99% of the game of basketball is dribbling. Look at the best pros and they are normally the best at dribbling. Being good at dribbling allows you to get past defenders, it also allows you to get free to put up open shots or drive to the basket to score. In this article, we will cover a few drills you can do to get better at dribbling a basketball.
- One Hand Pound – this is the best for beginners. In their strong hand ( the hand they dribble the best with) they dribble the ball as hard as they can for 30 seconds. The ball does not need to pass their waste and they should be in a good dribbling stance. Then they switch to their weaker hand and dribble the ball pounding it in the ground for 30 seconds. They will want to do this 5 times each. They are to stay stationary while they do this.
- Two hand pound dribble– this is a little more advanced. It is similar to the one hand pound dribble except the student will be dribbling two balls at the same time. This takes patience! They will dribble both balls in unison as hard as they can for 30 seconds without stopping. Rest 30 seconds, then do it again. You will do 5 sets. The first few times you will notice the player fatiguing. make sure they rest enough between sets to help prevent injury. Again they are not to move their feet.
- No Dribble Walk Drill– in this drill the player will get down like he or she is dribbling and pass the ball back and forth between their legs while moving forward. You will have them move about 50 feet, then turn around and come back. You will want them to do this 4-5 times.
- Cross Over Drill– while standing still they get in a good dribbling stance, butt lower and back straight. They are to bounce the ball from one hand to another in front of their bodies. The wider they can dribble back and forth the better.
- Zig Zag Drill– In this drill the player will dribble the basketball from sideline to sideline switching hands with each diagonal turn. They can start walking or moving slowly and then move at a speed that they can still keep control of the ball and make their turns. Note- you can have a defender stay in front of them and mirror them to simulate some game time pressure so they get used to dribbling with someone in their face.
- Straight Line Dribbling– Have your player start at one end of the court/ driveway and dribble in their strong hand to the other side of the court. You will want them to move as fast as they can while being able to keep control of the ball. They can do this 5-10 times. You can then have them switch hands and try it with their week hand.
- Two Hand Straight Line Dribbling – Just like the regular straight hand dribbling exercise. This time they will use two balls, one in each hand. The player will dribble both balls in unison while moving forward to the other side of the court. Again, moving at a speed they can keep control of both balls. As they get better and stronger they will be able to move faster. You can have them start off just walking.
- Piano Fingers Drill- This is a drill that will help their hand strength. They can do this seated on the ground. But, what they will do is they will dribble the ball with each finger on their strong hand 10 times. Once they go through their whole hand, they then dribble the ball with each finger once from thumb to pinky and back without stopping. Again, first start off by using each finger 10 times, then move to each finger once without stopping.
- Alternate Two Handed Pound– This dribbling drill is like the two hand pound. The difference is that the player will dribble the balls alternating which ball is hitting the ground each time. This is more difficult and takes more coordination. While one ball is up in their hand the other ball is hitting the ground.
- Between the Legs Dribble Drill– in this drill, the player stays stationary like the cross over drill, but the player puts one foot forward and dribbles the ball back and forth between their legs to get used to how low they need to get and how far they need their legs apart to get the ball through easily. They can do this for 30 seconds, then switch which leg is forward. Do this 5 times on each side.
- Crab Walk Drill– This is a more advanced drill that will help the player learn how to move and go between their legs. The player moves forward and bounces the ball between their legs. Then takes a step and goes back between their legs ultimately linking them together where they can take a step, bounce the ball, take another step and bounce the ball again. when starting the player may need to stop between bounces and steps to get the feel of it. Patience is KEY!
There are many more dribble drills that can be done to help your player improve their dribbling skills. But, these 11 are a great place to start and enough variety to help them stay interested and challenged.
Helpful Equipment For Basketball Drills
- Training Defender- good for setting up and dribbling and shooting around. They run around $40 each on amazon.
2. cones and agility ladder. You can set cones up for the player ot dribble around or points for them to dribble to. You can also use the ladder for them to dribble through. Sets like these run around $24 on amazon.
3. Dribbling Goggles- these help your player keep their eyes up while dribbling. they around $7 on amazon.
4. Anti Grip Gloves- these are for making it more difficult for the player to dribble the ball. More advanced players should try this out. $13 on amazon.
5. Here is a book that could also be helpful!