Proper Ball Handling Technique
Everyone who plays basketball for the first time will basically dribble first before shooting. if you play basketball with other people, no doubt you know that dribbling is an essential skill to learn. It’s basically required before you can play with others. Otherwise, you are a walking travelling violation.
Learning to dribble a basketball is actually easy. But learning to master it is very difficult. Not all professional players can even handle the ball masterfully. Below we will discuss some tips and techniques in order for you to improve your dribbling skills.
Keep Your Head Up
One mistake that almost all newbies, and sometimes even veterans, commit, is facing down when dribbling. This is a critical mistake that has a big chance of resulting in losing the ball. When you are penetrating the lane and you are not keeping your head up, you won’t see what your opponents are doing. If you keep your head up, you can see where they might go for a steal or even take a charge. This also makes it easy to make a pass as you can see where your teammates are. When you are facing down, you cannot see them so your only option is to go straight to the hoop, making your move very predictable to the opponent.
Bend Your Knees
Another thing to take note of is proper form when dribbling. Aside from keeping the near the ground the entire time, bending your knees will give you a more stable hold of the ball. This happens because your core holds your balance, and when you bend your knees, it’s easier to balance your whole body, making your ball controlling easier.
Keep Your Dribbles Low
One of the most important factors to keep in mind is to always keep your dribbles low. Keeping your dribble low will give you the ultimate control of the ball, which is essential especially if you are deciding which way to go. Another benefit is that this will make swiping the ball from your hands very difficult. There are countless times that dribbling high will result in a turnover because it makes it easy for the opponent to steal the ball.
Probably the least sexiest, but the most important of all, is practice. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and ball handling is no exception. How do you think players such as Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving can dribble the ball like its sticking in their hands? That’s right, practice. They practiced until they perfected, or came close to perfecting, their ball handling skills. Practice will always improve your skills, regardless of what Allen Iverson says :).
Ball handling is skills are very important if you want to be a real ball player, but also keep in mind that dribbling is not everything. As your dribbling skills improve, you might not notice that you are holding the ball far too long because you tend to showcase your skills. This would be detrimental to team ball, as first and foremost basketball is a team game. Not also that, you might become a ball hog that nobody would like to play with. So keep in mind to not only practice your ball handling, but also other aspects of the game.