To handle a basketball like a professional takes only one thing. Practice and more practice. Especially if you favor the position of guard on a team, your ball handling workout skills must be top notch. A great ball handler has developed the skill to keep their eyes on the court, surveying all the time, while handling the ball as if it is a part of their body. Ball handling like it is 2nd nature is the path to greatness as a basketball guard. Even if you are not a super star scorer superior ball handling skills can make you the captain of the team.
Ball Handling Workout
The trick to developing superior ball handling workout skills is to employ the simple principle of training beyond what you want to accomplish. People training for the mile run train at 1.5 miles; if you want to do 50 sit-ups a day, train for reaching 60 per workout. Once you reach that consistently 50 a day is a breeze. The principle works in ball handling too. To become a proficient ball handler train for handling two balls, keeping your eyes down court. After you master that handling one basketball will be simple, something you can almost do with your eyes closed.
Start your ball handling workout with this drill. Start at one end of the court with one ball in each hand. Walk forward and bounce one ball at a time, using the hand you have as preference. If you are right handed, start with the right hand. Just before the first ball touches the floor, start bouncing the other ball. Then work at keeping that pattern going, each time bouncing another time just before one ball touches the court.
Move slowly down court. If you miss a bounce or lose control, start over at the baseline again. Your first goal is to get from one end to the other. Once you accomplish that, start your trip down court, with two bouncing balls, a little faster. Some people will progress faster than others will but anyone can get to the point where they are eventually sprinting up and down the court, eyes on the court in front of them, and with two balls dribbling effortlessly. If you think this is a silly drill, you underestimate the power and importance of the coordination this drill will give you. If you need further proof, go to a college or professional game or ball handling workout. You will see point guards practicing this drill.
That drill should be the first thing you practice every time you have a ball handling workout. Here are some drills for ball handling for use during the rest of your ball handling workout.
Ball Handling Drill A
Practice circling the ball around your head and keeping the ball moving drop it to your waist, circling all the while. Then, with your legs together move the ball around your legs at knee level. You should eventually be able to do this drill for two or three minutes without dropping the ball. This is a drill to build instinctive ball handling skills, improve coordination and speed at ball handling.
Ball Handling Drill B
If you are right handed, place your left foot ahead of your right. Bounce the ball between your legs from right to left hand and back again. Just as the ball arrives at your left hand, adjust your feet with your legs changing position. The goal is a change of leg position for each pass of the ball. If that is too difficult at first make it one leg position change for each two ball passes. This drill advances your coordination skills and as you become more advanced, the drill becomes an endurance drill as well.
Ball Handling Drill C
This drill is one of the hardest ball handling drills to master. If you can become proficient at this drill you are on your way to becoming an excellent ball handler with unique coordination and skill. Hold the ball between legs, standing with legs comfortably apart. Put both hands on the ball, one in front and the other in back. It is up to you, which goes where, what ever is most natural feeling for you. Now, without dropping the ball, switch the hand in front to back and the hand in back to the front. Do this as fast as possible and repeatedly. Try on every ball handling workout to do this drill for over a minute without stopping.
Ball Handling Drill D
This is a ball dribbling drill. As quick as possible dribble the ball in an eight figure through and around your legs. Use your fingers well as you dribble. Work at dribbling as low as possible and as fast as possible. Then change from one hand to the other changing direction of the figure eight each time. Eventually this gets easier and you can develop some of your own follow on dribble drills to add at the end of this exercise.
Ball Handling Drill E
This drill is to develop your handling skill when you are facing another team and under mental and physical pressure. Using one ball advance against two defenders and see how far down court from the baseline you can advance. You will eventually develop moves and ball handling techniques that work the best for you. A variation on this drill is to return to double ball handling up and down the court against two defenders. If you develop the ability to move two balls up and down the court against two defenders we may read about you in the newspaper or see you on television playing as a pro basketball player.
Ball Handling Workout – The Conclusion
These drills should be done in order A through E during a ball handling workout. Each day start with a different drill, rotating one drill each day as the starting drill. The more you work at these drills the better you will be at ball handling. These drills are used for a superior ball handling workout for advanced development of handling skills.