Players work on ballhandling, offensive and defensive footwork.
Players pair up with someone of similar size and speed. Player 1 is a dribbler and Player 2 is a defender. The court is divided invisibly down the middle and Player 1 is not allowed to dribble across the invisible line.
- Player 1 dribbles the length of the court in a zigzag pattern. At the sideline or invisible half court line, he changes direction with a reverse dribble, behind the back dribble, crossover dribble, or through the legs dribble.
- Player 2, in his defensive stance, slides with the dribbler to the opposite end of the door.
- Ballhandler dribbles with his left hand as he travels left, right hand as he travels right. He protects the ball with his off-hand, planting hard off the outside foot as he switches direction.
- Defender stays in the proper defensive position: knees bent, head up, butt down, arms out to the side with palms up.
Tips for Younger Athletes:
- Encourage ballhandlers to keep controlled dribbles, ensuring the ball bounces waist high. Defenders should prioritize moving their feet first without overreaching for the ball.
- Remind the ballhandler to always keep their eyes up and avoid looking at the ball. This aids in court awareness and better decision-making.
- Teach the ballhandler to change speeds, starting slow then accelerating quickly, to understand rhythm and to challenge the defender.
Tips for Older Athletes:
- Urge defenders to observe the ballhandler’s hips and shoulders as these can hint at their next move. Anticipating these movements can give defenders an edge.
- Introduce intricate dribble moves to the ballhandler like the spin move or hesitation. For defenders, suggest strategies such as jabbing a foot to disrupt rhythm or using body contact to influence the ballhandler’s direction.
- Reinforce the importance of communication for defenders. They should vocalize switches, screens, or other key defensive moves to teammates to maintain a united defensive front.