5 Drills To Help You Become a Better Dribbler
The better you are at dribbling, the more opportunities you and your team will have on the court. Players who take time to work on the basics and master the fundamentals are the ones who go further and can contribute more to their team. Dribbling is one of the easiest skills to practice because it does not require a court, a partner, or much space. The more time you spend with a ball in your hand the better your ball control will be, but the only way to improve and go to the next level, is to practice outside of your comfort zone. This means you should experiment and go faster or harder than you are used to. If you only practice the skills you are comfortable with, you will slow your progress as a player. Here are five stationary drills that our Brooklyn Nike Basketball Camp Director TJ Jones uses at his complete skills basketball camp.
When first starting out make sure that you are using your fingertips and not the palm of your hand, and that you are bouncing the ball no further than waist height. The goal of these drills is to become comfortable dribbling with both hands and to not look down. An easy trick to keep your head up is to find a spot on a wall and focus on this spot when dribbling. When going through each of these drills, imagine the game scenario you would use them in or what skill they can help you improve.
The front V-dribble is used for in and out fake moves and can help you get around a defender. Start by only using your right hand and dribble the ball side-to-side in front of your body. This should make a V. Your upper body should move with the rhythm and the ball should go side to side. Switch over to your left hand and repeat.
Figure Eight Dribble
Widen your stance and dribble the ball in a figure eight around both of your legs. As the ball moves from one side to the other side, you will switch your hand. The one hand that is not in use should be between your legs, ready to make the switch as soon as possible. As your dribbling gets faster, your dribbles should get lower and lower.
This drill practices alternating between your legs. To get started put your right foot in front, and your left foot behind. Cross the ball between your legs and jump to switch the position of your feet so your left is in front and your right is behind. You should pass the ball between your legs, and after each time you should switch your feet position. Try to become faster and faster as you progress over time.
Dribble Behind the Back and Crossover
This drill requires 2 basketballs. With a ball in each hand, pound the balls 3 times, at the same time, on each side of your body. Then, pass one ball behind your back, and one in front to the opposite hand. Once you have passed the balls to the other side, pound the balls 3 times again and repeat. Make sure to change the direction after 5 times. As time progresses, see how fast you can do this drill.
Use what you learned above and your own moves, and in a stationary position, combine them together. Make sure to maintain your ball control with freestyle and not to forget the fundamentals.
Remember to not be discouraged if you mess up at first. Just like everything in life and in basketball, new skills take time and hard work to master. Try practicing these 5 drills each day, and to see how you progress over the course of your training. Check out more basketball drills and tips and join TJ Jones and his camp staff this winter, spring and summer in Brooklyn at a Nike Basketball Camp.