Basketball dribbling drills are a skill every player needs to know, whether in great detail, such as your point guard, or just enough to make a controlled power move down low, as your center would.
So at the beginning of the pre-season, we teach basic dribbling skills to everyone. And once the basic skills are learned, we need to reinforce them through solid dribbling drills.
Ball handling drills are especially important early in the pre-season, as more practice given in the early days will help instill good fundamentals as second nature in players that will hopefully last throughout the season
Be sure to include a mix of ballhandling drills in your practices focusing on basic skills work in the early preseason, and then regular integration of these drills in practices throughout the preseason and season, especially if you notice players’ fundamentals slipping.
If you are not an elite point guard there is a better probability that you have a deficiency in your ball handling. It may be dribbling with your eyes down, not being able to dribble with your off-hand as well, struggling with making different combo moves, etc.
Each player is going g struggle with something different, and it is going to take different types of dribbling drills to fix each type of problem.
There will be some overlap in which drills will be able to help fix a certain problem, but there are specific types of dribbling drills that work better at fixing a particular problem.
This article is going to give you 4 different types of basketball dribbling drills that you can use to turn yourself into an elite-level ball handler. These drills will change your game if you are willing to put the work in.
Each type of drill will come with an explanation of what it primarily works on, and from there you will be able to decide what drills you need to be doing. Don’t shy away from your weaknesses, but target them, and turn them into strengths.
Best Basketball Dribbling Drills For Beginners
One Ball Basketball Dribbling DRILL ONE-ball
One-ball basketball dribbling drills are probably the most common type of dribbling drill that players do, but it is important to focus on a coup of different keys when doing these drills. Firstly, you want to work on selling your move. So whether it is a cross-over between-the-legs move, etc. you want to visualize a defender in front of you, and sell the move that you are practicing.
You do that with your eyes, body position, and change of pace. Secondly, you want to keep your eyes up and make sure that you are seeing the floor. Great ball handle control 5-Minute make their move, while also seeing the floor.
- Works on selling moves
- Develop quick hands
TWO-BALL Basketball Dribbling DRILL TWO-ball
Two ball drills are great for working on both hands at the same time. This is good because it maximizes your time in the gym, but it also forces you to dribble-handed for 5 minutes. The player can’t switch the ball to their strong hand because there is already a basketball there.
A big key to doing two-ball dribbling drills through 5-Minute is making sure that you are going full speed, and pushing yourself to get better. Don’t worry about messing up or losing the ball during the drills. The goal is to make yourself go so fast and hard that you mess up.
- Maximizes time by working on both hands at the same time
- Forces the player to develop their weak hand
Tennis Ball Basketball Dribbling Drills
Tennis ball dribbling drills are great to use for ball handlers that struggle to keep their eyes up while dribbling. The reason why that’s tossing and catching the tennis ball each time forces the player to keep their eyes up off the basketball. Before they know it, they begin dribbling the ball naturally with their eyes up.
These drills are also great to develop players’ hand quickness and hand-eye coordination. By tossing the tennis ball in the air you only have a set amount of time to make the move and then catch the tennis ball again.
The coordination comes from having to dribble the basketball while also tossing and catching the tennis ball.
- Works on dribbling with eyes up
- Develops quick hands hand-eye coordination
Wall Basketball Dribbling Drills
Wall basketball dribbling drills are never going to be used during a game because they are on a wall, but they are really good for developing hand strength and ball control.
This will translate into being able to handle the basketball better on the court, and make better moves against your defender. Just as with the two-ball dribbling drills though, you need to work on dribbling the ball as hard as you can for every drill.
- Builds up hand strength
- Develops ball control
To be truly effective, basketball dribbling drills need to focus on the following things:
- Good technique – eyes up and not down at the floor, ball handled with the fingertips and not the palm, body low when guarded closely, free hand out to protect the ball
- Providball-handling practice for both hands
- Simulate game situations – to apply strong defensive pressure to force the ball handler to be creative, to protect the ball, to make smart decisions
Of course, not all drills will have all these elements, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing – players need to know how to perform the basic dribbling techniques reasonably well before they can try to perform them under pressure, so at the beginning, ng you should use drills that focus more on technique and not so much on game-situation.
Basketball Dribbling Drills How to Develop Control and Speed
To begin with, the 8 Chairs dribbling drill is a great way to focus on developing good technique without the pressure of defense. The Control to Breakaway Dribble is another good drill for focusing on basics, in this case, on control dribbling moves like crossovers and reverse dribbles, and then speed dribbling as well.
To help players understand how to use their control moves when driving to the hoop, use the Crossover to the Hoop drill – although the name says crossover, you can use any of the basic dribbles in this drill – crossover, reverse, behind the back, side-on.
Once players have gained good control of their basic dribbling skills, we can add some defense to make the drills more game-like. The Full Court 1-on-1 drill is a great drill that does double duty – it is a good way to add pressure to the ballhandler as he is practicing his dribbling skills and an excellent defensive drill for teaching defensive movement.
And of course, there is always the favorite of many youth coaches – the Knock Away drill, which is a fun drill for players of all ages while creating pressure on ballhandlers to protect the ball.
Proper mechanics are exceptionally important when running dribbling drills, and they must be enforced at all times, especially at the beginning of the pre-season.
A player with the ball who has his head down, staring at the floor, will not see a teammate open; a player not using his free hand to protect the ball will soon have it stolen from h, and a player who can’t dribble with only one hand is limited in his offensive effectiveness.
Enforce good technique, and have players practice what would happen in a game situation – the more they practice situational responses, the better their basketball dribbling skills will become, and the more prepared and confident they will be when game time arrives.