Get Great Handles by Mastering 3 Components of the Dribble

May 3, 2013 | Paul J. Fabritz

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If you're a point guard, improving your handles will instantly boost every other part of your game. As you develop your ball-handling skills, you'll notice that your court vision and passing accuracy will also get better. You'll even become a better scorer, because you'll be able to create more opportunities off the dribble.

The secret to developing great handles is mastering all the components of ball handling, not just one or two. To master the different components, you have to perform different types of drills. Below I describe three of the most important components of ball-handling and offer corresponding drills, with their respective difficulty levels. (You can find more ball-handling drills in our Dribbling Drill Library.)

The Cuff

A point guard's ability to cuff the basketball plays a vital role in his or her overall ball control. The cuff is used for in-and-out dribbles and spin moves. You often see players who have underdeveloped cuffing ability make spin moves in two dribbles instead of cuffing the ball and pulling it through.

Level 1
In-And-Out Dribble
Sets/Reps: 2x30

Level 2
Cone Cuff
Sets/Reps: 2x30

Level 3
Two-Ball Cone Cuff
Sets/Reps: 2x30

The Low Dribble

Mastering the low dribble is important for players who want to maintain control in tough situations. Point guards must be able to bring their dribble below their knees to perform crossovers, split defenders and get out of turnover-prone situations.

Level 1
Low Figure 8
Sets/Reps: 2x45 seconds

Level 2
Two-Cone Extended Low Dribble
Sets/Reps: 2x45 seconds

Level 3
Two-Ball/Two-Cone Extended Low Dribble
Sets/Reps: 2x45 seconds

On-The-Move Dribble

You can do all the stationary drills in the world, but if you cannot transfer your skills to the court by developing your on-the-move dribble, your game will not improve. On-the-move drills force you to use all of the essential components of ball handling while your body is in motion, involving quick-cutting movements and sprinting to mimic game situations.

Level 1
One-Cone Crossovers
Sets/Reps: 3x5 (Down and back equals one rep)

Level 2
Five-Cone Crossovers
Sets/Reps: 2x5 (Crossover, In-And-Out, In-And-Out Cross Combo)

Level 3
Six-Cone Change Of Direction
Sets/Reps: 3x3

Develop even more components of your ball-handling with these drills.

Photo: USA Today

Paul Fabritz
- Paul J. Fabritz is the founder of PJF Performance LLC (Tempe, Ariz.) and a top performance enhancement coach. A former college basketball player, he is...
Paul Fabritz
- Paul J. Fabritz is the founder of PJF Performance LLC (Tempe, Ariz.) and a top performance enhancement coach. A former college basketball player, he is...

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