Build winning habits during your boys & girls basketball drills instead of just "going through the motions."
These 7 dribbling tips will help you focus on the "little things" so you can get more out of your ball handling workouts. Practice them consistently and you'll be amazed how your confidence and game-time performance improves.
It's easy for kids to develop bad habits when it comes to working on fundamental skills. Whether they get bored or tired or just plain lazy, if players aren't practicing hard and deliberately, they aren't making themselves better.
Beginning players become great players by learning to do the "little things" right.
This doesn't happen by accident.
Start with these 7 "little things," and I guarantee as you focus on doing each one consistently, you'll be instilling the habits that will help your young player enjoy more success on the court.
Even though it feels very uncomfortable at first, try to keep your head and eyes up as much as possible.
As you become more comfortable dribbling the basketball, this will become more natural, but it's important to start developing the habit from the start.
Don't worry if the ball gets away from you. That's to be expected at first.
By keeping your head up, you can see what's happening on the floor. For starters, you can see where the defense is so you don't dribble into trouble!
You can also see open teammates and open scoring opportunities.
In the middle of a game with all the defensive pressure and the chaos, is not the time to start learning how to keep your head up!
Dribble specs will keep you from looking at the ball
Push yourself to go as fast as you can while staying in control.
Basketball is a very uptempo game, and you have to be able to react quickly with the ball. You can't wait until the ball game to learn this skill. You've got to develop it on your own. Push yourself to go faster and faster, and you'll be surprised at the results!
All boys and girls basketball drills should be repeated with the right and the left hand.
I can hear the groans already!
So many players are one dimensional. They only feel confident using one hand. Do you know how easy those players are to stop?
All the defense has to do is overplay the dribbler to her weak side, and she's dead.
At the beginning, when young players are first learning how to play basketball, everything feels awkward anyway. There's not a better time to start working on both hands than now.
Focusing on this one small thing will put her miles ahead of her peers. And just think of the confidence she'll gain when she has more freedom to move the ball around the court.
To spice things up and make your girls basketball drills more game-like and more fun, use obstacles for "dummy" defenders.
It doesn't matter what you use; use your imagination.
Your "defenders" can be traffic cones, cracks in the driveway, trashcans, sticks, or even the family dog! Whatever you have available that can act as an imaginary defender will work.
Having an obstacle in the way keeps the ball handler from getting sloppy and lazy with her footwork because it forces her to actually go around something. She won't be able to charge through her defender in the game, so she needs to learn how to change direction and avoid obstacles now.
Perform each dribbling drill from one end to the other, and then return. On the return, it's a good time to switch hands.
Focus on keeping your eyes down the court (or driveway) and spread the obstacles around in various places, mixing it up to make it more challenging.
Set personal records and try to break them on each trip.
Can you get to the end faster? How about with fewer missed dribbles? How many times can you go down and back?
Any time you dribble toward the right side of the court, you should have the ball in your right hand. Same thing for going left. When dribbling toward the left you should always use your left hand.
This is a really important habit to develop!
It may not seem to matter while you're in your driveway going against a garbage can, but when you get in a game, the defender will steal the ball easily if you're dribbling with the wrong hand.
Each time you change direction, push hard off your outside foot and try to explode quickly. You need a quick first step to get by your defender.
Give these tips a try and notice the results. I guarantee they will make your boys and girls basketball drills a lot more fun as your young player experiences more success and confidence!