Improving Your Basketball Skills Made Easy


Play Better Basketball With These Free Tips And Drills







To be a top-flight ballhandler (which is key to being a great point guard) one must be able to survey the floor while handling the ball. The ball-handler cannot afford to be concerned with whether he/she is going to be able to control the ball at high speeds especially while running a break. Everyone on the team relies on the ball-handler to get the ball down the floor and be the catalyst toward making something happen for the team.

A classic rule of life applies here: If you can handle two of something, then mastering one thing will be much easier. In other words, if you can handle two balls at high speeds while keeping your eyes looking ahead, handling one will be a piece of cake.

Drill: Stand at one end of the court. Hold one basketball in each hand. Begin to walk forward toward the opposite baseline, bouncing the ball in your right hand first. In the fraction of a second after the ball in your right hand has hit the floor, bounce the left ball. In the fraction of a second after the left ball hits the floor, bounce the right ball. Continue in this fashion down the court. As you begin to feel more comfortable doing the drill, start to pick up your pace. Ideally, you will eventually be able to sprint down the floor, bouncing both balls with equal skill. Don't underestimate the importance of this ball handling tip! I have seen NBA and WNBA players STILL performing this drill at the on-set of a practice. It sounds simple, and it is, so make sure to master ball-handling and you're on your way to a great basketball career!



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AROUND THE WORLD

Ball Handling Tip #1: Circle the ball around your head, than your waist, and finally put your legs together and take the ball around both legs at the knees. Then, bend at the waist, spread your legs, and circle the ball around one leg, then the other. This exercise will give you a great feel for the ball in addition to hand coordination and speed.



THE SCISSORS

Ball Handling Tip #2: To start this exercise, place your left foot ahead of your right and bounce the ball between your legs from your right to your left hand. As the ball gets to your left hand shift your feet so that your right leg goes ahead of your left and bounce the ball back between your legs. Shift your feet with every bounce.



CATCH-CATCH-CATCH

Ball Handling Tip #3: This is a drill to work on your ball handling. Hold the ball between your legs, with both hands on the ball, right hand in front and left hand in back. Quickly switch your hands,(now left hand in front and right hand in the back), without letting the ball touch the ground. Do as quickly as possible...this drill is one of the hardest to master... but it just takes lots of practice.



CRAB WALK

Ball Handling Tip #4: This drill can go from baseline to half court. Step forward with your left leg and pass the ball from your right hand to your left under your left leg. As you take your next step with your right leg, pass the ball from your left hand to your right under your right leg. Continue this pattern all the way down the floor.



FIGURE 8

Ball Handling Tip #5: Spread your legs, bend at the waist, put the ball through your legs, around one leg, back through your legs, and around your other leg, making a figure eight. This will help you get a feel for the basketball as you move it around. Keep your head up not looking at the ball and increase your speed.



FIGURE 8 DRIBBLING

Ball Handling Tip #6: This is a drill to practice your ball-handling. Dribble the ball as quickly as possible in a figure 8 through and around the legs. Use the fingers when you dribble, and dribble very low and quickly. Switch from the right to the left and back to the right. Example: start with the right hand dribbling the ball in front and then dribble through your legs with your right hand, switch to your left hand and dribble from the back, around your left side to the front and back through you legs... then switch to your right hand behind the body and around the right side. Try to go as fast as possible, and your dribbling skills will improve with daily practice.



FIGURE 8 DROP

Ball Handling Tip #7: The ball is moved around the outside of the left leg from the back to the front. Then it is passed in front of your body and around the outside of your right leg from front to back. Now the ball is between your legs at the back of your body. Bounce the ball, and as it is bouncing, reverse your hands, bring your right from the back to the front and your left from the front to the back. Catch the ball before it bounces again. Continue to do figure eights.



FIGURE 8 DROP REVERSE

Ball Handling Tip #8: For this drill, follow the procedure described in the Figure Eight Drop Drill, except that when you bounce the ball, your movement will be reversed. After the bounce, circle the ball around the outside of your right leg, in front of your left leg, and around your left leg from the front to the back.



FIGURE 8 RUNNING IN PLACE

Ball Handling Tip #9: Move the ball around your legs as in the Figure Eight Drill, but in addition, run in place.



ONE ON TWO

Ball Handling Tip #10: A good drill to use to better your dribbling under pressure is to try to advance the ball against two defenders. This will force you to use a variety of manuevers while being alert to the defense.



PASS AND CATCH

Ball Handling Tip #11: With 2 hands, make a bounce pass between your legs from front to back and catch the ball with 2 hands behind you. Then bounce the ball through your legs from the back to the front, and catch the ball in front of your body. This is a good drill for body awareness.



SIT-UP DRIBBLE

Ball Handling Tip #12: While doing bent-knee situps, dribble up with your right hand as you sit up, and around your feet, then switch hands to your left as you go back down, and then dribble with your left hand as you sit up, back around your feet, switching back to your right hand. Continue as quickly as possible.



SQUEEZE THE BANANA

Ball Handling Tip #13: This is a drill that helps increase the strength in your fingers. Hold the ball in front of you at eye level with two hands. By squeezing your fingers and thumb together with one hand at a time, you move the ball from one hand to the other as quickly as you can. More finger and arm strength will imrove your ball control.



TOUCH-TOUCH-TOUCH

Ball Handling Tip #14: This is another ball-handling drill that seems very difficult at first, but with daily practice, will improve your handles. This drill is called touch-touch-touch because that is what you do... while keeping the ball between your legs, you touch the ball once with your right hand(fingers) in front, then with your left hand(fingers) in front, then with your right behind you, and then with your left behind you. Continue in this manner as fast as possible. Before long, you will master this skill.



UP THE LADDER

Ball Handling Tip #15: Hold the ball out in front of you and pass it back from hand to hand using only your finger tips. Go from out in front of your waist to above your head and back. This will help you develop the finger tip control that you will need to properly handle the ball.
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