Being able to handle the basketball is very CRUCIAL part of the game.
It creates scoring opportunities for you and your teammates, can get you out of pressure situations, and can be the deciding factor between winning and losing.
Doesn’t matter what position you play on the court whether you’re a guard or a post player, you must have some level of ball handling to maximize your potential as a basketball player.
The best thing about ball handling is that it’s a skill that can be practice almost anywhere. You don’t need a hoop or a court. All you need is basketball and effort, that’s it.
Great ball handlers like Stephen Curry or Kyrie Irving didn’t just wake up one day with the ability to cross defenders up and make them look silly.
They worked RELENTLESSLY to get that handle on a string.
So continue reading below to discover the 7 GOLDEN Tips To Improve Your Basketball Handles and become a better overall basketball player.
1. Pound The Rock
When working to get your handles on a string, it’s important that you make sure to pound the basketball.
Pounding the basketball strengthens your hands and fingers so that you can be stronger with the ball and dribble quicker.
Defenders can’t steal the ball away from you if your handle is to quick to see. This doesn’t mean to go patting down on the basketball with your palm like your trying to kill a bug.
You want to use the pads of your fingers to control the ball, not your palm.
If your arms are not dog tired from pounding the basketball, you wasn’t going hard enough. So pound the rock.
2. Use Your Imagination
Many basketball players have imagined themselves hitting that game wining shot or crossing over the defender and making them fall.
This imagination is also called visualization, where you create a mental images of whatever you want to happen on the court.
When working on your basketball handles, you want to visualize a defender guarding you just like the real game.
Visualizing the moves that you’ll do if the defender is playing pressure defense, if the defender reaches to steal the ball, the moves you’ll do if your being double teamed, etc…
So that when your in the real game, you won’t even have to think about your handles.
It will feel NATURAL to you.
3. Keep Your Head Up
It’s ESSENTIAL to not only keep your head up when dribbling, but also have your eyes scanning the floor looking for open teammates or breakdowns in the opponents defense.
The best basketball players in the world all play the game with their heads up and on a swivel, it doesn’t matter if they are a post player or an guard.
You gain nothing from looking down at the floor, unless your diving for a loose ball.
Basketball is a fast-paced game, so looking at the ball while dribbling can lead to a missed scoring opportunity or an turnover.
There are numerous of basketball aids that help you create the habit of dribbling with your head up.
Also, the #1 Ball Handling Program in the WORLD will give you all the drills and workouts you need to have your handles tight and snappy.
4. Keep it Simple
I see it all too often where a basketball player would perform 20 different dribbling moves and get absolutely NOWHERE or just end up turning over the ball.
These basketball highlight videos on YouTube have made it seem that over-dribbling is OK.
That is not real basketball, it only kills the flow of the game and disrupts the chemistry among players.
Efficient ball handlers use each dribble to serve a purpose, whether it’s creating scoring opportunities for themselves or a teammate.
Players like Stephen Curry or Kyrie Irving have that ball on a string, but you never see them in the game doing an 100 dribble moves in one spot.
They’re looking to attack with each dribble they take. So don’t get caught up in the hype of over-dribbling, use your dribbles to make a play for you or your teammates.
5. Shake N’ Bake
You don’t EVER want to be a predictable ball handler. If your predictable when handling the rock, defenders can anticipate your moves which leads to missed opportunities and turnovers.
When being a ball handler, you want to be shifty in your dribble moves. Making a defender think your going one way and attack the complete opposite.
Soon defenders will get scared to guard you and will bite at every move you through at them.
That is why players like James Harden or Chris Paul is so difficult to guard because defenders can never predict where they’re going to go. They just get in defensive stance and hope for the best.
To become shifty in your handle, watch film on players with a shifty handle such as James harden or Kyrie Irving. Learn how they sell their moves and practice them on your own time.
6. Go Downhill
A lot of ball handlers like to dribble from east to west instead of north to south.
They want to be all flashy and make all these extravagant moves. But if those flashy moves are not creating scoring opportunities for you or your teammates, they’re a waste of time and energy.
When being a ball handler, you always want to attack going downhill towards the rim, not side to side.
Players Russell Westbrook and Lebron James is a great example of ball handlers that is always looking to attack when they got the ball in their hands.
They don’t waste their energy trying to impress the crowd. They get the ball, get low and attack their defenders hips, and get to the rim looking to create.
Always look to attack downhill when you have the ball in your hands.
7. Make It Ugly
Basketball players got the habit of being a perfectionist when they’re working out.
They can’t miss no shots, they can’t turnover the ball, they can’t miss no layups, etc… that type of thinking just leads to a lot of frustration and negative thoughts.
I mean it’s good to strive for perfection, but don’t obsess over it. In your basketball workouts, mistakes are going to happen because nobody is perfect.
Your going to lose the ball or dribble it off your feet a couple of times.
All mistakes mean is that your ACTUALLY trying to improve your game.
If your not making mistakes, your obviously not going hard enough. Even the best basketball players in the world make mistakes, so don’t beat yourself up about it when you do it.
Just recover the ball and try again till you get it.
That is how you take your handles to the NEXT LEVEL.
The Bottom Line
Ball handling is a very important aspect of the game, but it’s also one of the most challenging parts of the game to teach. Getting that handle on a string will take time.
Great ball handlers like Steve Nash or Allen Iverson didn’t get there shifty handle overnight, it took long days and nights in the gym to get to that elite level.
If you incorporate these how to improve your basketball handles tips into your game, you’ll experience more success in the game and in your workouts.
But if your really serious about getting your handles on a tight string like Stephen Curry or Kyrie Irving, I recommend The Scoring Academy.
It is the #1 online basketball training platform in the WORLD! Your handles will not only be tighter and snappier once you start the program, but your basketball skills as a whole will be TRANSFORMED.
If you don’t believe me, click HERE to read the thousands of testimonials from basketball players just like you from all over the world.
I hope you enjoyed this article and encourage you to share it with a friend or teammate. If you have any questions or want to share your own tips, leave a comment below. I will love to hear from you.
Remember you can always find more articles on our website to help you maximizes your potential as a basketball player.