Anyone can improve their dribbling skills with a little bit of practice. By following these five drills, you’ll be able to increase your ball control and master your dribbling techniques in no time. So get out there on the court and start practicing.
To start off, you should warm-up. It is always best to stretch out first before doing any strenuous activity, including dribbling drills. Stretches that are especially effective for basketball players include calf raises and toe touches. Start by standing on your left leg with your hands straight out to the side. Then lift your right leg toward the ceiling so it is parallel to the floor. Do this 25 times and then switch legs. You can also do one-legged squats by starting in a standing position with both feet about shoulder-width apart. Move your weight onto one foot while slowly squatting down as low as you can go, hold for five seconds, and then push back up into a standing position.
Now that you’re all loose, let’s go over the 5 drills to improve those dribbling skills of yours.
The first drill works on your ability to control the ball with one hand. Start facing a wall at least 2 feet away from you. Extend your arm out in front of you and hold the ball in your palm with it pointing forward toward the wall. With your other arm, tap the top of the ball down toward the ground to get it spinning in place, then use that same hand to hit it back up into its original position. Repeat 15 times with each hand and build up from there. Do this for about 3 sets and consider increasing the height of your “wall” as you become more comfortable dribbling with one hand while having your other arm extended out toward it for balance.
Next, we’ll move on to drills focusing on dribbling with both hands and keeping your head up. Start on the right side of the court and dribble as quickly as you can toward the middle while keeping your arms straight out in front of you and keeping your eyes on the opposite side of the court. Once you reach that spot, plant hard on your right foot and spin back to where you started as quick as possible, again keeping your head up at all times. Repeat this drill until you can get there faster than one or two seconds. After that, try going from left to right instead of right to left for an added challenge. Finally, mix it up by doing this drill without stopping at each end first before turning back around the other way once more to finish off another set.
You can also work on speed dribbling by using the same technique as the previous drill, but keeping your head down and looking at the ball this time. Start with your arms in front of you in a full crouch with both knees bent slightly. Bring up one arm to grab the ball and quickly repeat with your other hand by switching back and forth between hands while taking quick strides with your legs. This will help develop coordination that is necessary when you’re trying to move past defenders at game speeds.
Lastly, there’s my personal favorite: double-bounce passes. This is difficult if you aren’t used to manipulating the spin of the ball off of bounces, so it might be best for starters to start out facing away from each sideline wall so that way you can bounce the ball off of them to get it back without having to worry about turning your head around. Start dribbling with both hands while moving forward and bouncing the ball off of one wall, then use either hand (doesn’t matter at first) to hit the ball off of the other wall in front of you before catching it. With some practice, this drill will help you move past defenders since they won’t know which direction you’re going after bouncing that pass off that wall.
And there you have it: 5 helpful drills for improving your dribbling skills on and off the court! Give these a shot and let me know how they work for you down in the comments section below; I hope you enjoyed this article!