How To Properly Dribble a Basketball

Dribbling is one of the most basic and crucial skills that should be learned in basketball. It is used to travel from one area of the court to another, to get out of a tough defense, to wear out the remaining minutes of the game, and to shoot. Because of these, it is vital for anyone aspiring to join a basketball team to master dribbling.

Learning how to properly dribble the ball takes a lot of practice. Once you know the correct posture and hand movement in dribbling, you have to practice dribbling on a regular basis to get yourself used to its moves.

Here are the step-by-step instructions on properly dribbling a basketball:

  • Assume the dribbling posture. With your knees slightly bent, stand on the ground with your feet shoulder-width apart. Put your strong hand, palm up, in front of you and balance a basketball.
  • Dribble the basketball. Turn your palm over so that the basketball falls right on the ground underneath your palm. When the ball bounces up, push the ball back down by bending your wrist and your elbow, making sure that you only touch the basketball with your fingertips. Repeat these steps to continuously dribble the basketball.
  • Practice what you have learned. Allot time to practice dribbling the basketball properly. In this way you will develop your dribbling skill, and soon dribbling properly will be natural to you. This will enable you to take dribbling off your mind, making you concentrate more on what is happening on the court. You should practice dribbling the ball in place and while running for about thirty minutes to one hour.
  • Learn the types of dribbling. When you’re already comfortable with dribbling the basketball, you can now move up to learning the different types of dribbling. As mentioned earlier, dribbling is an important skill that is used in controlling the ball. Depending on what situation you’re in on the court, there are different types of dribbling that can help you win the game:
  • Low dribble. This type of dribble involves dribbling the ball closer to the ground than usual. The purpose of low dribbling is to avoid defenders from stealing the ball when you’re closely guarded. To low dribble, keep your hands a little lower than when you’re doing a regular dribble. This will make the ball travel shorter and make it more controllable. Keep your dribbling close to your side as you look around the court to plan your next move. Use your other arm to shield the ball from the defender.
  • Speed dribble. Speed dribbling is a type of dribbling you do when you’re running on the court and you’re loosely guarded. The aim of this type of dribbling is to enable you to move at your maximum speed without losing control of the ball. Unlike in regular dribbling where you push the ball right underneath your palm, in speed dribbling you push the ball forward and run after it. Make sure to keep the ball bouncing high, but not higher than your thigh to keep your control over it.
  • Change-of-pace dribble. This type of dribbling is used to escape a defender. This is done by slowing down the pace of your dribbling as if you’re coming to a stop. Straighten your back a little to lure your defender into thinking that you’re going to pass the ball. The moment your defender looses his defense, push the ball forward and run after it. You should be quick in doing this to prevent the defender from stealing the ball.

Make sure to practice your weaker hand in dribbling the ball. Playing basketball entails you to be skillful in dribbling the basketball properly with either hand to avoid defenders from abusing the weaker hand. Use your weaker hand as often as you can during practice plays to help it get used to dribbling.


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