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Basketball Ball Handling Drills - DRIBBLING PROGRAM

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Running drills-while bouncing ball

1. Butt kicks

2. Knees to chest

3. Giant skips

4. Backwards jog

5. Carrioca run

6. Bounding

Have players do these exercises the full length of the court. When they reach the opposite end have them do the same drill coming back.

Ball Handling /dribbling drillsFinger tipping, stationary bounceHand slaps, push pullBody circle, spider dribbleLeg circles, scissor dribbleFigure 8�s, sitting on floor dribble.

There are many drills to choose from. Try and use new ones each session- Do these drill balancing on alternate legs

I. Beginner Drills: It's important for the beginner to develop a good foundation of ball skills using either hand. These four drills will help the beginner, or any player with a weak off hand, improve their overall or off hand ball control.

1. Perimeters (circle around 3 point line, lay-up)

2. Side to side's (over a line)

3. Over and back's (over a line)

4. Wall Dribbles

II. Hand Quickness / Coordination: This set of drills should be practiced with a success-fail approach. Complete a particular number of repetitions at a speed which you can successfully control the ball, then go faster and faster until you lose the ball (fail). As you practice these drills, you will begin to achieve higher speeds successfully. The end result will be hands that are quicker and more coordinated.

1. Circles (head, waist, legs)

2. Cyclones

3. Singles

4. Double

5. Figure 8

6. Figure 8 Rhythms

7. Rhythm

8. Double Rhythm

9. Pretzel

10. Lone Ranger

11. Blur I

12. Blur II

13. Slams

14. Double Slams

15. Crevier Slams

16. Machine Gun

17. Rotating Gun

18. One-arm Gun

19. Spider

20. Moving Spiders

III. V's The V-Dribble set of drills is as valuable as any stationary drill you can do. Each drill should be practiced dribbling at three to four different heights. Always remain in an athletic stance while you're doing a drill: feet wide, knees bent, back straight, head up. In order to equalize your weak hand with your dominant hand, practice 10 to 20 more bounces per drill with your weak hand. The V-Dribble greatly improves your ball control by training your hands to bounce the ball in a variety of ways.

1. Side-to-Side

2. Side Saddle

3. Inside-out

4. Crossover

5. Inside-out Crossover

6. Between Legs

7. Behind Back

8. Once and Arounds

9. Circles

10. Blur V's

11. Double Taps

IV. Figure 8's: The important thing to remember in practicing the Figure 8 drill series is that each drill should be done at two height levels: low and high (no higher than just above the knees). Remember this: you will bounce the ball between 500 and 1000 times in 10 of 15 minutes of practice. You are significantly improving your touch and feel for the ball, which translates into improving your shooting touch. Every drill should be done from both the front side and the backside.

1. One and Ones

2. Threes

3. Tap threes

4. Twos

5. Tap Twos

6. Ones High

7. Ones Low

8. Zero High

9. Zero Low

V. Wrap Arounds: The concept behind this set of drills is simply to further improve total ball control and coordination by practicing one hand-one leg wraps and progressing to more difficult 2-ball drills.

1. Front side Wraps

2. Backside Wraps

3. 2 Ball Front side Wraps-Alt

4. 2 Ball Back side Wraps-Alt

5. 2 Ball Front side Sims

6. 2 Ball Backside Sims

7. 2 Ball Front side + 1

8. 2 Ball Backsides +1

9. Moving 2 Ball Front side Alt

10. Moving 2 Ball Backside Alt

11. Moving 2 Ball Front sides +1

12. Moving 2 Ball Backsides +1

VI. Moving Dribbles: These drills are designed to help you maximize your ability at making game-type dribble moves. Practice the moving dribble drills up and down the court as well as in a 1/2 court 1-on 1 situation.

1. Between Legs: Walking, Skipping Running, Speed Skips, zigzag

2. Behind Back: Walking Once and Arounds, Jogging Once and Arounds, Running Once and Arounds, Whips-Skips, Zigzags

3. Spin Reverse : zigzags

4. Inside-out: Continuous Stutter-step, running

5. Combinations: Between Legs crossover, Between Legs-Behind Back, Inside-out crossover, Between Leg-Behind Back -Crossover, Between Legs X 2-Behind Back, Hesitation-Crossover.


THE SLIDE OR THE LADDER - a passing, catching and footwork drill

1. Line up all but 1 of your players on the baseline, facing the opposite

basket, about 4' or so apart. For the sake of simplicity, let's number them 2

- 10.

2. You need 2 balls

3. The 1 player has a ball and stands about 8' away, facing # 2 who is at one

of the ends of the player's line.

4. # 2 now has a ball and the 1 player facing them has a ball.

5. The 1 player passes to # 3, the #2 passes to #1, who passes to #4, while

catching the pass from #3. #1 passes to the next person in line, while

catching a pass from the last person they threw the ball to.

6. Players 2-10 never move, except to step into the pass they are receiving

from #1.

7. # 1 slides their feet as they move down the line catching and passing.

They never cross 1 foot in front of the other as they move, THEY SLIDE FROM


8. Once #1 has made it to the end, they go the other way and pass to 9, while

receiving a pass from 10. When they make it back down to # 2, then it's #2's

turn to do the drill. #1 now takes a place in line.

Here's my attempt at a diagram. Quit laughing, at least I'm trying.

2 3 4 5 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

After 1 passes to #3, 1 slides right while receiving the pass from 2, They

constantly are sliding right as they pass. Once they get to 10, they go back

the other way. Do this until everyone has been back and forth once.


This is a SET of ball handling drills using the following pattern. Draw a

basketball court with halfcourt line and both free-throw lines. Number the

following positions on your drawing.

#1 = Bottom right hand corner of court, where baseline meets the out of bounds line.

#2 = Middle of closest free-throw line

#3 = Where halfcourt meets the out of bounds line on the right side of the court.

#4 = Middle of farthest free-throw line

#5 = Farthest corner of court where baseline meets the out of bounds on right side of court.

Folks, if you draw a line from 1 to 2, 2 to 3, 3 to 4, and 4 to 5, this should look like a zigzag on the right side of the court.


A. Player starts on 1 and dribbles to position 2 left-handed.

B. At 2 they do a crossover, and dribble right handed to position 3

C. At position 3, they do another crossover and dribble left handed to position 4

D. At position 4, they do another crossover and dribble right handed to position 5

When they do their crossover, they dribble lower to the ground while switching their dribbling hands.

SPIN MOVES using the same positions 1 - 5 as in the Crossover Drill

The player runs the same route, 1-5. Every time they reach a numbered position, they use a spin move to change their direction and dribbling hands.

BEHIND THE BACK using the same positions 1-5

The player uses the same route, 1 - 5. Every time they reach a numbered position, they do a behind the back pass to themselves to change direction and dribbling hands.

DUCK WALK OR FIGURE 8'S a ball handling drill

1. Have the player do a figure 8 between their legs with the ball.

You can learn this movement while you sit in your chair reading this. Go grab a ball, a book, even a pen. Let's say you have a book. Now hold the book in your right hand in between your knees. Take the book under your left knee, and reach down and grab it with your left hand. Take the book in your left hand and take it on the outside of your left knee, then take it under your right knee and hand it to your right hand. Voila, you now have a figure 8.

This is how your players must do it with a basketball, just not sitting down.

2. Duck Walk = Have your players on the baseline with a ball. They do a figure 8 between their legs while they walk the length of the court. When they get good at this, have them walk backwards and do it.

Once the players get accustomed to these drills, you can do all of them in 15 minutes. For the younger players, this may be all the ball handling drills you need to teach them for a while. If your 3rd grade through 7th grade team

can all do crossovers, behind the back, spinmoves, and the rest of these moves, then they will be one of the best ball handling teams in your league.

One thing to remember, these drills are for your forwards and centers as well. The kid who is your center today, may not grow anymore, and may be your guard 2 years from now. Everyone should become a ball handler.


Ball Handling Drill #1: 1 ON 2

Divide the court in half lengthwise. Make up groups of three players to do the drill. You should have two groups going at a time. One on each each half of the court. Give a ball to each group. One player on each group is on offense and the other two are on defense. The offensive player must reach the other end of the floor, trying to beat both defenders. If a steal or deflection occurs, the offensive player gets the ball back at that spot. At the other end of the floor, the offensive player moves to defense and one of the defensive players goes to offense and they come back. Then let the next groups go.

Ball Handling Drill #2: 4 SPEED DRILL

This drill must be done on an open court. Have the players ready for the 4 dribbling drills starting at the endline. When the whistle starts, the player/s must dribble starting with either hand then perform the cross-over dribble, between the legs, behind the back dribble and the spin dribble. Each dribble must be performed each step. Meaning if we have 4 kinds of dribble, the player must accomplish all 4 dribbles at four steps. After they accomplish the 4 dribbles, they already accomplish 4 steps at the same time...

Ball Handling Drill #3: 5 MINUTE CIRCLE

This drill, devised by the great Pistol Pete Maravich is an excellent drill for developing ball-handling and dribbling skills.

For this drill, all you need is a basketball and a circle to dribble in. (i.e. free-throw or half-court circle). For anywhere from three to five minutes you dribble in the circle using all dribbling moves that you know of, i.e. crossover, behind the back, spin, change of pace, under the legs, inside out, etc.

Do not leave the circle and do this drill as rapidly as possible without rushing. Start one day at three minutes and add a minute everyday until you can reach five. You should feel tired after completing this drill.


As the line jogs around the outside of the court, the ball at the front is passed back over the heads of the players, and the ball at the back is dribbled forward through the line, weaving between the players. As the ball reaches the back, it is dribbled forwards, when the ball reaches the front, it is passed back over heads.

Ball Handling Drill #5: DRIBBLE ATTACK

At the half court circle place the first 5 or 6 players, each with a ball, they start to dribble within the circle trying to maintain their dribble while attacking the other players within the circle trying to knock their ball away. If a player loses his dribble/stops his dribble or is out of the circle, he then leaves the circle and passes to the next player in line. This teaches them to keep their heads up, use their peripheral vision, protect the ball and maintain their control upon contact, switch hands and keep calm upon pressure.

Ball Handling Drill #6: GO SOMEWHERE WITH IT!

One person with one ball...From the free-throw line they get one dribble for a lay-up. From half-court they get two dribbles for a lay-up. From three-quarter court they get three dribbles, and from baseline to baseline they get four dribbles.

Hopefully, what they will get out of this drill is the confidence to take the ball from the wing and explode to the basket using one or two dribbles.

Ball Handling Drill #7: LOW DRIBBLE FIGURE EIGHT

You start with a low dribble then go around both of your legs in the shape of an eight. First do it with your off hand then go with your good hand, then use both. When you do this drill you have to keep your head up!!! If you don't you won't improve yourself! Be patient you'll lose control of the ball often when your first starting out but after you practice hard you will find that it helps you a lot! Good Luck and always do your best. Push yourself hard or you'll never find out what you can do.

Ball Handling Drill #8: VISION TEST

A coach stands at the FT line. Two players are standing on the box on each side of the lane. Player dribbles to coach, full speed, head up, from half court. At top of circle, comes to a jump stop with both feet available for pivot. One of the post players raises his hand as a signal to get him the ball (don't shout 'ball.' In this drill we want to make sure the dribbler is developing court vision).

The dribbler pivots off the appropriate foot, spinning around and sealing off the coach (i.e. drop step around and seal on hip), and makes a 'step around' bounce pass with the correct hand to the post player's outside who then drop steps for an uncontested lay-up. The passer follows up his pass and takes shooter's place. After you shoot, go back to line at half-court.

Ball Handling Drill #9: SKIP DRIBBLE DRILL

The player stands and moves his legs in a scissors-like fashion, with his toes pointing straight ahead. The player should keep his back straight and should not bend over.

The player dribbles the ball through his legs from front to back, from one hand to the other, as he jumps and shifts his feet.

The player should try to complete fifty to one hundred bounces without making a mistake.

Ball Handling Drill #10: CROSS-0VER AND SPIN DRIBBLE

This is a combination of a crossover and a spin dribble. Dribble hard to the first cone and as you approach the cone, plant your outside foot and change direction using a low crossover dribble on this quickly plant your inside foot and execute a spin dribble.

It is easily taught when the spin is done with the right hand, which is the dominating/ strong hand of most of the players. So you start you dribble with your left hand, do a crossover with your left hand and a spin dribble with your right. Continue till the last cone then finish it with a lay-up shot.

Ball Handling Drill #11: BEHIND THE BACK DRIBBLE

Dribble, as fast to the first cone, when you approach the cone, your body should be forward in front of the ball. Quickly pull the ball with your wrist, fingers then arm around you back to change direction. The ball should be waist high. As the ball changes direction use your off hand and body to shield the ball. So on keep going changing hands using behind the back dribble till the last cone then goes for a lay-up shot.

Ball Handling Drill #12: YO-YO DRIBBLE

This is a combination of crossover on a crossover dribble. This is a dribble to deceive and commit the defense. As you plant your outside foot to change direction you use a low crossover dribble from right to left and left to right and speed up dribbling the ball waist high as you approach the next cone. Continue until you reach the last cone then take a lay-up shot.

Ball Handling Drill #13: KNEE CLAP

Stand with your feet together and bend over like you are going to touch your toes. Place the ball behind your knees. Let the ball go, clap your hands in front of your knees and catch the ball before it hits the ground. This is a very hard drill, but is a real good hand quickness drill. When you can do this...You have quick hands!

This is a drill Pistol Pete developed and used. He was the best ball handler ever!!

Ball Handling Drill #14: KG DRILL

Bounce the ball off the glass. Make a sudden move such as a fake crossover. Do the move three times while heading down the court. Once at the three point line, once at the half court line, and again at the other three point line.

Ball Handling Drill #15: PING-PONG

Start at one end of the court with ball in either hand. Run down the court throwing the ball under the legs! If you drop the ball while running up and down the court you are out. The last player still performing the drill is named the Champion!

Ball Handling Drill #16: RICOCHET

Hold the ball at chest height with both hands. You then bounce the ball between your legs. Move both hands from front to back, catching the ball behind your back. Attempt to slam the ball through your legs as hard as you can.


Your only contact with the ball should be your finger ends, not the pads. The palm and other parts of the hand do not touch the ball. Overdoing the hold this way is most beneficial.

4. Hold the ball as much as possible at home while watching TV or listening to the radio or music. It is said that the great Pete Maravich slept with his basketball and held it during his sleep!

Ball-Handling Drills

Do ball handling drills at the start of nearly every practice and throughout the entire season. Players can really improve their ball handling skills by the end of the season. Very importantly, these drills can also be done at home, in the off-season, without the rest of the team. We have one of our better ball handlers lead the drill, and face the team. All the other players line up in rows facing the leader, and spread out so they don't get into each other's way. Everyone has a ball.

These are the drills: Do each one about 30 to 60 seconds and then move to the next one. With all of these drills, try to keep your eyes forward, without looking at the ball.

Finger Grabs:

Hold the ball with the fingertips, squeezing it while rotating it back and forth from hand to hand. The ball should not touch the palms of the hands.

Pound the ball:

Pound or slap the ball hard from hand to hand.


Move the ball in a circular motion around one leg, then the other leg. Then circle around the back. And then circle around the head. Then combine them and move the ball in circles around your head, then down your body, down around your knees, and then around your ankles. Then come back up again. Be sure to use your fingertips, not the palms.

Figure Eight�s:

Spread your legs out wide with the ball in front of you. Move the ball around through your legs in a figure-of-eight motion. Keep your eyes forward and don't let the ball hit the floor. After 30 seconds, reverse the direction.


Tip the ball back and forth from one hand to the next, starting with your hands straight up over your head. Then gradually move the ball down, while continuing to tip it back and forth. Go down to your chest, then your waist, knees, and ankles, and then back up again.


Put the ball between your feet and grab it with both hands. Start with the left hand behind your left leg and your right hand in front of your right leg. Drop the ball and let it bounce once. Quickly, move your left hand in front of your left leg and your right hand behind your right leg, and catch the ball as it bounces up. Drop it again and switch your hands back to the original position (left behind, right in front) and catch it. Repeat this motion continuously. For a more difficult variation, try catching the ball before it actually hits the floor!

Dribbling Eight�s

This drill is similar to the ball-handling Figure Eight�s drill except now the ball is dribbled through your legs in a figure-of-eight motion. Use both hands and be sure to look up while doing this drill.

Up and Downs

Start by dribbling the ball in front of you so that the ball reaches your waist high. Gradually, bounce the ball harder and harder until you are dribbling the ball as high as you can without jumping. Then gradually dribble the ball lower and lower until you are on one knee, finishing as close to the floor as possible. Pound the ball quickly to keep it going. Then do it with the other hand.


Dribble the ball waist high, then suddenly "kill" it by dribbling it as low as you can, hold this for a few seconds, then bring it back up to waist high. Do this several times with each hand.

Circle Dribbles

This drill is similar to "Circles" except now the ball is dribbled.

Dribble around your left leg then your right. Next, using both hands, dribble around both legs, which should be together. Next, kneel down on one knee and dribble around your body and under your leg. After that, switch knees and continue. Then, while on your knees, dribble around your body, using both hands.

Back and Forth Between the Legs

Get crouched over with your right knee and leg forward. V-dribble the ball behind the extended leg. Repeat behind the other leg

Crossover Dribbles

Dribble with your right hand. Bounce the ball once on the right side, then cross the ball over in front of you by bouncing it to the left. The left hand now bounces it on the left once, and then crossover back to the right, where the right takes over again. Repeat this procedure.

V-Dribble in Front

Start with the right hand and dribble once on the right side. Then dribble the ball in front you, as if you were going to cross over to the left side. Instead of getting it with your left hand, roll your right hand over the top of the ball, and bring it back to the right. Keep dribbling like this: right then cross over V-dribble. Repeat with the left hand.

Coaches... have your players do the above stationary drills for 5-10 minutes at the start of each practice.

Then do 5-10 minutes of moving dribbling drills (control dribble, speed dribble, crossover dribble, in and out dribble, hesitation dribble, behind the back dribble, and through the legs dribble...see Dribbling). Have your players practice each of these dribble moves. Have them line-up along the sideline, and dribble from sideline to sideline right-handed, and then back left-handed. Do each of the moves down and back twice. You will see definite improvement in your player's ball-handling skills by the end of the season.



Basic Information: Perhaps the simplest, but, most effective move there is in basketball. Requires only a minimal amount of ballhandling ability, given that the ball remains in the same hand during the move. The beauty of the stutter-step is that a good defensive player must honor the move by momentarily freezing his body. He does not want to risk making the wrong guess and, by extension, getting burned by the man with the ball. In essence, you are penalizing the defender for playing good defense, a rare opportunity to take advantage of somebody who is responding just as he should be.

How to do the stutter-step move: Stand at one end of the court. Place the ball in your right hand. Begin to jog down the floor, dribbling the ball in your right hand. After four dribbles, step down harder than usual with your left foot�if done correctly, your shoe should squeak on the gym floor�bringing your upper body to a momentary stop. Quickly follow this hard step with two or three more hard steps�i.e. right, left, right, left�which will successfully give your defender the illusion that your next move could go either right or left. Then, re-start your dribble in your right hand, without changing your direction to even the slightest degree. If heard on tape, the stutter would sound like: rat-a-tat-tat-tat, and then the defender uttering some unprintable expletive at realizing he�s just been beaten.

Keys to Effectiveness:

1. Keep your back straight during the stutter; balance is key in this move. If you lean forward, the defender will realize that you are planning on continuing straight towards the rim, and your stutter step will be rendered ineffective.

2. Do not stutter step for too long, if you do, the defender will be able to regain his

bearings, and will be prepared for your next move.

NBA Players with a great stutter step: Allen Iverson, Latrell Sprewell.


Tennis ball drills- 5 min- dribble a tennis ball around like u would a


Backwards dribble running- 1 minute- dribble while running backwards

Windmill around legs w/dribble- 1 minute- dribbling between legs in a

windmill type motion

V-dribble between legs-1 minutes between each leg-dribble between one leg for

a minute then switch legs

Dribble behind back- 1 minute- dribble behind your back

Defense dribble- 2 sets of 50 dribbles with each hand- in a crouch position

Like you are under pressure with your guide hand up to keep defenders away

dribble low and hard as fast as possible

Figure eight dribble- 1 minute- while walking dribble between your legs

1-minute rest

Pound 1, 2, crossover- 1minute each hand- dribble twice then crossover and

repeat then switch the hand u do the pound 1,2

Spider dribble- 2 minutes

Side v dribble- 1 minute on each side- like the yo-yo dribble with the ball

at your side dribble back and forth

Front v dribble- 1 minute with each hand- same only in front side to side

Between the legs behind the back- 1 minute each direction- dribble between

your leg and then immediately behind your back then switch the leg you are

dribbling between

Dribble with right hand two minutes dribble with left hand two minutes

1-minute rest

Windmill around legs w/o dribble-1 minute each direction- around your legs

in a windmill motion without dribbling then switch directions

Circles around head- 2 sets of 50 each direction

Circles around waist- 2 sets of 50 each direction

Circles around ankles- 2 sets of 50 each direction

Circles around individual leg- 2 sets of 50 each direction

1 minute rest

Fingertip taps in front of body- 50 taps- stick your arms out and tap the

ball back and forth repeatedly

Crossed leg circle dribbles- 1 minute- sit crossed legged and dribble around

your body

Different strokes- 1 minute each way- kneel down trying to dribble as low

and fast as possible, first dribble with both hands, then pinkies, then ring

fingers, then middle fingers, then pointer fingers, then thumbs, then karate

chops, then with the back of your hands, then fists

Sit on a chair dribble under legs - 3 minutes

Laid back dribble- 1 minute- lie down and dribble behind your head

Walking reverse crossover dribble- 1 minute- walk and dribble under your leg

to the other side and repeat

Dead ball- do drill 15 times with each hand- while kneeling place the

basketball in front of you on the ground then with your right hand hit the

basketball with the back of your hand causing the ball to bounce up then

with your palm try to get the ball to dribble

Lights our dribbling- 3 minutes- dribble in a dark room and do all the moves

you can think of

Do this workout 5 times a week

Try and always keep tapping on something.


Exercise Minutes

Dribble � minute each hand (1 min total)

Thru the Legs Hi 1 minute each leg (2 min total)

Thru the Legs Low 2 minutes each leg (4min total)

Inside out Dribbles � minute each hand (1 min total)

Fake 2 cross 2 minutes

Pound 1, 2 cross 1 minute

Yo yo dribbles 1 minute each hand (2 minute total)

Behind the Back 1 minute

Stutter Drive 2 minutes each hand/side (4 minutes total)

Cross Jab 1 minute each hand (2 minutes total)

Figure 8 1 minute

Spyder Dribble 2-3 minutes

Chair Dribble 3-5 minutes


Get on your knees and dribble the basketball back and forth. �2 minutes

Dribble a tennis ball in the dark and off a wall for at least 5 to 10 minutes.

Dribble as hard as you can walking forwards and backwards with your head up. -2 minutes each hand, 2 minutes both hand.

Get in crouched position and dribble the ball with one hand through each one of your legs, do at least 10-20 times without messing up.

Stand with your knees and slap the floor with both hands as hard as you can.-30 seconds

Stand still and dribble the ball in and out your legs without moving your legs, keep your back straight and head up-at least 50 reps forward and reverse.

Bend over as low as you can go and dribble the ball as low as you can off the ground as quick and as hard as you can. 2 minutes with each hand, 3 minutes with both hands.

Sit down in midair as if there was a chair and keep the position. Then dribble behind your legs for 1 minute.

LASTLY, dribble all the time, do full court dribbling drills while going as fast as you can, run in a big open space dribbling the ball hard with your head up, and run track while you are dribbling.

Number of Players:









This basketball drill is licensed under a Creative Commons License. This drill is from Pl Degerstrm at www.degerstrom.com/basketball.

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