how to dribble a basketball
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How To Dribble A Basketball 101: Training Drills And Tips

Dribbling a basketball is one of the most important skills in all of basketball. It’s how you move around on the court and how you get open to take shots at the hoop. Whichever way you do it, many different types of dribbles can be used for various situations. In this blog post, we will go over how to perform these different dribbles. As well as how to improve them through drills and exercises. Finally, we will mention how crucial it is that every player knows how to properly dribble a basketball!

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Basic Dribbling, Step-by-Step

how to dribble a basketball

Have Control Over the Ball and Relax

  • Dribble the basketball with your fingertips, not your palm.
  • Keep the ball in control at all times and don’t slap or swat it away when dribbling. This leads to turnovers!
  • Hold the ball firmly but relax your hands; tense muscles tire easily.
  • Don’t grip the ball too tight; you need some feel for how much friction is between your hand and the ball  (e.g., how hard you can squeeze before slipping).
  • Spread out fingers on top of basketball instead of making a fist around it; this allows better bouncing off each finger individually for more powerful dribbles like crossovers.

Get Down Low, for Stability and Quicker Moves

Crouch low and dribble the basketball with both hands (this is called a double-dribble in basketball); this gives better ball control.

When to get down low: when crossing over, between the legs, or behind back to make quick moves around defenders; while using fakes such as jab steps and pump fakes; anytime you need more stability for power/speed of your move.

Get lower than the defender who’s guarding you so that they have less chance of stealing it away from you!

Don’t stay too high off the ground because then how will be able to change direction quickly?

Push the Basketball into the Ground

Push the basketball into the ground and then bounce it back up; this is how you can increase the speed of your dribble.

When to push: when speeding up for a faster move such as crossovers, between-the-legs moves, or behind-the-back moves.

  • Keep arms bent at around 90-degree angles. So that they are ready to shoot out forward quickly with less telegraph time (i.e., how long before uncoiling). If too high above the head, the defender will have more chance of getting in front of the shot/pass!
  • Bend legs slightly while pushing down on the ball to absorb some shock from rough court surfaces found outside gymnasiums. This also makes it harder to knock off balance.
  • Push fast but still in control to get the basketball up quickly; how quick this depends on how effective your move was!
  • Rotate wrists while pushing down on the ball. So that it rolls underneath your fingers instead of just bouncing off them, which increases speed even further!

Practice dribbling hard/fast by pushing into a wall or plyometrics box (e.g., Sklz Accelerator Pro). This helps players with ball security for moves during games when they are tired and need more speed without losing control of their dribble.

Protect the Basketball from the Opponent

Don’t let the opponent take your basketball away if you’re using it!

  • Protect the ball by keeping elbows close to the body and holding the ball out with the dominant hand. Instead of letting it dangle. This allows quick switching from one arm to another for more power when dribbling. This also keeps arms closer together. So that opponents can’t get between them as easily, which is how they might try to steal the ball.
  • To keep control, don’t bounce or tip-toe too much because this takes a high level of skill; only do these things during a crossover move. Where you need some extra height off ground (e.g., Allen Iverson’s signature move). If not necessary, don’t risk losing possession! Passes are always better than turnovers!
  • Don’t let the defender push you around off-balance, which is how they might try to steal it.
  • Keep them at bay by using your body strength and footwork. Especially with shoulder fakes if trying to get open for a pass or shot; this will keep the opponent guessing what move you’re going to make next. Because of how unpredictable basketball players can be!
  • If a player has quick movements like Allen Iverson (also known as AI) then jukes are a great tool too since defenders aren’t sure where he’s going without ever seeing him play before. This makes it hard for opponents to anticipate his moves.

Types of Dribbles in Basketball:

how to dribble a basketball

Ball Security

Dribble the basketball with two hands and keep the ball close to your side. This is good for someone who wants to protect the ball when they are in heavy traffic or need some type of space between them and their defender.

Low Dribble/Crossover

Dribble low while using one hand, usually done with a crossover move so that you can change directions quickly on defense if needed. Useful for beating defenders off the bounce instead of just pulling up for an open jumper all the time.

High Dribbling

Dribble high above your head which will allow you much more room than usual as it’s harder for opponents’ arms to reach out that far! A great technique when trying to get open for a shot or when you need more room than usual.

Behind Back

Dribble between your legs and reverse it again all in one motion, useful for getting away from defenders especially if they are trying to pressure you into giving up the ball!

Between Legs/Crossover Combo

Do both moves at once by crossing over with one hand while doing behind back motion with the other, a good technique since opponents may be expecting only either of these moves so this can throw them off balance! Try practicing each move individually first before combining them into one fluid movement.

How to Dribble a Basketball Under Your Legs

Use this move when you need to dribble past your opponent especially if they are guarding the ball too closely. This is how Allen Iverson used to beat his opponents and how he got so fast!


  1. Bring basketball up between legs and over the opposite shoulder, then swing it back underneath the other leg and behind out of harm’s way (just like a baseball player would do with their arms).
  2. As soon as the underarm comes around again, now bring it up high for more power against the defender by pushing off on side of the foot that was previously planted on the ground–this technique gives you maximum height without having to jump or exaggerate steps.
  3. Now quickly switch hands once you have control of the ball which should be in front of you at this point.
  4. Lastly, step forward with the opposite leg that was just planted onto the ground so you can gain better speed and direction to get past your opponent! Be sure not to take too big a stride however or it will make you an easy target for stealing again.

Basketball Dribbling Drills

Several types of dribbling drills can be used to improve how well players handle the ball–exercises like dribble-drive motions, figure eights, and multi-directional speed dashes are great ways for developing better skills.

More advanced training methods include crossover pull-ups where you keep your other hand on the side of basketball as it goes up so you don’t lose control!

Also, try doing them underhanded with both hands at once alternating between each one after every successful basket which will help prevent defenders from stealing it off either wrist/elbow area often!

Finally, practice how fast you can move by running through cones or obstacles without losing possession since this trains how quickly someone can change speeds or direction when needed. This helps show how likely you are to be able to beat your opponent off the dribble or how hard it is for them to keep up with you!

Remember that basketball dribbling drills don’t only have to happen on a court–you can also play games like “Around The World” where players run around cones in order, but if they touch one by accident then they must go back and start over again.

This will improve how well someone responds when under pressure while working on their agility at the same time so it’s double-duty training!

What is the Importance of Dribbling in Basketball?

With how important dribbling is on how players play their game, especially when they need extra space from defenders then going behind the back might give them more room while still being able to keep control over the ball instead of tipping toeing around which would waste time and slow things down.

how to dribble a basketball

Being able to change speeds quickly by either juking or crossing over also helps a player build up some speed and momentum if they need to get past their opponent. This is how players like Iverson and Jordan got so good at getting through defenders who were trying to stop them!


We have covered how to dribble a basketball, how to improve how well someone can do it, and some drills that one can use. We have also mentioned how important dribbling is in the game of basketball as an offensive move that helps players get past their defender or build up speed/momentum when needed.

We hope that this blog post has helped you learn how to dribble a basketball. If you have any further questions or comments then feel free to leave them below.

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