Tips and Drills to Improve Ball handling
Being able utilize ball handling dribbling drills effectively is a cornerstone to being a solid basketball player. Point guards obviously need to master dribbling in order to be at the top of their game, but everybody who takes the court needs to be familiar with how to dribble a basketball in order for a team to be successful. Here are a handful of tips and drills that will help you increase your ball handling skills in no time.
One great ball handling dribbling drill that quickly develops the muscles involved in dribbling a basketball is to dribble it very forcefully. This will help develop the coordination and strength of the fingertips, wrists and forearms, three areas of the body that are crucial for effective dribbling. I use to pound the basketball until my arms started hurting, at that point I knew I was putting my ball handling to the test. I was able to learn ball control and strengthen my fingertips by pounding the basketball.
Do not Look at the Ball
The best way to increase your comfort level with dribbling is to learn how to do so without ever looking at the basketball. The truly great ball handlers have a mental and physical connection with the basketball that allows them to understand and quickly anticipate where it will be next. People who look at the basketball while they dribble become easy targets for good defenders. Use the basketball goggles below to help force yourself not to be able to see the basketball when dribbling.
Black-and-white footage from the 1940s and 50s shows professional basketball players dribbling the ball very conservatively, and often in straight lines. Thankfully, the art of ball handling has opened up quite a bit in the past decades, and some of the best point guards in the professional and college ranks are actually able to execute moves that have never been seen before. You don’t have to be as fancy as the AND-1 players like Skip to My Lou or Hot Sauce, but don’t be a robot.
If you really want to be creative, check out Pistol Pete’s Homework Basketball: Dribbling and Ball Handling. He will not disappoint you when it comes to challenging yourself with dribbling a basketball. What I love about Pistol Pete is that he challenged his ball handling skills. He tried so many ways to make himself uncomfortable when dribbling a basketball, so when he played in an actual game, nothing would shock his dribbling ability.
Learn the Geometry of Basketball
Being able to dribble your way all over the court is certainly a valuable skill, but you will not be able to turn it into offensive production for your team unless you understand the correct angles that lead to open passes and easy baskets.
Keep the Palm out of it
The ideal ball handling dribbling technique involves touching the ball with only the edges of your fingers and fingertips, an arrangement that gives the dribbler the utmost control and agility. Dribbling the ball using the palm of your hand will slow down every step of the process.
Cut the Fat
Once a person has learned how to dribble at a very high level, the natural tendency is to drift into the realm of unnecessary showboating while on the court. This does no good for a player’s team or personal reputation. The best dribblers use their skills as a means of getting points on the board and winning basketball games, not for making mixtape highlight reels. Again, don’t be fancy like the AND-1 players. I loved watching the AND-1 highlights when I was young and I tried to imitate those dribbling moves, it was cool, but ultimately it got me nowhere.
Practice Outside of the Box
Many of the most diligent basketball players put in countless hours of practicing ball handling dribbling drills on the court while honing and perfecting their craft, and a little bit of creative thinking can take things to a whole new level. Dribbling a basketball down dirt roads, paved roads, gravel roads and even on grass can be an excellent way to enhance reflexes and get a better feel for the physics of the basketball.
The park near my house was a 30 minute walk, so I used to dribble there and back and iterate several different dribbling moves at a jogging pace. This helped my ball handling tremendously. The sidewalk was narrow, so I had to make sure not to lose the basketball while dribbling or I would have been hit by a car. I wouldn’t recommend trying this, but yes, I lived on the edge and that is what made me the basketball player that I became.
Effective Ball Handling
Alex Maroko is a professional basketball trainer who specializes in training basketball players. Interestingly, he was cut from his middle school team which then motivated him to become a better basketball player. He worked on his game, more specifically his ball handling, and eventually was playing at the collegiate level. Maroko, reminds me of me and how I used my peers’ negativity to help motivate me to become a better basketball player. It definitely worked for me as it did Maroko.
Today, Maroko is a prestigious sports trainer and has created several basketball training programs. Check out Maroko’s basketball dribbling transformation video below. Do you want to improve your ball-handling and be a more effective dribbler? Maroko, the Pro Guard Trainer, is giving away his 4 week ball handling workout transformation Here! And guess what? It is 100% FREE!!
More than 40,000 Players across the world are already using Maroko’s unbelievable dribbling system to develop their ball handling. Players are dribbling the basketball with confidence like never before…
Basketball Ball Handling Dribbling Drills
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- Top Basketball Drills Infographic