To be a good player in the game of basketball, you need to learn how to dribble, simple as that. Sure, passing would be the preferred choice, but sometimes you need to get up the court yourself. When you perfect the dribble you can:
1. Go around defenders
2. Spot up on the fly without hesitation
3. Use your dribbling skills to draw defenders, leaving players open
4. Advance the ball without the need of anyone else
5. Create an open shot for yourself
Now, let’s take a look at the 5-step approach to dribbling a basketball.
1. Bend Your Knees
The first step in becoming a great dribbler is certainly your body position. You want to start off with your knees bent. Being in an upright position will allow low mobility and defenders to knock the ball away.
2. Fingertips Only
When you bounce the ball, the only part of your hand, that should be in contact with the basketball is your fingertips. Using your fingertips, you will create the control you need to bounce the ball left, right, back and forward. When you use your whole hand to dribble, there is less control, and you will find yourself picking up the ball a lot. A tip to keep in mind: if you were dribbling with a white glove the only parts that should show any dirt is the fingertips! Try to keep this in your head while dribbling.
3. Waist High
Keeping the ball as low as possible without losing any momentum is important. The lower the ball is dribbled, the harder is for the defender to pick it up. The ball should never be above your waist, or it will be stolen easily. Just remember Allen Iverson and his dribbling, and you will understand why keeping ball low is critical.
4. Hard Dribbles
The difference between a soft dribble and a hard dribble is a steal. A defender will have a much harder time trying to steal the ball if it’s bounced hard; they have less time to react to your move. It means you are one step ahead.
5. Eyes Up and Ahead
All basketball players should practice with the chin up and eyes ahead; never look at the ball. Even if your child is starting out, have them practice looking up while dribbling. When you constantly look down at the ball, you don’t see the defenders or your teammates ahead of you. You will eventually lose the orientation while dribbling around and you will find yourself at the dead end. All great dribblers see the entire court and plan their next move while they are crossing over and dribble.
Respect These Important Dribbling Drills
These five drills are the best drills if you want to become a better dribbler. However, there are much more out there, and you can combine those with the drills we mentioned. Remember, these drills must be a part of your everyday life if you want to be a successful basketball player.