Looking for the best tips to dribble a basketball better in 2019?
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Today we will be sharing with you six tips that will instantly improve your ability to dribble a basketball and it's going to be a game changer for you.
Tips to Dribble a Basketball Better
Tip #1 – Pound the Ball and Dribble Hard
The harder you dribble, the longer the ball is in your hand, and the shorter the ball is out of your hand, the harder it becomes for the defender to steal the ball.
If you don’t pound on the ball then it will be easy for the defender to pick your pocket.
Therefore, practice pounding the basketball in all your ball handling drills. Over pound it.
Try to throw the ball through the ground so that when you are in the game you don’t have to pound the ball as hard.
It will actually start to become second nature for you.
This will give more you more control with the basketball.
Another thing worth mentioning thing is that this practice will help you have a faster handle because the harder you can whip the ball left to right between your legs the faster your handle is going to be.
This, in turn, will guard you better.
So, pound the basketball and dribble hard during all of your drills.
Tip #2 – Use Finger Pads
Use the finger pads of your hand.
Don’t dribble with your fingertips.
You also don’t want to dribble with the smack of your palm.
Dribble with your finger pads as this gives you the most control.
I want you to pretend you are shooting the ball.
Would you shoot the ball with your fingertips?
Or would you shoot with the ball flat on your palm?
Neither, you always shoot with the ball on your pads resting in your hand.
There is a reason why we shoot and dribble like that because of the destruction of our hand.
This makes it very easy to control the basketball.
When you dribble you want to have that little follow-through flick of the wrist like when you are shooting a basketball.
“Dribbling and shooting are actually more similar than a lot of people think. “
So, going back to the last tip and combining it with this one, pound the ball harder, dribble with your finger pads and follow through every dribble like it’s a shot.
This will help you control the ball better and make it go down and come back up into your hand.
Otherwise, you don’t have any control on your ball and are not 100% sure that ball will come back to the spot or not.
Use your finger pads on all your dribbling drills so they become a part of how you play in the real game.
Tip #3 Keep your head up
Keep your head up because you want to see the defense and don’t want to miss a teammate getting open or an opening that you can attack.
For this, practice keeping your head up as much as you can.
Please note that in a game you are going to look down sometimes.
I look down when I'm doing my move and sometimes to find the ball.
If you watch Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving, you will find them looking down when doing their moves.
It’s just going to happen sometimes.
I don’t want you to think that if you look down you are in any sort of trouble.
Just try to focus on looking up as much as possible.
Focus on it in your training.
The more you have your head up the more you enable yourself to find your teammates and open spots, read the defense and pick your spots.
You’ll know when you can attack or when you can get a shot off.
So, don’t stare at the ground the whole time.
Practice looking up but remember, sometimes you are going to look down to find the ball.
This is because you won’t always know where the ball is and if you don’t look down you might lose the handle.
Many times, when I’m in behind the back move I have to look down to find the basketball.
You’ll see that in a lot of NBA players as well.
Tip #4 Go North to South (Not East to West)
Focus on going with your moves north to south, straight and back to retreat instead of going too much east to west.
When I say east to west I am not talking about a quick left to right crossover and then blow by your man because that’s still going north to south.
What I mean by east to west is starting from the left side of the court and dribbling to right instead of beating your man and attacking.
When you are dribbling try to focus on going north to south.
I see a lot of players who do a whole bunch of ball handling moves but they don’t go anywhere.
They just go side to side and don’t attack the rim. Neither do they go by the rim and attack the basket.
You should come straight to your defender, attack him and do not attack the sideline.
Tip #5 – Have Variety of Moves
Have some go-to moves that you feel comfortable with going to in your games.
Personally, I love freestyle dribbling – just going up and down in the court building my rhythm as a ball handler.
You can see an example of this in the video below (skip to 2:18 to watch that drill specifically):
Practice different moves that you feel comfortable with using in the game.
When the defender is guarding you, you want to have these go-to moves.
In real games all you can do is react, the faster and better you react the better is your fare against the defense.
In the game, you never know what’s going to happen and you might not use all of your moves but it’s important to have them.
Practicing them will let you sharpen the tools and include them in your muscle memory.
When in the game you should go simple but when you need these moves boom you have them.
Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry have a variety of go-to moves and also many counter moves which double the number of moves they have.
This makes them virtually unguardable.
If you can develop some of your go-to moves, then have some counters for them and, even more, have some counters for your counters then you are going to be very hard to guard.
Tip #6 – Change Speeds
This is probably one of the more advanced tips.
Don’t go on full 100% speed all the time.
My coach used to tell me, “Rocky I’ rather have a guy that can go zero to twenty to fifty and back to 20 instead of a player who can go from zero to hundred the whole time.”
You’ll notice NBA guys do this very well.
The best guards, Chris Paul, Steph, Kyrie do a great job in changing speeds and not going too hard wasting all their energy but really just keep their defenders off balance.
A good way to practice this is like the freestyle I mentioned earlier, you can also find what I’m talking about in the video linked below.
Practice changing speeds throughout your dribbling, go up, go down, stop and reset, act like you are going hard but go slow, and try playing around with it.
There is a lot of different things you can do.
Changing speeds is one of the most powerful weapons that a point guard can have whether you are in the full court or in a half.
It will make it impossible for defenders to guard you even if you are facing a very fast defender.
You know what you are going to do, he is just trying to react to what you do.
That’s how you will always have an upper hand especially if you change speeds and you take control.
You force them to do what you want and not let them make you do what they want.
Dribbling Tips Video Guide
These were the top 6 tips you can improve your dribbling drill with.
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