In order to be a complete basketball player, you need to be good at five things: shooting, passing, dribbling, rebounding, and playing defense. Along with developing a consistent jump shot, basketball players often find ball-handling to be among the hardest skills to improve.

While it isn’t easy, it’s very possible to develop a good dribbling game; all it takes is time, patience, and practice. Becoming a proficient ball handler will allow you to get to the basket, and it opens up the floor for yourself and your teammates.

Here are ten tips to help you improve your basketball handling ability:

  1. Use your finger tips to control the ball, not the palm of your hand.

  1. Dribble with your head up. Many of us have a tendency to look at the ball while we are dribbling it, but doing so in a game can hinder your court vision.

  1. Practice dribbling with your eyes close. This will make it easy to dribble the basketball without looking at it.

  1. Carry a basketball with you everywhere. Whether you are walking to practice, class, or the cafeteria, the ball should be in your hands. This will help you become more comfortable with the basketball.

  1. Practice by dribbling other objects such as tennis balls, racquetballs, and medicine balls.

  1. Use multiple basketballs. Many people tend to favor one hand over the other, but becoming an ambidextrous dribbler will make you that much better.

  1. Dribble up and down a court or your driveway. Go back and forth several times: first dribbling regularly, then switching the ball between hands, then behind the back, between the legs, etc. Repeat all of these moves until you are comfortable with them, and make sure to practice with both hands!

  1. Practice the Maravich drills. Named after the late, great ball-handler “Pistol” Pete Maravich, this series of drills is designed to improve your dribbling ability. Click here to view the drills.

  2. Practice these drills in an athletic stance, meaning a body position that you will play from in a real game. Don’t bend over or lean excessively to make the drills easier, this will not help you come game time.

  1. Play basketball all year long. The more you play, the more your practice, the better you get. It’s simple.

Basketball doesn’t have to be a winter sport. In fact, you can play it year-round when you join a league at Insports. Located in Trumbull, Connecticut, our 100,000 square foot indoor facility is home to a full-sized turf field and multiple hardwood courts. We host basketball leagues, tournaments, and open play all year long, click here for more information.