How to dribble a basketball?

In this post, you will learn the basics of dribbling. A player in possession of the ball can only move while dribbling, so it is crucial to master the basic techniques.

Dribble a Basketball

To dribble well, work on these three points:

  • Position your body well
  • Control the ball
  • Dribble low

First, position your body well

In the triple threat position, place your hips slightly back to reduce the distance between the ball and the ground. Keep your back straight and your head up to get the most information around you.

Second, control the ball

To dribble, bounce the ball to the ground. Your hand should remain above the ball.

If during the dribble your hand goes under the ball, you commit a “carry off the ball”, and the ball is returned to the opponent.

With your fingers wide apart, touch the ball only with your fingers, never with the palm of your hand. Keep your wrist flexible.

Do not hit the ball but accompany it until the end of its descent. The ascent will be done automatically with the rebound force of the ball. Do not look at your ball, you should only feel it. To help you, fix a point far in front of you.

Third, dribble low

Never dribble higher than your hip. Ideally, your dribble should arrive at knee height. If you adopt a low and firm dribble, it will be difficult for a defender to take the ball from you.

On the other hand, if your dribble is too high or too slow, you risk losing the ball. Practice dribbling with both hands because in matches you will not always be able to use your strong hand.

To practice, you can dribble with two balls at the same time, dribbling lower and lower. It’s your turn!

How to dribble in Motion?

In this section, you will learn how and when to move around while dribbling. In basketball, dribbling is just one of the ways to move the ball forward, so use it wisely.

To dribble well as you move forward, work on these three points:

  • Protect your ball
  • Look ahead
  • Understand when to dribble

Protect your ball

Dribble next to you, with the hand farthest from your defender. Raise your forearm to protect your ball. When you change hands, immediately change the protective arm.

In a match situation, you will have to use both hands. So train even more with your weak hand.

Look ahead

When dribbling, never look at your ball. You must see the game at all times to react appropriately.

Understand when to dribble

In basketball, you should always favor the pass over dribbling, because the pass is often faster and safer. One can however find situations where dribbling is advised.

If you can dribble to pass your defender. In this case, it is important to tell the difference on your first dribble. If one or two players are pressing you, it may be useful to dribble to get clear and avoid getting caught.

If a passing line is not free, you can move in dribbling to improve your passing angle and join one of your teammates. If your teammates cannot receive the ball, you can use the dribble to advance to the basket.

To practice dribbling on the go, try to run the length of the court dribbling with a ball in each hand, looking straight ahead.

Paul Macdonald

Paul is an American former professional basketball player and current basketball analyst for ESPN. He primarily played the shooting guard and small forward positions, but occasionally played power forward later in his NBA career.


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