of moving the ball. It is best used to stall or travel a short way with the ball. Dribbling should not be relied upon as the main method of moving the ball. That should be reserved for passing.
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