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Basketball Dribbling Drills


The following basketball dribbling drills will develop the six important aspects of becoming an great ball handler: speed, control, change of pace, change of direction and keeping your head up.
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Contents
1. Important Ball Handling Terminology
2. Basketball Dribbling Drills
        Drill #1 - Double Team Dribbling Drill
        Drill #2 - High-Low Chair Weave Drill
        Drill #3 - Blindfolded Dribbling Drill
        Drill #4 - Figure 8 Speed Dribbling Drill
        Drill #5 - Lying Down Dribble Drill
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Important Ball Handling Terminology:

Behind-the-Back Dribble - The behind-the-back dribble is often used when the defender is really overplaying defensively, and because of that, it's dangerous to dribble between-the-legs or crossover (in front of your body), so instead, to change direction you dribble the ball once behind your back to the other hand. When done correctly, you will be able to go the other direction and likely drive past the overly agressive defender.

Between-the-Legs Dribble - This dribble is used to change directions and/or put the ball in the opposite hand when the player guarding is looking on intently. This dribble is performed by crossing the ball over from one hand to the other hand between your legs.

Crossover Dribble - The crossover dribble is considered an aggressive attacking of move. Typically the goal of the crossover dribble is to pass the defender and either drive to the basket or create some distance from the defender and pull up for a jump shot. The crossover dribble is usually down when the dribbler has some forward momentum. For this example, let say that you're dribbling the ball with your right hand. To do the crossover, take a large step with your right leg as if you're going to drive pass the player (your entire body should be going in that direction and all your weight should be on the right leg). Once the player moves over to that side (your right), side push off your right leg hard to go to the left side and simultaneously dribble the ball across your body (from right to left) once to your left hand and drive the ball past the defender on the left side. 

Drop Step - See the video below for an explanation of the drop step, and the difference between the drop step and the hop step.



Hesitation Dribble - Is when the dribbler slows the pace of his/her dribble either by stopping or slowing down (via stutter step) while simulatneously raising his/her upper body and head as if he/she is going to pull up for a jumper or pass. Just as the defender eases his stance in order to block the shot/pass, the dribbler goes low again and aggressively drives by his/her defender. 

Hop Step - See Drop Step video above. It explains the hop step and the difference between the hop step and drop step  (they're quite similar).

Low Dribble - This is when a ball handler dribbles the ball very low (knee level or lower) in order to prevent the defender from being able to swipe the ball away. Often times when using this dribble, the dribbler will also protect the ball via the non-dribbling hand, and by turning his/her body in between the player and the ball. 

Speed Dribble - This dribble is used in the open court at high speeds. The ball is pushed ahead of you so that you can run at full speed, and the bounce is higher (at or about waist level). 

Spin Dribble - The spin dribble is used when being very closely guarded by a defender. The ball handler uses this move to go in the opposite direction and either agressively attack the rim or at the very least create some space from the aggressive defender. This move is done by making a reverse pivot while keeping the ball low and close to the body, after the turn is completed, the ball is switched to the opposite hand. It's important that the ball is kept close the body (hip area) so that the defender can't wrap his/her arm around your body and steal the ball. 

Stutter Step - The stutter step is a move that attempts to freeze the defender by confusing the defender as to which direction you're going to go next, "is he going to drive left or right?" The stutter step best done when you have forward momentum (running forward with the ball).

Here's an example of what the stutter step looks like:




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Basketball Dribbling Drills


Drill #1 - Double Team Dribbling Drill 

Number of Players: 3 - 18 (we use 12 players in this example)
Number of Basketballs: 1

This drill teaches the importance of changing the pace and speed, dribbling low in traffic, and keeping your head up. 

The Drill:
1. Set up four cones in a square formation, approximately 25 feet apart.
2. One player will be the ball handler (BH) and the other two players will be the defenders (D).
3. The drill goes for 30 seconds before the switching roles.
4. The ball handler tries to keep the ball from being stolen by the two defender by using an array of dribbling techniques mentioned earlier such as the low dribble, stutter step, hestitation dribble, behind-the-back, crossover etc.
5. If the ball is stolen, the defenders are to give the ball back to the ball handler until the 30 seconds up.

2-on-1 Basketball Dribbling Drill


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Drill #2 - High-Low Chair Weave Drill

Number of Players: 1-18 (we use 3 players in this example)
Number of Basketballs: 2

This is an excellent drill for developing the ball handlers feel for the ball. The players will be dribbling two balls simultaneously in between chairs. The ball handlers should concentrate on keeping the ball very low by dribbling the ball with their fingers and wrist (massage the ball), and minimizing forearm movement.

The Drill:
1. Line up 6 chairs 2.5 feet apart from each other.
2. Player 1 and 3 are at one end of the row of chairs, and Player 2 is at the other end. If there are more players just add them to the end both rows.
3. Player 1 dribbles both balls simultaneously but dribbles one ball low at rapid fire pace (below the waist if you can) and dribbling the other ball very high, like shoulder height (slam the ball on the ground hard).
4. If you lose control, pick up the ball and start off where you left off.
5. Once player 1 makes it through all six chairs he/she hands the balls over to player 2.
6. Player 2 does the same drill from the opposite side of the row of chairs that player 1 started from.
7. Once player 2 goes through all the chairs he/she hands the balls over to player 3 who then does the drill.  
8. Repeat as often as necessary.

Basketball Dribbling Chair Drill


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Drill #3 - Blindfolded Dribbling Drill

Number of Players: 2 
Number of Basketballs:

This drill forces the players to learn how to dribble without looking at the ball. They will develop great feel for the ball from this drill.

The Drill:
1. The dribbler is blindfolded and has the ball.
2. It's the other player's job to call out dribbling instructions for the dribbler to perform blindfolded (hop step, low dribble, crossover etc.) and to make sure the the dribbler doesn't crash into anyone or thing. If the dribbler loses the ball the other player goes and fetches it, and gives it back to the dribbler.
3. In between instructions the dribbler must continue to dribble the ball.
4. Switch roles after three minutes.


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Drill #4 - Figure 8 Speed Dribbling Drill

Number of Players: 1
Number of Basketballs: 2

This ball handling drill teach feel, and improves the player's ability to dribble without looking at the ball. This drill should be peformed by looking straight ahead (not down at the balls).




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Drill #5 - Lying Down Dribble Drill

This drill emphasizes the importance of using your fingers and wrist for effective ball handling.

Number of Players: 1
Number of Basketballs: 1

The Drill:
1. Lay down on the floor (on your back) and starting dribbling the ball.
2. After six seconds, sit up and dribble the ball under your legs to the other hand, then lay back down on the floor while dribbling.
3. Repeat.

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