As a point guard, I am always looking for techniques and drills to improve on my handle. A tight handle for point guards is the most important skills they can have on the offensive end. While taking poor shots is not a good strategy, turnovers are even bigger nightmares for offenses as they do not even offer the opportunity for points. The floor general needs to take care of that basketball like it is their first born child giving opportunities for themselves and their teammates to get good looks and put up quality shots. Now that you know the importance of dribbling and minimizing turnovers, lets take a look at five basketball dribbling drills that will allow you to take care of the ball while running your offensive sets.
1. Two Ball Dribble Drills-Simultaneous and Alternating Dribbles
We cannot recommend two basketball dribbling drills enough! Literally anything you do with two basketballs instead of one will make dribbling overall easier. This improves coordination and performance. I suggest starting with some basic simultaneous dribbling and then alternating dribbling. With simultaneous dribbling you’ll simply dribble both basketballs together in one motion. Try to get the basketballs to hit the ground and your hands at the same time. Alternating dribbling is simply having one basketball hit the ground while the other basketball is coming into contact with your hand. This will give you a different feel from the simultaneous dribbling.
2. Retreat, Hesitation Dribble Drill
The retreat and hesitation dribbles are two of the most important basketball moves that players can use in a game. Retreat dribbles are important as they help guards to assess situations, especially when the defensive is pressing full court. Hesitation dribbles are great to attack both full court presses and for drives to the bucket. The first drill seen in the video below really encapsulates how to use both dribbling moves together as a single dribbling weapon.
3. Windshield Wiper Two Basketball Dribble Drill
Another great two basketball dribble drill is the windshield wiper two basketball dribble drill. The in and out dribble combination is another great dribble move to have that is great to use to trick overly aggressive defenders. To do this you’ll take two basketballs and simultaneously dribble them in and out just like the motion of a windshield wiper on your car. This really helps players to develop a relationship with the basketball and a feel for what good dribbling is. I also like how this drill allows you to dribble that basketball at different angles with your hands.
4. The Cone Dribble Drill
A great way to work moves like the crossover, in and out dribble, spin move, and others is to use the cone dribble drill. In the cone dribble drill you will set up a line of cones about seven to ten feet apart from each other. You will start at one end of the line of cones, dribble to the next cone, and once at the cone you will make a basketball move (crossover, behind the back, between the legs, etc.) and explode through to the next cone. Once at the next cone pick a different move and use it to explode past your “defender”. Repeat this until you get past the last cone. Make sure to work on doing the move with quickness and with tight dribbling that will make it hard for an opponent to steal the ball from you. See the video below for a demonstration.
5. The Pete Maravich Fingertip Dribbling Drill
No one was quite the master of the art of dribbling like Pistol Pete. Maravich was far ahead of his time and had spent countless hours with his father, a collegiate coach, honing his handle. In the video below Maravich shows you exactly how to properly dribble a basketball, especially when low to the ground. Using your fingertips and not your palm is key to better dribbling, and something many basketball players do not realize. Pay especially close attention to the “Different Strokes” drill just to see how rhythm is a big part of the dribbling process. While the video may be a bit dated the information in this video is timeless and will hold value to anyone wanting to get better at the game of basketball.
I guarantee that if you work on these five drills consistently you will improve as a ball handler. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment. You don’t have to be limited to just the five basketball dribbling drills that we’ve shown you in this article. By trying new things you’ll find new moves and nuances that will allow you to have the upper hand in a game situation.