Maybe one of the most frustrating things in basketball is losing a one vs one basketball game. Maybe it is against a friend or a teammate but no doubt a loss can definitely hurt your pride and cause you to lose confidence in your abilities as a basketball player. In this article I will be giving you some tips to destroy your competition and various examples and circumstances to counter your opponent and win more 1v1 games in basketball.
1. Be Annoying
Now here me out when I say be annoying, I am not talking about, making weird noises, poking him, or being a clown. What I am talking about is using the games rules to your advantage. For example if your playing a 1v1 and the rules are unlimited dribbles and lets say your a smaller guy and playing against a much larger opponent. The first thing you should do is take your time and tire him out. With unlimited dribbles you can easily tire him out, and frustrate your opponent as well. Vise versa if your a much larger opponent then use that to your advantage, go to the post every time and punish your opponent in the paint. 1v1 is not a game in basketball that proves who is a better player or not. most of the time it is used in fun friendly games against your teammates or friends(and occasionally that local guy at the rec) so why not use every advantage you have and bend the rules a bit. This is competition at one of its truest forms, two players head to head first one to a certain score.
Simple Ideas To Be Annoying On The Court
-If your bigger post up every time this is the most annoying and maybe sure fire ways to win a 1v1 in basketball game almost every time.
-Smaller :dribble more, take your time and tire your opponent out. Since he is the larger player he most likely will try to score on you quicker, and can do so with much less effort. Taking more time on offense gives the control back in your hands and makes your opponent more frustrated.
-Stronger: play really physical, no better way to make your opponent question himself then being physical and making his life much harder out there. An easy way to play more physical is posting up every time. You see a lot of NBA players doing this in one on ones when playing against average people.
-Chase all of your rebounds, we all played against that one dude at the rec where it seems like every time he shoots he quickly darts in for a rebound. As annoying as it is you cant deny the effectiveness of it.
-Only taking layups or close shots, depending on the rules this could be hard but since it is one on one and you don't have to worry about help side defense this makes getting to the rim much easier and more effective.
-Talking a little trash, do not say anything personal or rude but a good way of trash talking your opponent lets say is, if you just scored on your opponent 3 times in a row or just keep locking him up let him know about it and let your game be the driving force of the trash talking.
2. Being chippy
Like I said this is a 1v1 not a really good representation of basketball skills in general. So if you want to win a 1v1 in basketball sometimes you have to be chippy but not dirty. Being chippy on the court in a 1v1 is a great way to make your opponent confused and constantly questioning his every move out there. One of the great advantages of being chippy is that your opponent is going to actually want to beat you more. Now, that you have decided to play this way, which is this down word spiral of him being less logical and more emotional, and putting too much importance on the situation or game.
Examples Of Being Chippy
-Pressing up on defense, now this might not be the best strategy depending on who your playing but if you can do this it is definitely something you should do in a 1v1 to make your opponent feel rushed and out of rhythm on the court
-Initiating contact, like i said not dirty plays or anything of the sort. But a good example would be when driving to the hoop and he is in front of you is to drive your shoulder into him and force a foul call or give your self an easier drive to the hoop.
-Going For Steals,I could almost put this in my annoying section, because we have all have played against that one player who is just trying to swat the ball away from you and go for steals virtually every time you go to dribble. This is a great way to play chippy and frustrate your opponent
3. Playing Smarter
Your head is not just a hat rack guys. Maybe the quickest and easiest thing any player can implement into there game to win more 1v1 games is too just play smarter. One of the things that separates a lot of good players from bad players is there basketball IQ. Its important to know your situation, opponents style, there weaknesses. and your strengths. This does not even have to be that complicated since it is a 1v1 and not a 5v5 game. Just basic understanding of competition or sport can be enough for a 1v1 game that will help you win more and separate yourself from your opponent.
Examples Of Playing Smarter In 1v1
-Setting The Rules, now this might not be possible depending on your situation, but if lets say you have a say in how the game will be run or played. Use that as an opportunity to set yourself up for success. For example, If your way smaller having less dribbles is probably going to help you since it will be less time for him to post up on you.
-know your opponent, if your opponent likes to go to the same spot every time or can only dribble with his left hand then force him to his right hand or force him away from his favorite spot. Whats great about 1v1 is that you can get a pretty good idea fairly quick on some of your opponents tendencies and favorite moves. So use that to your advantage.
-Know your setting,I know sounds like a weird one but lets say for example your playing on one of those driveway style hoops where you can bank everything in. Then you might want to try and bank everything in. Vice versa if your playing on one of those park courts with a double rim, it might be time to only take layups or shots your very comfortable with taking, because we as hoopers know how tough those rims can be.
4. Being Competitive
The truth of the matter is that if you want to win more 1v1 basketball games you actually have to want to win more. I see so many players getting frustrated after a 1v1 game when they lose and the simple truth is when watching them I didn't really see that competitive spark or fire in them when they were out there on the court. A reason guys like Kobe or Micheal Jordan never lost a 1v1 is simply because they would't allow themselves to. To be fair these are all time great players no doubt. But if your playing someone near your skill range or talent ability as cliche as it sounds the guy who wants it more is going to win. A great way to feel that competitive spark with in you is to imagine the feeling of losing to the guy across from you and see how that feels. Giving that extra bit of effort in the now can be the difference in winning or losing that 1v1 basketball game. That is why the greats always say that losing feels and is experienced much worse than winning is experienced as good or great.
5. Having Fun
Remembering that 1v1 is not a signal or proof of who is the better basketball player, is (most of the time) . Most 1v1 games in basketball are usually between good friends or teammates just looking to have a good time on the court. Having this attitude will help you play better as well since you will be more relaxed and happier out there on the court. As we all know as basketball players the more pressured we are the worse we usually play, that is why the vast majority of us hit more shots in a open gym than a stadium full of people. I know that the points above sound kind of paradoxical to the section I am writing now but having a good balance between fun and competition is a winning recipe for a great basketball mindset to win more 1v1 games. Besides the facts are, good competition is fun and a reason we play the game.
I hope this articled helped you out and gave you some good tips and strategies to win more 1v1 in basketball. If you are a shorter player and struggling to guard taller players check out the link below.