Give these challenging, fun basketball ball handling drills a try and see how your ball control skills improve!
The secret to better dribbling and greater confidence is simple:
You've got to get the ball in your hands everyday!
These are just a few of the basketball drills you can do each day to improve your handles. And the best thing about them is you can do them at home in your own driveway.
When you first look at them, they may seem kind of strange because none of them are skills you would take directly out onto the court to use during a game.
But the purpose of these drills is to give you a fun way to get more comfortable with the ball in your hands.
By moving the ball around your body in different ways, you learn to know where the ball will be without looking at it, your fingers and hands become stronger, your reaction time gets faster, and your coordination improves.
And that's just for starters...
You're actually training your body to be able to move the ball around quickly, low to the floor, and in control without you having to think about it.
After you get the hang of the drills below, I suggest you keep your wokouts exciting by mixing it up with some of our other dribbling drills.
We've got lots to choose from!
With the ball in your right hand, stand about a foot away from a solid wall, facing it. Using your right hand, dribble against the wall, starting about head height.
Keep the ball on the pads of your fingers. Don't slap it or hit it with your palm. Keep your wrist relaxed and flexible and work on quick small dribbles.
As you get more comfortable, work the ball up and down the wall from about face level to as high as you can comfortably reach.
Repeat the drill with your left hand.
Stand with feet about shoulder width apart. Hold the ball in front of your body with both hands. Toss it up in the air above your head and watch it with your eyes. As it comes down, try to catch it with both hands behind your body, catching it at your waist.
Tip: Once you toss the ball, turn your body and move your hands behind your body with palms facing upward about waist height ready to catch the ball.
Stand with both feet spread as wide as is comfortable. Hold the ball with both hands in front of your body and then bounce it once between your legs.
Once you release the ball, quickly move both hands to the back of your body and catch the ball as it comes through.
Once you have the ball in your hands at the back, push it back through to the front by bouncing it once between your legs.
Once you release the ball, quickly move your hands to the front to catch it.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart, holding the ball in the right hand on the right side of the body. Dribble the ball about knee height 5 times.
After the 5th dribble, "kill" the dribble by meeting the ball as soon as it bounces off the floor the 5th time, but try to keep it alive by dribbling with very tiny quick dribbles. Try to keep the bounces as close to the floor as possible - no higher than ankle height.
After several of these tiny dribbles, try to bring your dribbles back up to waist height. The goal is to try to keep the dribble alive as long as possible.
It is very difficult to dribble the ball so closely to the ground. It really takes practice, so if the dribble dies, that is OK – at least you "killed" it.
Being able to adjust the height of your dribble quickly really helps you learn ball control skills.
Repeat the drill with your left hand.
This is one of the most difficult basketball ball handling drills for beginners and small kids to do, so I'm going to the break the steps down.
Start with the beginning steps, and once you get the hang of the body movements and the rhythm, move on to the advanced steps.
Stand with legs wide apart. Start with the ball in both hands in front of your body. Take it around your right thigh to your right side and dribble it from behind with your right hand through the legs, catching it in front of your body with your left hand.
With only your left hand and without letting it hitting the ground, bring the ball over the top of your left thigh and around your left side so it is behind your body. Then dribble it forward through the legs, catching it with the right hand. Continue this motion making a "figure 8" pattern.
This is just the reverse of the Windmill Drill.
Stand with feet wide apart. Start with the ball in both hands in front of your body. With your right hand, dribble it once through your legs from the front of your body to the back, catching it with your left hand behind your body.
With your left hand bring the ball around your left side back to the front and push it through your legs with one dribble to the back.
Catch the ball with your right hand behind your body, bring the ball around your right side back to the front and repeat.
Continue this motion making a "figure 8" pattern.
I hope you include these basketball ball handling drills in your regular youth basketball training. You'll definitely see your ball handling improve if you do!
How about challenging yourself with some basketball ball handling drills using 2 balls?
If you haven’t checked them out yet, see our "lazy" basketball ball handling drills where you actually get to work out while sitting down!