HomePlayer TipsBall Handling

Basketball Ball-Handling Fundamentals and Drills

By James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @ http://www.coachesclipboard.net

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Learning to become a good ball-handler, and developing a feel for the ball for vitally important in becoming an excellent all-around player.

Hold The Ball Correctly

The most difficult skills, including shooting, passing, catching, dribbling, and rebounding, involve holding the ball. Work on these skills every day. Here is how to practice holding the ball:
  • Hold the ball with your fingertips. The palms of your hands should not touch the ball.

  • Make sure your fingers are far apart.

  • Hold the ball as much as possible at home while watching TV or listening to the radio or music. It is said that the great Pete Maravich slept with his basketball and held it during his sleep! While watching TV, you can hold the ball (with both hands) and spin it around in your hands.

These are the drills:

Do each one about 30 to 60 seconds and then move to the next one. With all of these drills, try to keep your eyes forward, without looking at the ball.
Advanced Ball-Handling/Dribbling DVD

Finger Grabs:

Hold the ball with the fingertips, squeezing it while rotating it back and forth from hand to hand. The ball should not touch the palms of the hands.

Slaps:
Pound or slap the ball hard from hand to hand.

Tipping:
Tip the ball back and forth from one hand to the next, starting with your hands straight up over your head. Then gradually move the ball down, while continuing to tip it back and forth. Go down to your chest, then your waist, knees, and ankles, and then back up again. Keep your elbows straight.

Circles:
Put your feet together and make circles around both legs. Then circle around the back. And then circle around the head. Then combine them and move the ball in circles around your head, then down your body, down around your knees, and then around your ankles ("candy cane"). Then come back up again. Be sure to use your fingertips, not the palms.

Around Each Leg and Figure Eights:
Put one leg forward and move the ball in a circular motion around the leg. Then do the other leg. Finally, spread your legs out wide with the ball in front of you. Move the ball around through your legs in a figure-of-eight motion. Keep your eyes forward and don't let the ball hit the floor. After 30 seconds, reverse the direction.

Drops:
Put the ball between your feet and grab it with both hands. Start with the left hand behind your left leg and your right hand in front of your right leg. Drop the ball and let it bounce once. Quickly, move your left hand in front of your left leg and your right hand behind your right leg, and catch the ball as it bounces up. Drop it again and switch your hands back to the original position (left behind, right in front) and catch it. Repeat this motion continuously. For a more difficult variation, try catching the ball before it actually hits the floor!

Toss Up and Catch Behind:
Here's a fun drill the players like. Toss the ball up over your head. Reverse pivot and catch the ball behind your back.

Crab Walk:
Walk, bent over up the floor and put the ball between the legs, back and forth as you go. The ball is brought over the front of the thigh, then through the legs and then behind the opposite thigh and around and over the thigh.
Stationary Circle Ball-Handling and Dribbling Drills... coaches use/print this list of our standard ball-handling and dribbling circle drills.


All of the basketball articles, offenses, defenses, plays, drills, animations and video clips are on the CD!
Learn more about the Players CD
Get the Coach's Clipboard Deluxe CD, or the Players CD, for many larger, good quality video clips of ball-handling and dribbling drills (and more), along with audio from Coach Gels.


Here are some additional Helpful DVDs.


Advanced ball-handling/dribbling DVD
Coach's Clipboard Advanced Ball-Handling/Dribbling DVD
with ball-handling and dribbling gurus Ryan Goodson and Corey Rich.

Players... take your ball-handling and dribbling skills to the next level! Ball-handling - dribbling experts Ryan Goodson and Corey Rich take you through 50 advanced ball-handling and one and two-ball dribbling drills, both stationary and on the move drills, some full-court... more info.

Price: $25.99
Buy Now from the Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD -  Video Store!



Grassroots Basketball: Perfecting the Art of Ball Handling
Grassroots Basketball: Perfecting the Art of Ball Handling
with Ganon Baker, Nike Basketball Training Specialist, Ambidextrous Shooting Coach, World-renowned Instructor and Clinician. Also with Boo Williams, Legendary Coach, Clinician, and AAU Boys Basketball National Chairman.

"Basketball Evangelist," Ganon Baker, takes his message and passion all over the world. His energy is dedicated to developing basketball skills in young men and women. Baker and Williams teach drills in three segments, starting with form and advancing to speed and contact. As players work on form, they are encouraged to expand their game by moving out of their comfort zone. Improvement is based on the mistakes that come from pushing your game beyond comfortable limits. All of the teaching in this DVD will make kids confident and comfortable... (more info)

Price: $39.99
Buy Now from the Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD -  Video Store!


Developing the 'Rock': 54 Intense Ball Handling Drills
Developing the 'Rock': 54 Intense Ball Handling Drills
with Ganon Baker, Nike Basketball Training Specialist, Ambidextrous Shooting Coach, and World-renowned Instructor and Clinician. Nobody in the game instructs with more passion than Ganon Baker. His infectious energy and love for the game has made him one of the world's most popular clinicians and instructors. Improving and motivating players through intense drills is his forte. This DVD brings this world-class clinician right into your school, living room or backyard to teach you about ball handling; the "Rock" of any player's game. Strengthening your game with hard work, repetition and use of these drills is an everyday commitment. A total of 54 drills are detailed... (more info)

Price: $39.99
Buy Now from the Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD -  Video Store!