Every player needs basketball tips for dribbling. Dribbling in basketball is defined as the legal method of advancing the ball by oneself as opposed to passing it to another player or shooting for the basket. Players bounce the ball on the floor while walking or running down the court.
Dribbling is the most fundamental element of the game of basketball. Dribbling is the means to advance on the court, manipulate opponents and get past them, and achieve the basic goal of the game – scoring points by putting the ball through the hoop.
Thus, improving the basketball dribble is like improving strokes in swimming, the swing in golf, or skating in ice hockey. It is elemental to becoming an all-around player that can contribute to the team and win games.
How Dribbling Improves Your Performance
Dribbling starts with bouncing the ball up and down with the fingertips and pads of the hands without looking at the ball. Skilled players can keep their head up at all times. All players should learn to dribble equally well with both hands.
Ball handling has often been relegated to the point guard as the only one who should be skilled in ball handling. While the point guard handles the ball often, they should not be considered the sole ball handler. All players can benefit from dribbling expertise to enable better shooting, boxing out and rebounding.
Basketball tips for dribbling apply to all players that want to improve their game. Previously, taller players didn’t need excellent dribbling skills since they were typically relegated to work near or around the basket. Today, centers and power forwards often dribble the ball up the court against multiple defenders, shoot jump shots from behind the three-point line, and make offensive moves that require good ball handling.
To become more valuable to the team, all players, regardless of height or position, should develop good ball handling skills. Often, the difference between good teams and great teams is in the depth of their ability to handle the ball.
20 Basketball Tips for Dribbling
1) Working on the basic dribbling technique
The basic basketball tip for dribbling is done by cupping the fingers spread comfortably with the dribble being a push-pull motion of the arm, wrist, and fingers. Start the dribble with an elbow extension and flex of the fingers and wrist. As the ball bounces back up, meet it with your fingers.
Your wrist will absorb the force. Control of the ball comes from the fingers and pads of the hands, below the fingers. Palms are not used to dribbling a basketball in most circumstances. Practice dribbling with your hand the following areas of the ball: directly on top, in front, behind, right side and left side.
2) Controlling the low dribble
This basketball tip for dribbling is when the player is closely guarded. The body is kept between the body and the ball and the defender. This dribble is done at knee level or lower, and slightly away from the body, so the defender has more difficulty attacking the ball. Advance the ball with a step and slide movement.
3) Creating speed through the high dribble
High dribbling is an advancement strategy to move the ball up the court quickly, drive to the basket, or follow a steal in the open court. The body is kept almost fully erect, and by leaning over slightly, the dribbling arm is extended fully, pushing the ball out in front.
4) Crossing over into the crossover dribble
Players confronted with a defensive situation of an attacking player can use this dribble to change direction quickly. The dribbler pushes away from their dribbling side towards the opposite foot and bounces the ball across the body while flicking the wrist and fingers.
5) Change direction with the reverse dribble
Another change of direction technique is the reverse dribble. If the aforementioned crossover dribble cannot be used because of defensive positioning, this dribble can be used to spin away while keeping the body between the defender and the ball.
6) Change your pace with the change-of-pace dribble
Adjusting speeds while dribbling is another smart way to avoid defensive challenges, especially in an open space on the court. The deception here is the key as the defender believes the dribbler is slowing down, but the speed is increased quickly. As the player slows down, the body is straightened slightly, and the left foot is planted.
7) Dribbling backward with the behind-the-back
There are other change-of-direction moves to consider. Dribbling with the right hand, the player slides their hand to the outside the ball and puts their weight on their right foot. It starts with flicking the ball behind the back above the back of the knee and across the back of the thigh as the left foot moves forward.
8) Slowing it down with the pull-back dribble
Unfortunately, in basketball, the player will ultimately find that there are no more dribbles to effective outmaneuver the defensive. Often the dribbler will encounter two or more players in front.
10) No surrender with the retreat dribble
Also known as the push-pull dribble, the ball is dribbled at a moderate height forward and back in a rocking movement. Using the right hand, the player makes a stance with their left foot in front while the right foot is to the rear and the knees bent. To dribble the ball back and front, place the hand on top and towards the front of the ball, and then push the ball to the back.
11) Figure out the figure 8 pattern dribble
Basketball tips for dribbling can be fun and creative too. This dribble forms a figure 8 pattern through legs. Standing with feet apart, the player begins dribbling the ball using the right hand in front and then through the legs, switching with the left hand and then from the back, around the left side to the front and then back through the legs.
12) Crossover to the killer cross
The killer crossover is done by combining one between the legs dribble with one crossover. Start the move while moving forward toward a defender. Attempting a between-the-legs dribble with a right foot plant should make the defender lean/lunge to the right expecting the player to go right. Staying on the planted right foot, complete a right to left crossover, pushing off that right foot to explode left.
13) Double trouble with the double inside out
This move combines two inside-out dribbles to confuse the defense. The first inside-out dribble should go one way and as soon as the ball comes up to reach across with the left hand and pull it back to the left. This can also be done going the other direction. The deception here is key and advanced dribblers can incorporate change-of-pace or other tricky moves to “sell” the move to the defender.
14) Jump around with the jump stop dribble
This dribble takes advantage of the two-step before shooting rule in basketball. Use either foot to pivot with the alternate foot and take a step/jab-step. A jump-stop can be done by picking up your dribble at the end of the drive and in the same motion hopping laterally toward another spot on the floor before shooting the ball.
15) Going up and under
Basketball tips for dribbling include ways to keep opponents from blocking shot after dribbling to a complete stop. Once stopped and a shot-blocker has emerged, launch into the air and extend the ball as if attempting a lay-in. As the defensive player reaches up for the block, bring the ball back down, ducking the body under their arm to glide toward the basket. Bring the ball back up in a scooping motion and try to spin the ball into the basket.
Basketball Tips for Dribbling – Drills
16) Double it up with two-ball dribbling
Dribbling two balls at one time helps players develop ball control. They can also become stronger at dribbling with their non-dominant hand. Players have more flexibility in a game when they can comfortably dribble with either hand.
17) Move around with the zigzags drill
Dribbling in a zigzag pattern gives players a chance to practice changing directions as they dribble. In a game situation, this skill proves useful to avoid players on the opposite team. The players start at one corner of the gym with a basketball. They dribble diagonally across the gym.
18) Count to the figure 8 dribbling drill
This is a drill to practice ballhandling. Dribble the ball as quickly as possible in figure 8 through and around the legs. Switch from the right to the left and back to the right. Example: start with the right hand dribbling the ball in front and then dribble through the legs with the right-hand, then switch to the left hand and dribble from the back, around the left side to the front and back through the legs.
19) V-Dribble in front
Start with the right hand and dribble once on the right side. Then dribble the ball in front as if to cross over to the left side. Roll the right hand over the top of the ball and bring it back to the right. This drill is important to get the feel of rolling the hand over the top of the ball and can help with the “in-and-out” dribble move.
20) Leg Circles
Players start with their feet shoulder-width apart. They dribble with their right hand around their right leg and then with their left hand around their left leg. Players will then put their feet together and use both hands to dribble around their legs.
They will then go down on their knees and use both hands to dribble around their body. Players will then bring one knee up and keep one knee down. They dribble the ball around their body and under their leg and then switch leg positions and repeat.