Best Ball Handling Drills

ball handling drillsYes, you want to be a better basketball player.  Yes, you want to have a life outside of basketball.  Yes, you want to find the best ways to get the most out of your practice time so that you don’t have to devote four  or five hours a day to practicing.  Well my friend, you have come to the right place.  At least the right place to help you with the best ball handling drills that will help you improve the most and in a reasonable amount of time.  We have other links to other skills that will help you with other areas of your game.

And, so that I don’t waste your time in this article either, here are my favorite five best ball handling drills.

1. One minute, two ball, half court dribbling.  This basketball dribbling drill is a bear, but has never failed to dramatically improve any of our players who faithfully did this drill every time they practiced on their own.  Use your imagination.  There is one minute to go in your district championship game and you have a one point lead.  You are going to dribble out the remaining time on the clock.

I know that is not realistic, but if you want to get better, you have to practice unrealistically to face the reality in your games.  Start at the center jump circle with two basketballs.  Start the 1:00 timer, and you’re off and running.  Dribble those two basketballs just as fast as you can, using as much of the floor as you can, and as many moves as you can with the two basketballs. Use back dribbles, crossovers, behind the back, combo moves.

Be creative!  The measuring stick is if you don’t push yourself to make at least 3 mistakes in that one minute, then you aren’t going hard enough to improve yourself. Wanna put on your big boy (or girl) pants?  Try this drill for two minutes!

2. 1 on 2 dribbling. In a game, every time you are guarded by two players when you are dribbling, find the open teammate whose defender came to double team you.   Never try to dribble against two defenders, except… when you are practicing.  In that case, dribble against two defenders every time that you can because it makes your practices tougher than the games.

Start at one end and see how far you can make it against the two defenders.  When you lose the ball, go back to the baseline.  You are now on defense and one of the two players who was on defense is now the dribbler.  If anyone makes it all the way to the other end, they can come back.  Keep rotating and see who can make it the furthest before coughing up the basketball.

3. NBA dribbling (No Babies Allowed)  One player dribbles the basketball and the defender can shove, hold, and push the ball handler.  Absolutely no cheap shots and no fouls that can result in injury!  The purpose of this ball handling drill is to prepare the dribbler to not lose the ball or their cool in a game when a referee misses a foul.  Expect it to happen and be prepared.   Guarantee that it will happen and probably happen several times during the season.

4. Circuit dribbling.  Start in a corner of the floor where the baseline meets the sideline.  Dribble up the sideline with the ball in your right hand.  Before you get to half court, you must make two dribbling moves.  When you get to the half court line, turn, switch the ball to your left hand and make two different moves.  Continue to go all around the outside of the court and the ten second line switching hands and practicing your dribble moves.

5.    4/4/4  One player has the basketball and one player is on defense.  The purpose of the drill is to give players a feel for staying away from a closely guarded five second call.  The defense should get in the face of the player with the ball.  The defense can push and grab the player with the ball; again, nothing dirty, just enough to toughen up the ball handler.

Defender counts out loud to 4 seconds.   At 4, the offense begins dribbling and the defense guards.  The offense is trying to break the five second closely guarded count.  Defense counts out loud to 4 again.  At 4, the offense picks the ball up.  Defense pushes, shoves, holds the offense while counting out loud to

4.   At 4, offense passes to a coach or tosses the ball out.
These are the best ball handling drills that we use. You get a lot of great work and in an efficient amount of time.  You can’t start out with these drills; you have to build up to these drills by developing skills through fundamental drills.  They are also the most physically demanding drills that we use.  That’s the way it almost always is-best and toughest are there together.

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