Basketball Dribbling Drills: Use Chaos to Develop Killer Handles

Improve your handles with this four-phase basketball dribbling drill workout from STACK Expert T.J. Allan.

How do you create killer basketball dribbling drills? Simple. Add chaos. Chaos creates uncertainty. Uncertainty creates lightning-quick reactions. Quick reactions break defenders' ankles.

Unfortunately, most coaches add too much chaos too soon into their dribbling drills, and athletes quickly become overwhelmed. Progression comes to a screeching halt, and players get frustrated and give up.

Intelligently designed basketball dribbling drills add just enough chaos to challenge players without overwhelming them.

The following is a four-phase basketball dribbling drills workout. Do not start Phase 2 until you've completed two weeks of Phase 1. I don't care how talented you are. Even the simplest drill can be extremely challenging if you push yourself. Perform each workout 3-5 times per week for two weeks.

RELATED: The Steve Nash Dribbling Drill

Chaos Phase 1: Stationary Dribbling

Since these drills are stationary, chaos created by footwork is removed from the equation. The only chaos involved comes from the upper body dribbling the basketball. That should be the sole focus.

Start in an athletic stance—hips pushed back, chest up, and knees over toes. Brace your core and keep your head up throughout the drill. Perform each move for 30 seconds and rest 10 seconds. Go as fast as you can, improving your speed with each workout.

  1. High-Pound Dribble, Right Hand
  2. High-Pound Dribble, Left Hand
  3. Low-Pound Dribble, Right Hand
  4. Low-Pound Dribble, Left Hand
  5. 2-Pound Dribble Crossover
  6. 1-Pound Dribble Crossover
  7. Continuous Crossover
  8. 2-Pound Behind the Back Dribble
  9. 1-Pound Behind the Back Dribble
  10. Continuous Behind the Back Dribble
  11. 2-Pound Inside-Out Dribble, Right Hand
  12. 2-Pound Inside-Out Dribble, Left Hand
  13. 1-Pound Dribble Inside-Out, Right Hand
  14. 1-Pound Dribble Inside-Out, Left Hand

Rest 2-3 minutes between rounds. Repeat for 5 rounds.

Chaos Phase 2: Two-Step Against Chair

Now you not only have to worry about your upper body, but you're also adding two steps to the drill. It's a little more chaotic than Phase 1.

Start in an athletic stance. Every move starts with 2-pound dribbles. Each move is performed for 1 minute. Rest 10 seconds between moves.

  1. Crossover, Right Hand
  2. Crossover, Left Hand
  3. Behind the Back, Right Hand
  4. Behind the Back, Left Hand
  5. Inside-Out, Right Hand
  6. Inside-Out, Left Hand
  7. Inside-Out Crossover, Right Hand
  8. Inside-Out Crossover, Left Hand

Rest 2-3 minutes between rounds. Repeat for 3 rounds.

RELATED: How to Dribble Like the Pros

Chaos Phase 3: Moving

Here we add speed to the chaos equation. You must have the proper upper- and lower-body mechanics—and you must also have the ability to perform the moves with speed. It's one thing to have proper footwork. It's a completely different skill to have proper footwork while moving at a fast pace.

Perform the following moves continuously up and down a basketball court. You should be able to execute 4-5 moves during each trip down the court. Simply perform the move, take two dribbles while continuing to jog, then perform the move again. Perform each move down and back twice. Jog on the first down-and-back; sprint on the second. Rest 10 seconds between moves.

  1. Right-Hand Dribble
  2. Left-Hand Dribble
  3. Right-Hand Crossover
  4. Left-Hand Crossover
  5. Right-Hand Behind Back
  6. Left-Hand Behind Back
  7. Right-Hand Inside-Out Dribble
  8. Left-Hand Inside-Out Dribble
  9. Right-Hand Inside-Out Crossover Dribble
  10. Left-Hand Inside-Out Crossover Dribble

Rest 2-3 minutes in between rounds. Repeat for 5 rounds.

Chaos Phase 4: Double Moves

The double move is one of the most chaotic moves in basketball, especially when it's performed during a sprint. The footwork must be perfect, and the handles must be tight or the drill will look bad. This is a great drill because you are either going to look perfect or pathetic. There is no in-between. You will know exactly how good you are the minute you finish a round.

Perform the following moves continuously up and down the court. Perform two moves during each trip down the court. Simply perform the move, take two dribbles while continuing to jog, then perform the move again. Perform each move down and back twice. Jog on the first down-and-back; sprint on the second. Perform the double move at each free-throw line. Rest 10 seconds between each move.

  1. Double Crossover
  2. Inside-Out Crossover, Right Hand
  3. Inside-Out Crossover, Left Hand
  4. Behind the Back Crossover, Right Hand
  5. Behind the Back Crossover, Left Hand
  6. Double Behind the Back
  7. Athlete's Choice

Rest 2-3 minutes between rounds. Repeat for 5 rounds.

That's it. Simple, effective, and extemely challenging if you push yourself and chase perfection.

Looking for more dribbling drills? Check out the Ultimate 60-Minute Dribbling Workout.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: BASKETBALL TRAINING | BASKETBALL DRIBBLING DRILLS | WORKOUTS | SPRINT | DRILL | CROSSOVER | DRIBBLING DRILLS | BASKETBALL DRIBBLING