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Basketball Tip: Playing 1 on 1 -- and making it real!

Written by Rick Torbett, the Lead Instructor on The Better Basketball Videos

When most people play one on one basketball, they structure their game in such a way that they're not preparing for real games. Real games are fast paced, and there's almost always help defense in the lane. You can't take 5 dribbles to get to the basket -- help defenders are going to be all over you on your second dribble. And if you do beat your man, you're going to encounter a shot blocker or charge taker. The bottom line is that to score in a real game, you have to go straight to the goal, quickly and decisively.

So how can you make 1 on 1 realistic? How can you make 1 on 1 fast paced and aggressive? How can you use 1 on 1 to prepare for real games?

Here are 5 tips: 1) Start every possession from triple threat on the perimeter with a check. But limit yourself to only one-third of the court (see our website for a picture). In a real game, you can't veer around your defender because you'll run into his helping teammate. You have to go through the defender, right off his shoulder. In addition, limit yourself to one dribble. I've actually charted this, and in real games about 90% of baskets that are scored in the half court come off one dribble or no dribbles!

Now, click over to our website, at and we'll talk about 4 more ways you can make 1 on 1 more realistic.

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