Being able to move with the basketball with ease whether strolling down the court, or sprinting to the basket is an important skill. It is vital that you have excellent ball control at all times could mean the difference of winning or losing a game. I have seen players with poor dribbling and ball handling skills completely blow games. On the other hand, I have seen players with excellent ball handling and control skills make amazing comebacks and win games from behind.
Today we are going to discuss some more dribbling drills to help with ball control and comfort while moving with the ball.
The Crossover Dribble
To perform this basketball drill, begin dribbling the ball with your dominant hand while heading slightly to the right side of the court. After four to five dribbles, plant your dominant foot and cross the ball over to your other hand with one bounce while heading at an angle to the left side of the court.
Following several dribbles, plant your left foot, cross the ball over to your dominant hand with one dribble, and head back toward the proper side of the court. Repeat this zig-zag pattern back and forth until you reach the finish of the court.
To ensure that the crossover is working, it is important that you move up the court in a zig-zag motion instead of in a straight line. By dribbling toward one side of the court, you pull your defender more than to that side. Then, when you crossover, you get a bit of a head start in the new direction.
When your defender overplays you on the right side you crossover to the left and acquire another step benefit.
Behind The Back Dribble
To perform this drill, begin by dribbling the basketball with your left hand while heading at an angle towards the right side of the court. Following four to five dribbles when your right foot is out front, bring your hips forward so you are able to pass the ball behind your back with one dribble to the right side. Really focus on pushing it toward the right. Bring your right hand around your backtion to catch the ball. Catch it by dribbling with your right hand.
Dribble four to five times with your right hand at an angle towards the left, plant your left foot, pull your hips forward, and pass the ball back towards the left side by utilizing a single dribble behind your back. Catch as much as it together with your left hand and repeat.
Checkout the video below for a visual look on the behind the back dribble.
Performing these drills will help you to improve your overall comfort with the basketball. It is important to work on your ball control on a daily basis and you will notice great improvements to your offensive game. Practice these drills at least five to ten minutes a day until you get comfortable moving up and down the court with the ball. Once you are comfortable only spend a few minutes each day with these drills.
Improving your basketball handling on the court can best be achieved when practising with two basketballs. Dual basketball drills allow you to really focus on using both of your hands at the same time to control your dribble and flow in the game. This basketball drill will also help you build strength and movement when you are dribbling with your weaker hand.
To perform this basketball drill, begin by dribbling both basketballs from center court to the free throw line. You want to focus on having both balls hitting the ground and bouncing back up to your hands at the same time. Keep the balls in sync while are are dribbling to the free throw line. Once you reach the free throw line, you will want to change up the dribble so that each ball hits the ground at a different time. Use this form of dribbling as you make your way to the baseline. Once you reach the baseline, turn around and dribble the balls in sync again back to center court. Perform this drill accurately for five sets. If you need to go slowly at first to build up your skills with two basketballs that is okay. As you get comfortable handling two balls at one time work on your speed.
To perform this basketball drill, you should stand with your feet approximately shoulder width apart, one foot ahead of the other, knees bent. During the drill ensure that you focus on keeping your head up and not looking down at the ball. Keep your fingertips on the ball at all times and focus on a strong dribble.
Start by dribbling the ball with your right hand, sending it between your legs and to the left side of your body. Move the ball to the your front, and with your left hand, make a hard dribble through your legs and to the right side of your body. Continue this motion until you develop a good rythm. Speed the dribble up as you get better.
Do this basketball drill for one minute, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat five times. As you get more comfortable with this drill speed up the process to build your comfort and skill.
You can see an example of the scissor dribble drill in the following video.
Stand in a position whereby your feet are approximately shoulder width apart, place one foot infront of the other foot, and keep your knees bent. With your left hand, dribble the ball around your left foot from front to back. When the ball reaches between your legs, change to your right hand and dribble the ball around your right foot. Each time the ball comes back to your center, switch your hands and dribble around the other foot. Be sure that you are keeping the ball just a few inches off the ground with the dribble.
As you you practise this drill and improve, speed up the process. When partaking in this basketball drill, it is important to focus on your positioning. Ensure that you keep your head up and not to look down at the ball. Perform this drill for a full minute, rest for around thirty seconds, then repeat the process five times.
Check out this video for a better view of the figure eight dribble.