Basketball Dribbling Drills Guide

Posted by Coach Chris on Nov 12, 2018

Basketball Dribbling Drills

Every basketball player should incorporate dribbling drills into their training because it's another way to be unstoppable on the court. When a basketball player can dribble the basketball well it makes them tougher to guard for the defense and a go-to player for the offense. And the secret is - you don't have to use fancy dribbling moves to make this happen.

All you have to do is dribble with confidence, use smart dribbles to get past their defender, and take care of the ball by not turning it over.

How do you make this happen? Practice your ball handling and dribbling skills.

Start by learning how to dribble with one hand and then alternate hands. Move to dribbling in one stationary spot then start to dribble on the move. As you get to the next level with your dribble, move from basic drills to advanced drills.

Keep progressing as you get better, stronger, and more confident with your dribble.

Warm-Up Dribbling Drills

Ball Handling drills are a great way to get your body warmed up before you start a work-out. Get your blood flowing and your body moving with these drills!

Ball Handling

  • Ball Slaps. Continuously slap the basketball from one hand to the other with a dribble in between each slap.
  • Ball Wraps - Waist. Wrap the ball in a circle motion around your waist.
  • Ball Wrap - Head. Wrap the ball in a circle motion around your head.
  • Ball Wraps - Waist & Head. Wrap the ball in a circle motion around your waist then move the ball up to wrap around your head. Alternate wrapping around your waist and head.

Figure 8 Split

Drum Dribbles

Front-to-Back. Start in triple threat position with your body sideways and your arm bar out protecting the ball. Start with your ball in your dominant hand and dribble your ball front to back. This will essentially be a letter “v” as well but done with the front to back motion.

Figure 8. Start the ball in your right hand and dribble the ball around your right leg. As it passes between your legs change over to your left hand. With your left hand, dribble around your left leg and as it passes between your legs switch back to your right hand. You’ll continue to dribble around your legs and change between hands as the ball passes through your legs - this should create a Figure 8 motion.

Beginner Dribbling Drills

Beginner drills are building blocks to your dribbling foundation. Once you're warmed up, these are the drills you should start with as you're working to improve you dribble game. There are countless drills you can do to practice your dribbling but here are our favorites.

Dribble V. Start in triple threat position and with the basketball in front of you dribble your ball from left to right. Your ball should bounce in the middle of your stance and should create the letter “v” when you go back and forth.

Crossover. As you’re dribbling the basketball, take a step with the foot that is on the same side as the basketball, push off that foot as if you’re going to go in that direction, and then push the basketball across the front of your body to the other side. Your basketball will essentially make the shape of a ‘v’ when you execute your crossover.

Behind the Back. As you’re dribbling the basketball, take a step with the foot that is on the same side as the basketball. As you do this, push the ball behind your back so that it hits the ground midway towards the opposite side of your body. When the ball is coming off the ground, you should be ready to begin dribbling with your opposite hand in the same motion. It’s essentially a crossover, but behind your back.

Between the Legs. Dribble the basketball in your dominant hand and step with your opposite foot. As you step, push the basketball towards the ground in the space you’ve created between your feet. While this is happening, be ready to catch the ball in the same dribbling motion with your opposite hand.

Blow By

Stutter Step

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Intermediate Dribbling Drills

When you're confident with the beginner drills take it a step further with intermediate dribbling drills. These will push your dribble game to the next level and continue to challenge you to get better with the bounce. Your beginner drills are the perfect foundation and intermediate drills are the right follow-up to use in your work-outs.

In & Out. As you’re dribbling the basketball in your right hand, place your hand on the side of the ball and start to push it across your body. Then as you’re looking as if you’re going to continue that way push off your left foot and cut back to the right while you shift your hand over the ball and push it back to the right. The most important part of this move is selling it to your defender so be sure to use your head, eyes, and left leg like you’re going to change directions. If you sell this move, it will definitely get your defender off balance for you to get by them.

Spin Move

Advance-Retreat. As you’re dribbling the basketball in your right hand take 3 big strides forward. After 3 strides forward, take 2 shorter steps back like you’re creating a little space between your defender. Then change speeds dribbling hard and fast forward again taking 3 big strides. After 3 strides forward, take 2 shorter steps back. You continue the 3 strides forward, 2 steps back as many times as the drill requires.

Spider Dribble. Start in triple threat position and drop the ball in front of you. Hit the ball with your right hand and then your left hand. Then reach behind you and hit it with your right hand hand and left hand. You’ll continuously try to hit the ball in front of you with each hand and then from the back with each hand. See how long you can keep your dribble alive!

Over the Top Cross

Machine Gun Dribbles

Advanced Dribbling Drills

When you have mastered the beginner and intermediate drills, it’s time to take it to the next level. Never stop doing these fundamental drills, but you need to work on these moves at an advanced level and here are some ways to make that happen.

2 Ball Dribbling Drills. If you think dribbling with one ball can be tough, try adding a second ball. At first this will feel really weird and every move will be difficult. Over time and practice, it will start to become second nature and your confidence in handling the ball will definitely increase.

In this video demo, Coach Trey shows you 5 of his favorite 2 Ball Drills:

  • 2 Ball Wipers. In a triple threat stance, dribble the basketballs at the same time and with the same motion - you’ll be creating a “v” by dribbling side-to-side.
  • 2 Ball Circle. Only one basketball will be dribbled at a time - and you’ll be moving them in a circular motion. As the ball in your right hand is hitting the ground, you’ll be passing the ball from your left hand to your right, and as this is happening the ball that just hit the ground is coming up to your left hand. About the time the ball comes up to your left hand you start over again with the ball now in your right hand hitting the ground. You repeat this pattern for the circular motion.
  • 2 Ball High-Low. In a triple threat stance, dribble one basketball high and the other basketball low. Do this dribbling in both hands: right hand dribble high; left hand dribble low and then switch to right hand dribble low; left hand dribble high. When you get comfortable, switch it up during the drill.
  • 2 Ball Consecutive Cross. In a triple threat stance, dribble crossover with both basketballs. Pick a ball that is always crossing in front and the other always crosses behind. Your basketball should be hitting the center point of your crossover at the same time.
  • 2 Ball Consecutive Between. In a triple threat stance, dribble crossover one basketball and between the legs with the other basketball. Your front basketball will be the one crossing over and the back one you’ll go between the legs. Your dribbles should be hitting the court at the same time otherwise you won’t be able to do this drill.

Tennis Ball Dribbling Drills. By using tennis ball while you’re practicing your dribbling skills it forces you to not watch yourself dribble. Your eyes have to be on the tennis ball or looking for the tennis ball. These type of drill will work on your reaction time and your ability to adjust in a matter of seconds.

Dribble with a Defender. There’s ultimately no better way to get better with your dribble than going against defense. Bring a partner with you to the gym and play against each other. Start out with soft defense meaning the defense doesn’t try to steal the ball. After a couple of times, pick up the pace and have the defense try and steal it from you.

NBA Dribbling Moves

Kyrie Irving Crossover & Behind the Back

Michael Jordan Between the Leg Jump Shot

Allen Iverson Killer Crossover vs Jordan

Steph Curry & Kevin Durant In & Out Dribble

Carmelo Anthony Jab At

Kemba Walker Double Jab Double Crossover

Basketball Dribbling Tips

Dribbling Tips

  1. Start and remain in a low stance. When you start dribbling, you want to be low so that you can dribble the basketball low as well. The lower you are the more difficult it makes it for your defender to steal the ball from you. Make sure you’re bending your knees – this gives you mobility while you dribble.
  2. Dribble the basketball low to the ground. This should be easy if you’re already in that low stance. Stay in your low position, bend your knees, and dribble the ball low to the ground to keep it protected.
  3. Use your fingertips. As you dribble, you want to use your fingertips and NOT your palm. You want your hands to have control over the ball as it bounces and your fingertips make sure that happens. Spread your fingers out across the basketball’s surface as you dribble so you have a wide and balanced contact area.
  4. Keep your hand on top of the ball. Each time the ball bounces up to you, it’s important to keep control of it. The palm of your hand should be directly over the ball so that as your dribbling the ball bounces right into your fingertips.
  5. Keep your eyes up. When you’re dribbling the ball, you do NOT want to be looking down; instead you want your eyes up at all times. With your eyes focused up, you’ll be able to survey the court and see if there’s an open pass to a teammate or lane for you beat your defender off the dribble.

Training Tips

  1. Don't Give Up. As you're getting better with your dribbling, you'll mess up! Don't get discouraged and give up. Instead, KEEP DRIBBLING!!
  2. Change Directions. You want to become an all-around strong ball handler and to do that you have to mix it up in your training. Change directions, change hands, and change drills.
  3. Go Game Speed. Try to make every drill as game-like as possible which means you have to dribble at game speed. Perform every drill as fast as you can so you're pushing yourself and makes you even more prepared for the games!

Basketball Dribbling Training Tools