Whether you’re a ballhandler, perimeter shooter or lane slasher, dribbling the basketball is a skill that should be second nature.
Elite female basketball players like Seimone Augustus, Minnesota Lynx G/F and MVP of the 2011 WNBA Finals (above), must be able to dribble effectively with either hand. “If you only dribble well with your strong hand, you can be overplayed to that side, making you virtually ineffective,” says basketball skills coach Hal Wissel.
The key to improving your dribbling is repetition, until the skills are ingrained into muscle memory. “Then you can devote full attention to the various actions and situations taking place on the court,” as Wissel says.
Master the fundamentals of dribbling by practicing the following drills, every day. Perform one set of 10 reps on each side, unless otherwise noted.
- Dribble ball from right hand to left, keeping ball below knee level in space no wider than knee width
- Keep non-dribbling hand up, change position of body and feet to protect ball
- Dribble ball through legs from back to front, switching hands once ball is through legs
- Change direction of dribble from front to back
- Kneel on left knee with right leg bent in front of body
- From front of bent knee, dribble around to one side and under knee
- Change hands and dribble behind kneeling leg
- Change hands again and continue back to start position
- Perform 10 reps
- Repeat on opposite side in opposite direction
- From seated position, dribble ball on right side for 10 reps
- Raise legs and dribble ball under legs to left hand
- Dribble ball on left side for 10 reps
- Lying on back, dribble on right side for 10 reps
- Sit up, raise legs and dribble ball underneath to left hand
- Lie back down and dribble ball for 10 reps