Learning How To Dribble Better in Basketball is simple, but a challenging task. The reason why I say that is because you don’t have to be in a gym to work on your ball handling skills.
You can be at home in your front yard (unless your parents let you dribble in the house) or at the park working on your combo moves. If there are people playing on the basketball court, you can be on the sidelines getting your handles tighter.
Taking advantage of every opportunity you get to develop your handle is how you get your handles on a string.
I guarantee you that great ball handlers like Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving dribbled a basketball all day; Working on different dribble moves and learning new ways on how they can set their defender up for that killer crossover.
As you keep improving, handling the basketball becomes second-nature similar to breathing. You won’t even have to think about what dribble move your going to make or worrying about losing the ball, that’s when you know your handles are on a string.
With these 8 important tips I explain to you later, you will for sure be on your way to developing that shifty handle that puts fear into your defenders hearts.
Let’s get to it.
8 Key Tips To Improving Your Basketball Handles
1.Take The Grip Away From The Ball
Now I know this may sound weird, but what I mean by that is make the basketball slippery to where you don’t have no control over it. Normally when your dribbling a basketball, it has a natural grip feel to it so you can handle it.
If you take that feeling away, the ball becomes much harder to control. When doing this, it makes your hands and fingers work 10x harder to control it.
Just like when track athletes run with weights so that when they take the weights off, their bodies are lighter and able to run faster, same thing with dribbling a basketball with no grip.
Once your able to master controlling a ball without any grip, it’ll be a piece of cake handling a regular basketball.
To do this, you have a couple of options to choice from:
You can tie a plastic bag over the basketball and complete your ball handling drills that way. The plastic bag tends to rip open so it’s best to keep a few extra bags on hand.
Another option is to wear ball handling gloves such as PowerHandz. I recommend this option is best because it’s less of a hassle than using traditional plastic bags and they are really effective in improving your handles. You can even purchase weighted gloves to increase your hand speed.
Also, you really can’t use the plastic bag method outside because the concrete will easily rip them open, but you can use the gloves indoors or outdoors.
But choose which method works for you best.
2.Pound The Basketball
When you pound the basketball that means the ball is in your hands longer which also means it makes it harder for the defense to steal the ball from you.
If you your just patting the ball with no purpose, that gives the defender time to predict your dribbles and steal the ball from you. Now they go down on the other end and get a easy bucket while your getting subbed out the game.
The harder you dribble the faster the ball travels from your hand to the floor and back to your hand. The more time the ball is in your hands, the more control you have over it.
To make it a habit of pounding the basketball when dribbling, it all starts in your training. Whatever dribbling drill that you are doing, pound the basketball.
Your going to make mistakes. Your going to lose the ball. But don’t get discouraged or frustrated, that just means your going hard. It’s all apart of the process of mastering your ball handling skills.
Also, If you don’t know exactly what ball handling drills you should be doing to better your handles, stay tuned till the end of this article and I’ll show you exactly what you need to do to get your handles on a STRING!
3.Step Out Your Comfort Zone
To become a better ball handler, you can’t just go through the motions. You got to push yourself past your limits and out of your comfort zone. Nowadays players are too cool when they are working on their game.
They want to come to the gym and take a whole bunch of pictures to post on social media, don’t want to train too hard so they won’t sweat too much, and only want to do drills they are comfortable with so they won’t make mistakes.
This type of of behavior won’t make you a better basketball player, it might get you more likes on Instagram, but won’t do anything for your skills.
When working on your game, you have to go harder than what you are used to so that when you get into the real game it’ll slow down for you mentally and you’ll be able to think clearly to make the right basketball play.
So don’t waste reps when doing your drills, give it all you got and you’ll be thankful for it later.
4.Improve Your Athleticism
Now I know you are wondering, “What does athleticism have to do with dribbling a basketball?”, and it plays into ball handling more than you think.
Athleticism is not just about how high you can jump, it also deals with the quickness of feet. I’m sure you heard the popular football saying “Slow feet don’t eat” and it applies to basketball.
If you are fast moving up and down the court or you have a quick first step, you won’t need a hundred dribbles to get past your defender. All you would need is a simple hesitation dribble and blow by whoever is in front of you.
A prime example would be Russell Westbrook or prime-time Derrick Rose. They didn’t have an amazing handle, but nobody could stay in front of them because they were so dang quick with the basketball.
All it took was one dribble and the defender was behind them. It could be the same way for you because all players are not built to be shifty like Kyrie Irving or Chris Paul.
If you want to increase your overall athleticism and add 5-10+ inches to your vertical, check out my article on How to Improve Your Athleticism For Basketball.
5.Use Your Imagination
A lot of basketball trainers love to use cones. They’ll lay out a hundred cones all over the court and have you dribble through all of them.
While some cone drills can be beneficial and really helpful towards player development. However, the downside to cones is that they DON’T MOVE!
In a real game, you think a defender is just going to stand in one place and let you dribble past them? No, it’s never that easy. It may take one, two, three, possibly four (depending on how good the defense is) to get past your defender.
That’s why its best to use your imagination while you are working on dribble moves. Imagine that an elite defender is guarding you and you have to figure out what dribble moves is going to get you past them.
This method actually simulates live game action which will make you more comfortable and confident when you get in the real game.
6.Get In Shape
There is an old saying, “Fatigue makes a fool out of us all”, which means that you forget all your training when your tired.
We all have been there before when you just so winded on the court that you just make dumb mistakes like making a bad pass, dribbling the ball off your foot, or taking a bad shot. It just easy way to tell that you need a quick breather.
That is why it’s so important to be in shape as a basketball player because your constantly moving and have to make smart decisions while doing so. It’s extremely important for guards to be in shape because the offense initiates through them.
If you need to get in shape, all you have to do is go and run. Go to your nearby track or even run around your neighborhood. You can also dribble a basketball with your off-hand to work on your handles and conditioning at the same time.
7.Keep Your Head Up
Basketball is a fast paced sport so its critical that you keep your head, eyes scanning the court, while dribbling.
You can’t see that teammate that is open for the three-point shot or is back-cutting to the basket if you your looking down at the ball. The best way to stop looking down at the ball while dribbling is keeping your head up when your doing your ball handling workouts.
I know that can be difficult because you may not be comfortable yet dribbling with your head up or made it a habit dribbling with your head down which is why I recommend the Dribble Spec Goggles.
They are super effective because with these goggles you won’t be able to look down at the ball while dribbling, you have no other choice to keep your head and eyes up.
Just wear them while your doing your ball handling drills and in due time dribbling with your head and eyes up will feel natural to you. I guarantee it.
Too many times, I see ball handlers almost standing straight up while dribbling the basketball and then they wonder why the ball gets stolen from them so much.
When you are low and in a stance while dribbling, the ball as less of a distance to travel from the floor back to your a hand and your more explosive.
Take a look at Kyrie Irving when he is doing a dribble move on a defender, his shoulders are at the defenders hips. That defender has no chance on staying in front of that man because he is not comfortable getting that low and still being able to move his feet.
In your training, make a conscious effort on keeping your body low while dribbling. You will be much more explosive off the dribble and lose the ball less often.
Remember, in basketball the lower man always win.
The Most Effective Basketball Training Program
I am glad you made it to the end of this article, that tells me that you are serious about improving your ball handling skills and your overall skill-set. I mentioned earlier that if you don’t know exactly what ball handling drills you should be working on that I got you covered.
The Can’t Be Guarded Program is one of the top rated online basketball training platforms out right now.
It’s equipped with ball handling drills that will have your handles tight and snappy, teaches you how to exploit your defender and score off the dribble, how to become a LETHAL shooter that no defender wants to leave open, and so much more. The program basically teaches you how to be UNGUARDABLE!
The Can’t Be Guarded Program was created by Coach Rocky who is a premier professional basketball trainer that was featured on Dime Magazine and he is the leader of one of the biggest basketball training channels on Youtube (ILoveBasketballTV). So yeah he knows what he is talking about and what it takes to play at the highest levels of the game.
If you are a serious basketball player and wants to be known as the go-to guy on their team, The Can’t Be Guarded Program is where you need to be.
The Bottom Line
Learning How To Dribble Better in Basketball won’t happen overnight, achieving great things like this takes time. You have to put in the hard work day and day out and I know it will pay off.
A great basketball player like Stephen Curry wasn’t born with a natural ability to handle a basketball, he put in the time and effort it takes to get his handles to the elite level they are at now.
Even till this day, he is still in the gym doing what it takes for him to become a better basketball player. So if a great player like that can work on his game, then you can too.
I know you can do it because you wouldn’t be reading this article if you couldn’t. Incorporate these vital tips into your game and training and you will be well on your way to becoming an elite ball handler and player.
I hope you found this article helpful and encourage you to share it with a friend. If you have any questions, comments, or want to share some of your ball handling experience, leave a comment below. Love to hear.