Get a Better Handle

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Chris Paul Dribbling

Players at all levels must be able to skillfully handle the basketball. Regardless of your position,  you will sometimes be forced to dribble—to break out of a full-court press, find the open man or create a shot.

One way to improve your ball handling is to use a wall, because it forces you to maintain tempo while dribbling and simultaneously fighting the force of gravity. The short distance the ball travels off the wall requires quick reaction time. Using the wall to dribble also improves strength endurance, which is the ability to perform the same task with good technique repeatedly.

Using two basketballs in one drill forces you to use both hands equally, generating a rhythm and tempo. A rock drummer who has great rhythm uses all his limbs to create a beat. Basketball is no different. It takes a full body in rhythm, an inner beat, to have a firm handle on the ball.

The following movements can be used as a warm-up, as specific skill instruction or as a way to boost recovery after a tough workout. Since they’re advanced drills, you should be able to dribble with both hands at the same time before attempting to perform them.

Once you have mastered these drills, incorporate resistance or additional movement to make them harder. Watch the video below to see the drills in action.

Two Balls Same Tempo

  • While facing wall in athletic stance, dribble basketball in each hand off wall
  • Dribble balls slightly higher than eye level
  • Maintain same tempo with each hand so balls bounce off wall simultaneously
  • Move laterally while dribbling

Coaching Points: Keep elbows bent at 90-degree angle
Sets/Duration: 4×30-45 seconds

Two Balls Alternating Tempo

  • While facing wall in athletic stance, dribble basketball in each hand off wall in alternating fashion
  • Dribble balls slightly higher than eye level
  • As one ball bounces off wall, dribble other ball
  • Move laterally while dribbling

Coaching Points: Keep elbows bent at 90-degree angles
Sets/Duration: 4×30-45 seconds

One on the Wall, One on the Floor

  • Stand with wall to side
  • Dribble basketball off floor with one hand while dribbling another ball off wall slightly higher than eye level
  • Dribble ball off wall faster than you dribble ball on floor
  • Move laterally with short, quick steps while dribbling

Coaching Points: Start by dribbling one ball off  wall // Use as advanced move after mastering previous two drills
Sets/Duration: 4×30-45 seconds

 

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