Ball Handling Skills

Skill level is indcated by a number of stars (*)the more stars the more complex or difficult the drills are

Basketball dribbling drills should be a major part of any basketball player’s training – it will improve all aspects of your offensive game. You don’t have to spend hours a day with ball handling drills, but you should try and set aside at least 10-15 minutes a day to perform some of the ball handling drills provided here. Make sure you mix the drills up and vary what you do to become a more well-rounded player

For the basketball dribbling dills below, do them for a specific amount of time or a certain number of repetitions so that you can see your improvements



Around the World * Start by bringing the basketball around your waist in a circle, then up around your head, then back down around your waist, and finally around your legs — This is one repetition. Don’t stop, and continue back around your waist, etc. Make sure to do this going both directions (right to left and left to right).


Figure 8 * When performing this drill, bend slightly at the waist and the knees with your legs far enough apart that you can fit the basketball through them, and make sure to keep your head and up and looking forward. Starting with the ball in your right hand, bring the ball through your legs to your left hand in the back. Now bring the ball around your leg and go through the front of your legs again to your right hand

Basically you are going through your legs, around one leg, through your legs again, and around the other leg, always going through your legs in the same direction. Make sure you learn to do this drill form both directions).

Variation #1 Figure 8 Dribble ** Almost the same as the figure of * except you are bouncing the ball! Keep your knees slightly bent and keep your back straight. Dribble around and between your legs in a figure eight pattern.


Variation #2 – Speed/Maximum Dribble** Using your fingertips to control the ball and keep the ball as low to the ground as possible while maintaining control of the ball while performing the Figure 8 drill described above. You should be dribbling the ball many times to get around and through your legs.


Variation #3 Minimal Dribble** Perform the Figure 8 Dribble with as few dribbles as possible. There should be at a maximum two dribbles to get around each


Cross-Over ** The cross-over is one of the most basic yet most effective moves in basketball.

Stand in the triple-threat position with your knees slightly bent, head and eyes up, and back straight. Start with the ball in your right hand. Dribble it once normally, then dribble it in front of you from your right hand to your left. Now dribble the ball once with your left hand and then dribble it back to your right hand. Repeat


Variation #1 – continuous crossover motion You can also do this drill simply dribbling the basketball back and forth between your right and left hand without a normal dribble before the crossover. I suggest working both of these basketball dribbling drills into your routine. Skill level is indcated by a number of stars (*)the more stars the more complex or difficult the drills are


Between-the-Legs “Scissors” *** Stand with your knees slightly bent and your legs staggered with the left in front of the right. Start with the ball in your right hand and dribble it through your legs to the left and behind where your left hand is, now immediately dribble it back between your legs to your right hand in the front. Control the ball with your fingertips and keep it as low as possible when performing this drill. Maintain a controlled dribble and work up to higher speeds as you get better controlling the ball.

Stratta Flip *** Stand with your legs a little further than shoulder-width apart. Face forward and bend at the waist. Start by holding the ball between your legs, with one hand in front and the other in back. Now let the ball go and switch the position of your hands so that the one that started in front is now in back. Do this quickly. If you have to, start by letting the ball bounce once while switching the position of your hands. Once you can, though, switch hand position quickly enough so that the ball never touches the ground. As with all other ball handling drills, do this drill for either a set amount of time or a set amount of repetitions


Moving Drills

Stationary basketball dribbling drills are necessary to build a foundation for ball handling, but you have to include moving basketball dribbling drills in your training as well. as the purpose of dribbling is to get somewhere else, not just stand in one spot.


Walk Dribble* Walk down the court dribbling the ball with your right hand and then walk back dribbling the ball with your left hand.


Skip Dribble * Skip gently down the court dribbling the ball with your right hand and then skip back dribbling the ball with your left hand.


Run Down and Back*

This is a great drill because it also helps you get a little bit of conditioning in, and simulates a more realistic game-type situation. As fast as you can, but still remaining control, run down the court while dribbling with your right hand. When you get to the baseline, switch hands and run back with a controlled left-handed dribble. Don’t go too fast to begin with. As with all other basketball drills drills, you want to remain in control of your dribble, so you may have to jog to begin with and then move up to a sprint as you get more comfortable handling the ball.


Zig-Zag Dribble ** This is one of the best basketball dribbling drills because it incorporates not only some conditioning, but movement with the ball and changes of direction. Start on one baseline with enough room to dribble both to the right and to the left. Start out dribbling to the for 2- 5 dribbles now perform a change of direction dribble (cross-over, spin, between the legs, behind the back) and dribble left with your left hand for 2-5 dribbles. Perform another change of direction move so that your now dribbling with your right hand to the right and continue and repeat

Try to change speeds and crossover types to maximize the benefits of this drill Skill level is indcated by a number of stars (*)the more stars the more complex or difficult the drills are


Basketball dribbling drills should always include two basketball dribbling. You can do the single ball drills with both hands, but dribbling with two basketball forces you to use your weak hand and not rely on your strong hand to re-gain control of your dribble if you lose control with your off hand.

You should have two similar basketballs, with the same feel and bounce to perform these basketball dribbling drills.


Uniform Dribble ** Start in the triple-threat position, with your feet shoulder-width apart, head and eyes up, knees slightly bent, and back straight. With one basketball in each hand, dribble the ball in front of you in a controlled dribble. Make both basketballs bounce at the same time, as if you’re only dribbling one basketball. Perform this drill for a set amount of time or set amount of reps. For added difficulty change the speed of your dribble(s) throughout the drill, but make sure to keep both basketballs in unison where they both bounce at the same time.


Alternating Dribble ** The second of the ball handling drills with two basketballs is performed almost exactly as the first one above, with the exception of the basketballs now not bouncing at the same time. Instead, your going to get a rhythm in which you start by dribbling the right basketball, then the left. While the ball is coming up on your right side, it should be going down on the left side. In other words, as soon as the ball bounces on the right, then you’re going to start to dribble on the left and vice versa. Keep this rhythm going in which your right and left sides are always doing the opposite action. As with the other drill, you can add difficulty by varying speeds during your training.


Walk Down and Back with Two Basketballs** With two basketballs, walk from one baseline to the other while dribbling both basketballs at the same time. Intermediate to advanced ball handlers can add some backward dribbles to the routine by walking forward to specific marks such as the free throw line, then taking a couple of steps backwards while still dribbling each basketball, and then continuing forward to another mark in which to take a couple of backward dribbles.


Controlled Dribble Down and Back with Two Basketballs *** With a basketball in both hands, as fast you you can while still maintaining control of both of your dribbles, run from one baseline to the other while dribbling both basketballs. Make sure to keep your head and eyes up and maintain control of both basketballs. As with the walking dribble, you can better simulate game-type situations by sprinting to the free throw line, stopping and taking a couple of steps backwards while still dribbling with both hands, and then continuing a speed dribble to the next point to dribble backwards.


Crossover with Two Basketballs*****

Exactly as it says crossing over with Two basketballs bounce the balls – uniform dribble for 2 bounces then crossover in front of you one ball behind the other to avoid them bouncing off each other.

This drill can be done with different crossovers try them all as your skills develop