Basic ball handling knowledge

If you are new or newer to the game of basketball you should first check out the before you dribble item.  Dribbling is obviously a vital part of basketball.  If you don’t believe me, try playing a game of “ultimate basketball”.  This is played by implementing rules of ultimate Frisbee into a game of 5 on 5 full court basketball.  You are not allowed to dribble the ball at all, only pass, pivot, and shoot.  It is discovered very quickly how tough it is to advance the basketball or to even get into a scoring position.

The secret weapon to developing dribbling skill is…practice. However there are some basic building blocks every player should be aware of.

 

Heads up:

The aim should be to never look at the ball while dribbling.  The head should be up and surveying the floor, eyes focused on the defender, teammates, and the basket.

 

Ready to attack:

When handling the ball a player’s stance will vary based on the situation at any given time.  The basic stance however should be a stance where the player feels balanced and can easily stop, have a burst of speed, or change direction.  The player should have a bend in both the knees and hips.

 

Finger tips (and pads):

The ball should touch only your fingertips and finger pads (finger pads are the area on your finger just below the fingertips)

 

Off-arm:

The arm that is not currently being used to dribble can be used to protect the ball from defenders.

 

Body as a shield:

The body can be used as a shield to keep a defender between you and the ball.  As a general rule, assuring your body is always in the middle does this.  For example, if the defender is on your right side as you dribble down the court, you should be dribbling the ball in your right hand, this place your body between you and the defender.

 

Keep it low:

Situations will always vary which may require different heights at which you dribble, however, as a general rule, it makes sense to keep the dribble as low as possible.  This leaves less chance for error, and gives the defender less opportunity to make a steal.

These guidelines are the very basic building blocks of developing strong dribbling skills.  See the various ball handling drills in the ball handling section to find out how to start improving and refining your ball handling ability.