Easy Basketball Drills: Dribbling

Among basketball drills, dribbling is the most fundamental.  Without it, you're not going anywhere. All the great ball handlers, from Bob Cousy to Allen Iverson, have put themselves through a rigorous string of drills to hone and perfect their skills.

Go Both Ways
One of the keys of being a good ball handler is ambidextrousness. It's easy enough to practice with your strong hand, but this drill will develop your weak hand, as well. Start by dribbling steadily with your strong hand. Grab a second basketball and start dribbling it with your weaker hand. Work on timing to make sure you're able to get the same number of bounces in for each hand, without bringing the ball over your waist.

Crossovers…
…Ankle-breakers, whatever you want to call them-they're generally the most effective tool in terms of blowing by a defender. To practice, start on the corner of the baseline and dribble up with your inside hand to the corner of the paint. Dart to the inside, then cross back over to the outside hand. Dribble up to the corner at half court, cross over again and dribble up to the corner of the opposite side paint. From there, cross back over to your outside hand and finish up at the opposite corner from where you started.

Dribble Suicides
Relax, nobody's dying. A suicide, of course, refers to the running drill wherein players start at the baseline, run to the freethrow line (extended), and back; to halfcourt and back; to three-quarters court and back; and to the opposite baseline and back. Incorporate a ball into this drill, and you can develop your stamina and ball handling at the same time. To really hone your skills, add a wrinkle by returning only to the last point you reached (from baseline to free throw line/back, from free throw line to half court then back to free throw line, etc.) while dribbling backwards (as you likely would when retreating from defenders during a game).

Figure-8s
Probably the most classic of the old dribbling drills. For this drill, set yourself so that one leg is pointed ahead of the other, in what's referred to as the "triple threat" (which means that you can shoot/dribble/pass out of this position). Send the ball underneath the forward leg with the opposite hand and reverse your leg positions and do the same thing in reverse. If you do it quickly enough, the ball's path will create a virtual "8" shape.

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