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How to Dribble Better in Basketball

by Peter Mitchell

Dribbling is a core basketball skill. Better dribbling gets you up the court quicker, lets you dodge opponents and helps you keep your eyes on the game for that crucial pass or drive. The key to better basketball dribbling is to dribble with purpose, according to "Winning Basketball" by Ralph L. Pim. Aimless or hesitant dribbling leads to mistakes and easy turnovers. You can build your confidence and purpose on the basketball court by focusing on basic dribbling techniques and a few extra tips.

Step 1

Practice dribbling with your eyes off the ball. Lift your head and look around the court for your teammates' moves and your opponents' positions.

Step 2

Bounce the basketball with your nonpreferred hand up and down the court. In your other hand, throw a tennis ball into the air and catch it as you move. This helps take your focus off the basketball and works your nonpreferred hand.

Step 3

Set up a line of cones on the floor of the basketball court. Dribble the basketball between them, switching your bouncing hand as you pass each cone. This helps you practice dodging around players on the court and using both hands to move the ball.

Step 4

Use your fingertips, not your palm to control the ball. Avoid slapping the ball with your palm. Instead, spread your fingers like a spider around the ball and keep them firm but flexible.

Step 5

Position your body between the ball and the defender, and keep low to the ground. This reduces the chance of a defensive steal or block. Bouncing low also helps with balance and control.

Step 6

Switch the ball between your hands by bouncing it under your leg. This helps add an extra shield between the opposition and the ball, and helps you work on your ball handling.

Step 7

Dribble the ball until you're ready to shoot the ball or pass to a teammate. Never stop dribbling until you're ready to make the next move or you will invite pressure from the opposition.

Items you will need

  • Tennis ball
  • Basketball
  • Cones


  • Try to practice with teammates and training partners to include passing and fast moves in your dribbling exercises.


  • Avoid training on slick, wet outdoor courts or you risk slipping and suffering an injury.

Photo Credits:

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.