Craig Musheno is the Director of Growth for Hustle Fitness and is an avid sports and technology fan. With Hustle, amateur coaches can get their players to the next level – download the app and get to work!
One of the first areas of the game to focus on with your youth basketball team this season is ball handling. This is more important than shooting, defense, rebounding, and even passing.
When a youth player can effectively move the ball up and down the court, they can easily change the outcome of the game. This is also the time to build those solid fundamentals — when the player is most open, and no bad habits have already formed.
And with that in mind, here are 5 of our favorite drills to develop youth basketball dribbling skills.
1. Dribbling Basics
Learn the basics by starting with a 1-handed dribble. It’s also helpful to explain double dribbles and carries, and show the importance of keeping the ball low while dribbling. Learn the correct posture for dribbling (in a low athletic stance) along with using your finger tips to dribble the ball around the court.
2. Kill the Grass Drill
For 30-seconds focus on dribbling in one place, but get creative with your footwork using spins and turns from side to side. If you were in the grass, your feet would wipe out the grass underneath them. To add an element that increases intensity, add a defender who stays in front of the dribbler.
3. High Ball Taps
Tap the ball quickly against a wall with your hand (left then right), keeping the ball high. This will help your players learn hand eye coordination, and give them the opportunity to build a better “feel” for the ball.
4. Protect the Basketball
When a defender comes running behind you and tries to tip the ball, you must be aware of where they are and use your body to protect the ball. While dribbling, keep your body between the defender and the basketball while maintaining control. This will teach your players how to protect the ball in pressure situations.
5. Alphabet Handles
Alphabet Handles is a whole series of ball handling videos based on the alphabet. These drills will give you a ton of ideas of what would work for your players, based on their skill level.
For youth basketball players, good fundamentals are key. And one of the most important fundamentals is quality ball handling skills.
If you’re looking for video examples of all these drills, and guidance on other drills to improve any aspect of your game, from shooting, passing and dribbling to rebounding, defending and conditioning, check out Hustle at http://hustle.fitness!