Basketball Ball Handling Tips and Tricks

Want to practice dribbling at home with a basketball and have one?

To ensure your dribbling abilities are at their best, follow along with some helpful hints and methods from the Sports and Fitness department of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine!

Maintain a low, floor-bound dribble.

Players who stay low usually have a better explosion when going for the basket. Defensive players that keep the ball low find it highly challenging to steal it from attacking players. It’s best to keep the ball from reaching beyond your waist when pushing down with your fingertips because doing so increases the likelihood that your defender will take it.

Bear your head high.

Keeping your head up is critical, so you can see the court well when handling the ball. The inability to perceive what is happening in the game and make the most significant play for their team prevents players from being effective when they have their heads down. A quick exercise you may perform at home is to dribble while watching your favorite highlights on TV or, if you’re outside while concentrating on something other than the ball, like a location on the wall.

Try using your weak hand.

Players must have the ability to handle the ball with both hands. Keep your dominant hand from moving in one direction as a player. Any hand can be used to make a play by the top players. Make sure to execute the same move in both directions on the court when practicing your favorite activities to improve your skill set. Use only your non-dominant hand when dribbling or performing layups for an entire day, or try other things like eating!

Guard the ball.

You are permitted to defend the ball with your body and off-hand. To repel defenders, visualize using your offhand as a shield. Using your offhand to block a defensive player from grabbing the ball is OK. However, you don’t want to push off with it since that will be considered an offensive penalty. You should develop the habit of protecting the ball with your non-dribbling hand when practicing your dribbling, and remember to use your weak hand.

Variation in speed or course

It’s crucial to attack the rim as a ballhandler while using speed and misdirection to your advantage. Doing so will distract your defender and have more room to make a play for your team. Jab steps, crossovers, and hesitations are all effective plays to aid a ballhandler in opening up some more space for their team. Practice dribbling quickly, slowing down, and varying the appearance and velocity of your actions when dribbling alone outside.