Basketball Drills to Help Improve your Weak Hand
Basketball is a game that requires the non-dominant hand of a player to be equal to his or her dominant hand when it comes to dribbling as well as finishing at the basket. If you want to be really good, you need to effectively be able to dribble with both hands. A player makes use of only half of his or her capabilities if he/she feels comfortable using only the strong hand. In order to achieve the best performance and equally good results, it is necessary to strengthen both hands and let them contribute equally to the game.
Developing the weak hand to work as efficiently in the game as the strong one will take some time. As a youngster, I was typically one of the fastest players on the court, but I had one problem, I couldn’t dribble as effectively with my left hand as I could with my right. I remember when players and coaches started saying make him go left. I got really tired of this limitation and learned how to develop my weak hand.
Using the weak hand at game speed can feel a bit strange and uncomfortable in the beginning, but with practice, it can be made as natural as playing with the dominant hand.
Here are some very helpful drills that can be used by any player to help them gain a strong control over their weak hand. About half an hour each day is advised to be spent on practicing these drills.
Heads-Up Stationary Dribble
The player bends down and stands in an athletic position with his head 2 feet above the ground. Dribble the basketball with the weak hand. The strong hand is to be held behind your back and the ball is to be dribbled up and down the court with the weak hand. As the player gets gains a little bit of comfortable when dribbling with the weak hand, that’s when he or she needs to increase the dribbling speed. Just like all dribbling drills, the palm should not touch the basketball and do not look down while dribbling.
Weak Hand Full-Court Drill
This is a recommended drill to help develop the weak hand. The player dribbles up the court with his weak hand, stops at half-court and makes three hard dribbles with the weak hand, then continues up the court, does a layup, and goes back down the court on the weak side. The focus in this drill remains on strengthening the weak hand and not speed.
V Dribble Basketball Drills
To perform a Front V, the player stands straight and dribbles from the left hand to the right and back again, forming a V shape in front. Then, bends a little lower and dribbles low and fast for a machine gun V dribble. The weak hand is used to do a one-handed front V dribble. The drill can also be performed behind the back or off to one side. V drills are very helpful in practicing transitions from the strong to the weak hand.
1 Ball Roll Weak Hand Dribbling Drill
Grab two basketballs and hold one in each hand. The player goes to the baseline below the basket, bends knees and crouches down in an athletic stance. One basketball is dribbled using the weak hand and then the other is put on the other side with the strong hand. The player gently rolls the other basketball along as he walks up and down the court. This tough drill forces the player to stay low while rolling the ball along with the strong hand. The player must stay low while dribbling the ball with his/her weak hand. The goal to this drill is to pound the basketball with the weak hand and keep the basketball below the waist.
Tennis Ball Juggle Weak Hand Basketball Drill
A basketball is put in the weak hand and a tennis ball is placed in the other hand. The player starts to walk and dribble the basketball while tossing the tennis ball up and down to him/herself. Usually, players tend to look down at the basketball when they are dribbling with their weak hand. The tossing action of the tennis ball will force the player to focus on the tennis ball while dribbling with the weak hand. Initially, it is advised to start slow and then speed up gradually.
Weak Hand Dribbling Sprints
Dribbling with the weak hand while making a quick, aggressive sprint is one of the hardest things to accomplish with the weak hand. The player starts at one baseline and takes off as fast as he can to the other baseline dribbling with the weak hand. Continue to do this everyday until you can naturally dribble with your weak hand running fast as you can with your strong hand.
Weak Hand Passing Drill
This is a very challenging drill but will improves various skills including passing, dribbling, and etc. You need 2 players for this drill. If you don’t have 2 players, one player can perform this drill against a wall. Players are paired and placed about 8 feet apart. To start, players put the strong hand behind their backs and pass the ball to each other. After making 50 passes each, move on to the second part of the drill
The second part of the drill, the player dribbles/pounds the basketball with their weak hand before passing it. The goal is to dribble and pass as hard as you can, ensuring that the ball remains below the waist level and you have control of the pass and dribble.
Coaches, if you want to help your players improve their weak hand, you can have some fun with this drill. On your command, “Pass,” the player passes it the other player, using the weak hand. This is repeated about 50 times between both players. If the player can’t pass until the coach yells “Pass”, then he or she has to keep dribbling the ball with his left hand. Coaches, make it burn!
Figure 8 Dribbling Drill
In this basketball drill, the player dribbles the basketball through his or her legs from back to front, meanwhile alternating between both hands once it’s through the legs. After repeating it several times, the dribble direction is changed from front to back. This will strengthen the dribbling ability of the weak hand. Check out my instructional video of the Figure 8 Dribbling Drill.
Weak Hand Layup Drill
This is one of my favorite drills. This drill involves driving to the basket with your weak hand and making a layup. Perform this drill from both sides of the basket. On the side where you will have to dribble with your strong hand, perform a scoop layup with your weak hand. I would advise you to practice with your weak hand until you are confident with driving to the basket and making a layup with your off hand.
There are a lot of weak hand basketball drills in this article that will help you improve your weak hand’s capabilities on the court. The more opportunity that you give your weak hand with the basketball, the comfortable you will get when handling the ball with your weak hand. One thing to note, the only way you are going to make your weak hand just as effective as your strong hand, you have to go hard when performing these basketball drills. That’s the only way to get better!