How to Dribble a Basketball For Beginners

There are only two ways to move the basketball up or down the court. You can pass it to another player or dribble. Learning to handle the basketball is a crucial skill for all basketball players to master. It takes discipline, control, and practice to learn the right way to dribble a basketball. All skilled basketball players possess some basic qualities when handling the ball. Once a player learns the basic principles of handling the ball on the court, they can be introduced to some more advanced dribbles.

Before learning the different types of techniques in dribbling, you want to make sure that you know what type of basketball you’ll want to have. You can read about outdoor basketballs by clicking here, or if you’re into indoor basketballs then you want to check this page out as well.

Dribbling Techniques for Beginners

Proper Stance

– The first step in learning to dribble is to assume the basic position. Crouch down in an athletic stance on the balls of your feet. Makes sure your knees are slightly bent to ensure proper balance. Keep your eyes up! A player’s basic instinct is to watch their hands, but when handling the ball they must maintain court vision.

One Hand Only

– Use one hand at a time when you dribble. Though it is important to dribble equally with both hands, only one hand can be on the ball at a time. If a player places both hands on the ball during a game, it is a violation called “Double Dribble”. Then the other team gets the ball.

Keep it Low

– The players goal is to keep the ball below their waist while moving. When close to the opposing team, dribblers often have the ball at knee level.

Guard the Ball

– The goal is to keep the ball in your possession at all times. The easiest way to maintain possession of the ball is to keep in in close proximity to one side of your body. Your non-dribbling hand plays an active role in guarding the ball from the other team.

Maintain Control

– The ball never moves without purpose. The player uses the dribble to direct the ball in the direction they are aiming. Dribbling is done only through the fingertips, not the palms of the hands. Using the palms to dribble will take away the player’s ability to control the ball.

After becoming familiar with the basic dribbling technique, a player can learn different dribbling patterns most commonly used in games.

Dribbling Patterns

Speed Dribble

– It is used when a player is trying to quickly move the ball down the court. Using this method be sure to never over run the ball. Keep full spectrum visual of the court. Bounce the ball waist high and avoid a traveling violation.

Crossover Dribble

– Dribble the ball from the right hand to left hand and vice versa. This can be used for pivoting directional changes. This method should be used with caution! An alert defender will high jack the ball if you are sloppy, so practice this method often if you plan to use it in game play.

Hesitation Dribble

– This offensive dribbling move is designed to throw off the defender, in the open court. This is carried out by putting the left foot forward, then pivoting backwards on the right foot. This move should be used with caution. This move distorts your center of gravity, leaving you open to lose the ball to the defender.

Behind the Back Dribble

– This is simply a “cross-over dribble” behind the back. The ball is moved from right hand to left hand and back again. This is also used for direction changes. The difference with this is that the offensive player is able to hide the ball, behind their back for a split second. This could possibly throw off the defenders ability to keep track of the ball. Use with caution! Sloppy ball handling leads to turnovers.

Between the Legs Dribble

– This is simply a “cross-over dribble” that travels between the legs. The ball is moved from right hand to left hand and back again. Use also for direction changes. The difference with this is that the offensive player is able to hide the ball between there for a split second. This could possibly throw off the defender’s ability to keep track of the ball. Use with caution! Sloppy ball handling leads to turnovers.

The more advanced player can explore additional complex dribbling patterns. The most important thing to remember is to dribble with purpose and always maintain control of the ball. Even the best ball handlers make practicing dribbling a priority.