John Wall’s Ball Handling Drills
One of the first skills young basketball players work on is their dribbling. Simply bouncing a basketball while walking is good practice. But to improve dribbling during actual games, it’s important to simulate game conditions with sport-specific drills.
For expert advice, we turned to Drew Hanlen, an NBA skills coach and consultant who has worked with Washington Wizards point guard John Wall. Hanlen is also the head skills coach for Pure Sweat Basketball.
“During workouts, we focus on game-situational ball-handling drills that help improve player’s ability to use their weak hands, as well as the physicality of defenders,” says Hanlen. “All ball-handling drills must carry over to game play and must be practiced at game speed with game contact.”
Here are a few drills Hanlen has performed with Wall to improve his ball handling.
Own Your Spot Drill
- Moving within a space just a few feet wide, dribble two basketballs
- Control dribble while partner tries to push and pull you off spot
Sets/Duration: 3×30 seconds
Coaching Points: Stay low and wide to maintain balance // Pound both basketballs to maintain control
Nose on Ball Drill
- Offensive and defensive players stand on opposite sides of free throw line facing each other
- Neither player can cross line
- Defensive players keep hands behind back while offensive players try to get outside defenders’ shoulders
- Note how many times offense gets around defenders’ shoulders
Sets/Reps: 3×30 seconds
Coaching Points: Offense must use shoulders, eyes and both basketballs to sell fakes // Offense should work on changing speeds and being deceptive
Shoulder Sled Drill
- Dribble two balls length of floor
- From behind, have partner pull back on your shoulders to provide resistance
Sets/Duration: 2x length of court
Coaching Points: Keep eyes up and drive legs while keeping hips low // Focus on being explosive while dribbling the ball up court
Source: Pure Sweat Basketball