Basketball Drill - "Tight Chairs" Dribbling Drill

By Dr. James Gels, From the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook
"Helping coaches coach better..."

Video from Coach John Calipari:

This drill will improve dribbling and dribble moves with many repetitions in a short period of time. Players can do this drill at home in their basement or driveway.


Set up six chairs or cones as indicated in the diagram. We usually start with the left hand, so we face the row of chairs on the right with the chair seats facing the endline, while the seats of the left row of chairs face the half-court line. This is so the dribbler can hit the seat of the chair with his off hand as he/she makes a dribble move.

Tight chairs dribbling drill

The Drill:

Each player has a ball and dribbles between the chairs, making a prescribed dribble-move at each chair. We do the same move at each of the six chairs and do one or two "laps" through the chairs for each dribble move. Some of the dribble moves (see Dribbling) that we use are:

Cross-over dribble

In-and-out move

Hesitation (rocker) step move

Behind the back move

Between the legs move

Start with the left hand. After doing all the moves left-handed, turn the chairs around, start from the opposite side and do all the same moves with the right hand.


We want the drill up-tempo, at game-speed. Stress that your players "attack" the chair and keep their eyes forward.

This drill helps develop dribble moves and ball-handling. All players, including post players, do this drill. You may be surprised at the improvement that you will see over the course of the season if you frequent this drill for 5-10 minutes.

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