How to dribble a basketball? 5 Drills To Help You Become a Better Dribbler

How to dribble a basketball? The better you can dribble, the more opportunities you and your teammates will have at the offensive end of the court. Learn how to dribble a basketball with the Jr. NBA!

The goal is to be able to dribble with either hand without looking down at the ball. That means keeping your head up to see what the defensive players are doing and the location of your team-mates. Remember to use your fingers and fingertips, not the palm of your hands, to control the ball and try not to let the ball bounce above your waist.

What Is Dribbling in Basketball?

In basketball, dribbling is a fundamental skill in which a player uses one hand to continuously bounce the ball on the court. Dribbling helps you control the ball, advance it toward the hoop, and create distance between you and your defender. In basketball parlance, dribbling is known as ball handling, and a player advancing the ball by dribbling is known as a ball handler. On a basketball squad, the offensive player most responsible for dribbling is typically the point guard, a position that requires exemplary ball-handling skills.

How to dribble a basketball

Why Is Dribbling an Essential Skill to Learn?

Dribbling is an essential skill for basketball players to learn because it allows you to advance the ball up the court toward your hoop to score a point, which is the game’s primary objective. Players with proper dribbling technique can deter defensive players from stealing the ball, create fast-break opportunities, and dribble away from a defender to open up a clean look at the basket.

6 Essential Dribbling Drills to Improve Your Game

The best way to improve your dribbling skills and become a better ball handler is to practice a series of basketball drills focused on the art of dribbling. Here are six dribbling drills for players of any level:

1. Hand placement practice: You need to use your whole hand to dribble a basketball properly. Slapping the ball with the palm of your hands will not give you enough control, and solely using your fingertips to tap the ball will not give you enough power to advance it down the court. For proper hand placement, focus on spreading your fingers to make contact with the top and the side of the ball, allowing the upper part of your palm to contact the ball for maximum power. Practice proper hand placement as often as you can to build muscle memory.

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2. Low dribbling: This stationary dribbling drill involves establishing a low center of gravity and using an intense dribbling action that some coaches call “pounding.” Low dribbling allows you to maintain control of the ball with your dribbling hand. Practice low dribbling with each of your hands to improve your overall ball control.

3. Crossover dribbling: This variation on stationary dribbling involves passing the ball back and forth between your left hand and right hand. Players use this technique to protect the ball from their defender. When practicing crossover dribbling, keep the ball low and pound it into the court. As your ability improves, increase the speed of your crossover dribbles.

4. Running while dribbling: Many ball-handling drills focus on player speed. A great ball handler must be able to race up and down the court without losing control of their dribble. If you can build up your speed without losing control, you’re in a better position to master the fast break, allowing you to score before your opponents have a chance to get into a defensive position. Practice running and dribbling the length of the court before training. Practice with each hand to build dexterity.

5. Protective dribbling: While open court dribbling requires speed, squaring off with a defender requires protecting the ball. This technique involves dribbling with one hand (typically your dominant hand) while raising your non-dribbling arm to hold back the defender. Centers and power forwards often practice dribbling with their back to the defender and the basket to protect the ball. This technique allows them to use their size to protect the ball from their defenders. You’ll need a partner to practice protective dribbling.

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6. Power dribbling: Power dribbling is an advanced dribbling drill that involves cutting sideways while pounding the ball into the court. A hard power dribble lets a player elude their defender and cut to another part of the court for an open jump shot or even a dunk. To properly execute this move, you will need to combine proper hand placement, running while dribbling, and protective dribbling (mostly by shielding the ball with your body).

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.

Front V-Dribble

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.

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How to dribble a basketball

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.

Above is information how to dribble a basketball.   Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of how to dribble a basketball .Thank you for reading our post

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