Ball Handling and Control Drills

From BasketballWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Drill Ball Handling and Control Drills
Drill Nickname "Daily Dozen" (Do 12 a day!)
Central focus of the drill Offense
Number of players required 1
Most appropriate age range(s) Youth, Middle School, High School, College or Above, All


These are drills that can be done individually to help improve comfort with the basketball, ball handling, and ball control. Over time players who develop a feel for how to control the basketball in a wide variety of situations are better adjusted to game situations.


There is no doubt that the more you handle a basketball, the easier it will be to control your dribble in a live situation! These drills can be done both individually or as a group.

Team Suggestions

If you do these with a group or at team, treat them as a competition! Work them into your practice as short daily segments that can become more challenging as the season goes on.

Practice Ideas

  • Dribble Relay - Have them practice the first time through, then the second is a competitive relay!
  • Short Interval Training Work ball handling for a 5 minute interval, 30 seconds each technique.
  • Work Ball Control into other drills Incorporate a ball handling technique into a shooting drill, executing it before each shot.
  • Warm-up - Use cones and have players go through a course allowing them to change speed and direction with their ball handling moves. Incorporate both bursts of speed and short, quick moves.

Single Skill Drills

  • Fingertip Touches - Holding the ball high in the air with hands extended, pass the ball back and forth between your hands above your head using only your fingertips to leverage and pass the ball.
  • Ball Slaps - For a short time, slap the ball with your hand while alternating hands to get a feel for the ball.
  • Head Circles - Circle the ball around the head, making sure to be moving the basketball not your head. Change speeds and change direction.
  • Waist Circles - Circle the ball around your waist. Pick up speed then slow down intermittently, switch direction.
  • Leg Circles - Circle the ball around both legs while your legs are together. Change speeds and direction.
  • Elevator - Circle the ball once around your head, down to the waist, down to the legs. In one motion continue back up to the waist, head, and then repeat the motion going up and down while maintaining control.
  • Individual Leg Circles In a half-lunge position, circle the ball around one leg and then the other.
  • Figure 8 Wraparounds - Controlling the ball bring it front the front of your body between your legs to behind your body in a figure 8 motion. Alternate sides and pick up speed. Reverse direction. Try to keep your eyes up. (
  • Between the Legs Alternating Catches w/ 1 Bounce Hold the ball between your legs with one hand in front of your legs and one behind. Drop the ball and let it hit the ground once, switch your front hand to the back and back hand to the front. Catch the ball. Repeat and pick up speed.
  • Between the Legs Alternating Catches (No Bounce)Hold the ball between your legs with one hand in front of your legs and one behind. Drop the ball and before it hits the ground switch your front hand to the back and back hand to the front. Catch the ball. Repeat and pick up speed.

Individual 1 Basketball Ball Handling Drills

  • Weak Hand Dribble - Dribble anywhere with the ball in your weak hand. The more you handle the ball the more comfort you will have when looking to utilize it.
  • Standing Crossover in Front - Keeping the crossover low, eyes up, going back and forth from left to right hand.
  • Standing Crossover through the legs - Same traits as the front crossover, but going through the legs. Do 30 seconds with your right foot forward, then switch to the left.
  • Standing Crossover Behind the Back - Note this is not a wrap-around.. this is a straight crossover from right to left and left to right behind the back. The ball should not curve around the body and should be below waist level.
  • Standing Wrap Around - Using one hand wrap the ball around the back causing the ball to move to the opposite hand with forward momentum.
  • M Dribble - 1 Bounce - Dribble the ball once in your left hand, crossover, dribble once with the right hand, crossover, repeat. Focus on picking up speed, keeping the eyes up, and maintaining control.
  • M Dribble - 2 Bounces - Same as above, but with two dribbles.
  • Around Single Leg - With one leg extended in front of the other, dribble with your right hand around the right leg. Use two hands for youth. After 30 seconds, switch to opposite leg out front with opposite hand.
  • Around Both Legs - Using both hands and feet together, dribble low and controlled in circles in a full circle around the feet.
  • Figure 8 - Dribble in a figure 8 pattern going from front going through the legs and wrapping around behind and then reverse direction to come from the back to the front through the legs.
  • "Spider" Dribble - Dribble the ball by tapping it lightly once with the left hand, once with the right hand in front of you. On your second tap, tap the ball through your legs to end up directly behind you. Tap it once to maintain dribble, and then tap it a second time to bring it back forward through your legs. Repeat this process and increase speed.
  • Single Hand Crossovers - Keeping the ball low and without carrying, cross the ball over in front of you back and forth side to side.

Two Ball Dribbling Drills

  • Two Ball Dribble - Utilizing both hands dribbling at once focuses on having the motor skills to dribble the basketball to an equal height level on both hands. Getting comfortable using both hands is an essential part of being a well rounded basketball player.
  • Two Ball Dribble - Both Low - Dribble both basketballs at mid-shin level maintaining the dribble by using your fingertips to control the basketball at its low position.
  • Two Ball Dribble - Both High - This time, control dribble both basketballs by maintaining a high dribble with both balls coming to shoulder height. You will need to really slam down the dribble to maintain this.
  • One High, One Low - Combine the previous two drills by dribbling one ball high at shoulder level and the other one low at knee level. This requires a good amount of coordination. Switch sides to start Right High, Left Low and then Left High, Right Low.
  • Double Crossover - Cross both balls over to the opposite hand.
  • Crossover/Wraparound - Cross one ball over to the opposite hand while executing a behind the back wraparound with the other.
  • Double Inside-Out Dribble (fake crossover) - Work on the fake crossover by doing an inside out dribble with both hands.
  • One through the legs, one out front - Similar to the double crossover, but one of the balls goes through the legs.
  • Through the Legs/Wrap-around - One ball crossed over between the legs, the other wrapped around the back. (Very tough!)