8 Drills That Will Instantly Improve Your Handles
If you want to become an all around basketball player you must learn to handle the ball well with both hands. The opponent could be on either side of you, therefore you have to be ready to make the move regardless of the defender’s position. You have to have a strong first power step as while approaching the opponent.
For the first drill, you want to get 5 cones and lay them down in a straight line. You can use the free throw line or baseline. You want the cones separated by about 2 feet. You're going to go forward and back with your right hand and then back with your left hand.
#1 - Zig Zag Around
You're going around each cone and then you're coming back with the same hand. Down and back one time with your left hand and then with your right is 1 set. You want to do 3 sets in total.
#2 - The Diamond
With this drill, you're starting under the hoop and heading to the free throw line. Your first move is the between the legs dribble to the left then back to the middle then to the top cone and back to the middle. This drill focuses on the between the legs dribble. You want to come back to the middle cone with every outer cone you touch. So you start out in the middle then go to the left then back to the middle. Then to the top and back to the middle.
Make sure you go through both sides. Once you've gone through the left side you want to switch it up and go directly to the right.
#3 - The Cross-Spin
With the "cross-spin," you want to start with a quick crossover and then a between the legs combo behind the back. Hit the first cone in the middle then go directly to left cone with a drop-cross to simulate blowing by the defender.
End it with a left-hand spin move and a right-hand layup. After you've gone through it a few times then you want to switch it up and go the other way and end with a left-hand layup.
#4 - The Freestyle
The freestyle drill is a great way to work on your instincts and do whatever you want. You typically don't know how the defender is going to play you so practicing this freestyle dribbling drill will get you to make decisions instinctively without thinking.
Stationary Ball Handling Drills
Now we are going to go over some stationary ball handling drills. With these types of drills, you're working on your dribble from a set position and always keeping your head up. The first drill we are going over is the wide crossover.
#5 - Wide Crossover
You want these crossovers to be real wide and controlled. Make sure you're pounding the ball on the court real hard. The point of this drill is to get you to control the basketball up high which will, in turn, help you control the ball down low even better.
As you can see from the video above that working on your high and wide crossover will help in controlling the ball down low so you can break some ankles.
#6 - Side to Side
You want to keep the ball low and your head up. The more you can dribble with your head up the better your dribbling will get because you won't have to think about where the ball is. Remember your goal is to score or dish it out to your teammate for a nice finish. If your head is down looking at the ball your going to miss all the action.
#7 - In & Outs
The in and out drill works on making your defender go one way while you take off in the opposite direction. This is also a good move to combo with a crossover. If you go back and watch Allen Iverson he would always start his crossover with the in and out dribble.
#8 - Behind The Back
The final drill is the behind the back dribble. This is a key move that you must learn to master. It keeps the ball behind you and away from the defender and you can combo it with an in and out dribble then a quick crossover.
Basketball skills are not learned overnight, they are developed. Even if you're a beginner, if you take the time to practice these drills you will be on your way to becoming a better ball handler in no time. You may not be the biggest, fastest, strongest or even the best athlete, however, if you outwork your competition then come game time they will not stand a chance.