You may be struggling to improve your weak hand in basketball, but don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with some easy steps that will help you get a stronger weak hand. Your weak hand is important because it can give you an edge on the court when playing against other players who are more skilled than you. There are three simple steps to follow for getting a better weak hand in basketball: practice, practice, and more practice!
Why Must Basketball Players Improve Their Weak Hand?
Improving your weak hand can significantly improve your game. Let me rephrase that, let us turn your weak hand into your “less-dominant” hand. Players and coaches like to refer to your less-used hand in the sport of basketball as the “weak” hand.
However, it would be nicer to be able to turn it to your “less-dominant” hand. Meaning your less-used hand will be at par with your dominant hand, at least for the basic skills needed.
Being able to use both hands the same way in basketball allows you to gain various advantages over your opponents. Let’s take a look at some areas of basketball that improving your weak hand can help you in.
Three Key Components where both the strong hand and the less-dominant hand is needed?
This is one of the most basic overlooked aspects in basketball, the TRIPLE THREAT:
Once you are able to comfortably do these three things in the game, with actual defense, then you can take your game to a higher level. Let me explain.
- The most important is being able to dribble with both the left and the right hand. This is the most commonly used move to be effective in the court when getting by your defender.
- Being able to make simple passess with either hand is needed especially when facing defensive pressure
- You don’t necessarily need to shoot with your less dominant hand, but it’s necessary to at least make your lay-ups and other shots around the rim (floaters, hook shots, etc.)
- Once you become pretty decent with these 3 key components on your less-dominant hands, you’ll be able to rack up more points, more minutes, simply because your coach will have trust in your skills.
The secondary components would be:
These 2 components would make a player more complete, especially when being able to defend either at the perimeter or using either hand when closing the gaps or fronting the post player.
- Not having a “weak hand” means a player can have better reflexes both on ball and off-ball defense, regardless of which side of the court you are on.
- Rebounding with either hand can help your teammates start a quicker break than actually having to rebound and turn just one side of the ball.
Basketball drills to strengthen the less dominant hand
- Pound Low.
- Pound the ball as low and as hard as you can for 20 seconds.
- Pound High.
- Pound the ball as high and hard as you can for 20 seconds.
- Side To Side.
- On the front of your body, pound the ball from left to right, repeat for 20 seconds
- Front of the rim
- Stand 3 feet away, try to shoot the ball as similar as possible to your shooting hand.
- Try to make the same form, same arc, same balance, same follow through
- Do 50 makes!
The Mikan Drill:
- Regular Layup (both hands)
- Reverse Layup (both hands)
- Do 10 makes each variation
Dribbling with both hands plus added footwork:
- 4 basic components: (Crossover, Between the Legs, In n out, Behind the back)
- In this exercise, you should do it on both hands while slowly chopping steps.
- Do every component in succession while making at least 10 dribbles per hand
Boards / Tip-ins:
- This drill allows coordination and rebounding at once
- Throw the ball to the board on either side
- After the ball bounces try to catch with both hands and use left or right hand to finish the follow up before your feet lands
- Make 5 each hand and side
- For advanced exercise, catch and follow up with only 1 hand.
Kill the Grass:
- Do continuous dribbling variations for 30 seconds (Crossover, Between the Legs, In n out, Behind the back)
- Do everything in game-pace. Try to have and imaginary defender.
- FREESTYLING IS THE KEY
- Dribble THEN Finish
- Do any combo or dribbling not more than 5 seconds.
- Then, blow by and and attack the basket
- Make 5 layups with either hand
Further tips for continuous improvement
- Increase Your Reps
Gradually increase the reps of your workouts from week to week and sometimes from month to month. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and don’t be afraid to start slow. Make it important to have progress no matter what rate you are learning
- Use your less-dominant hand in your daily life
- Try opening doors with your left hand.
- Try brushing your teeth with your left hand.
- Try eating with your left hand.
- Basically, everything you normally would use your strong hand for, try using your other hand. It will be awkward at first, but you will gradually feel more comfortable. And this new found comfort with your left hand will carry over to the court.
- Practice on your “practices”
Make sure you use practices, pick-up games and scrimmages, to work on using your weak hand as well. Force yourself to use your less-dominant hand in less-important settings. These settings could be just pickup games, off-season games, drills with friends, etc.
Shooting With The Weak Hand In Basketball
We also want to stress the significance of developing weak hand shooting skills in basketball. You may initially think that your weak hands are horrible and that there is no chance that they can get any better, but the more you utilize them, the better they will get!
This happens because by using this weak hand for shots over time, our muscles will naturally grow stronger without us even realizing it until we start seeing improvements from not just practicing weak-hand workouts but from playing actual games too.
Injuries may occur if these players suddenly tried utilizing their weak hands during games because when someone exclusively practices with their dominant hand all day long, it can weaken their weak hands as well because those identical muscles won’t get much exercise at all.
How Long Does It Take To Develop A Weak Hand In Basketball?
It’s tough to say exactly how long it’ll take for weak hands in basketball. But you should see results after about a few weeks or even a month.
You should also ask yourself: Does this drill transfer to the way I play my game? If the answer is YES, then you know that what you’ll be doing is effective.
MAKE IT A HABIT to try and develop your less dominant hand. Always be confident in putting in the work. It’s always a hard, weird, or awkward feeling at first. However, once you get used to it, you will naturally gain confidence. And the improvements to your game will flourish with the proper time, effort, and consistency you put in.
In conclusion, weak hands can improve in basketball! It’s important to practice your weak hand so you get more comfortable using it, and also make sure not to do too much at once.
We hope this blog post has been helpful for those who have weak hands on their dominant side since there are a variety of ways they can improve these weak hands with enough effort put into them!
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