Instead of describing specific drills or resources to improve your ball-handling, I want to give you a few principles that you can use during your workouts to ensure you improve.
1. Practice at Speed
- One of the biggest mistakes players make during training is creating an unrealistic environment by failing to practice at speed. The MOST IMPORTANT goal you have as a basketball player is to improve your game EVERY TIME you step into a gym. Therefore put yourself in game situations and pay attention to how you change pace during your workouts that mimic your movements in a game.
2. Multi-Level Coordination
- When you step on the court in a competitive environment you have multiple levels of distractions that will make it difficult to concentrate solely on the basketball in your hands. So when you train make sure you force your body to adapt to multiple levels of coordination using secondary objects or movements when you handle the ball. Using multiple basketballs, tennis balls, blocking pads, cones, and strength bands are great ways to improve your multi-level coordination.
3. Handle in Tight Spaces
- Make sure to handle the ball in tight spaces in order to train yourself to control the ball in pressure situations. Handling the ball in tight spaces forces you to get out of your comfort zone and improves the quickness of your hands and decision making in game-like situations.
Here are few keys to think about when developing your arsenal of 1 on 1 moves.
1. Develop Go-To Moves
- Every great player has a few moves that they will use consistently to beat defenders. Having a few moves that you become extremely comfortable with gives you the foundation to expand the creativity of your game as you become more skilled.
2. Develop Counter-Moves
- Understand that good defenses will often take away your initial move forcing you to resort to a secondary move if you want to get a shot off. The better your “Go-To” moves are, the more important it is to develop a series of “Counter-Moves”. A series of effective counter moves will increase the variety/effectiveness of ways in which you score the ball.
3. Build on your Strengths
- It is important to understand your strengths as an athlete and basketball player and to build on them. For example if you are a great shooter, you want to leverage that ability when practicing your moves. Figure out your greatest strengths and develop moves around those strengths instead of trying to become someone you’re not. We are not saying that you shouldn’t work on your weaknesses; we are suggesting that it would be counterproductive to model your game after skills that you don’t come naturally. For example if you are not an extremely quick or athletic player, trying to imitate Allen Iverson would do more harm than good. You could certainly take elements of Allen Iverson’s game, but you would want to develop moves that suit your skill set.
Check out our Videos for dynamic Ball-Handling drills.