I've been zeroing in a lot on my ball handling for the past 6 months and have made a lot of progress from where I was. People actually respect my ballhandling, but I still have a lot of work to do.

-For one, my handles dont always translate to in game situations - My body is slow and not explosive -I still look kind of awkward when dribbling the ball even though I can dribble pretty well.

Keep in mind I'm a tight dribbler, but I'm also trying to work on my loose ball handling. Like think about Isaiah Thomas dribbling , which is tight, versus Jamal Crawford's dribbling, which is loose. I'm trying to develop both.

But now I've kind of plateaued in my progress.

My workout usually consists of many stationary drills going as fast as I can, like pounds, crossovers of all sorts, and stuff like that going at full speed. I also use a weighted basketball doing this. Then I'll do wall taps by dribbling behind the back, between the legs, etc. But this is just a warmup. It lasts 20-30 mins. The real stuff begins when I start going down the court.

So I get low, and go through this sequence at full speed down and back the basketball court

One hand V- Between the legs Between the legs forward Between the legs backward Figure 8 Dribble forward Between the Legs from behind forward Between the Legs from behind backward Tight Behind the back up the court forward Tight behind the Back up the court but moving backwards Loose Behind the Back moving Forward (It's like I'm not as low but I'm trying to cover as much ground as possible with each behind the back dribble)

Loose Behind the back moving backwards

Keep in mind in these drills I'm always moving fast.

My dribbling looks really awkward sometimes though, I have long thighs relative to the rest of my body.

I need advice in how to take my handles further

  • looks like you added a lot of informationt, have you searched about these topics and what have you found so far. Just by reading one article I find though dribbling and handling are related they are not the same thing, so separating them might help. Jul 8, 2017 at 17:50
  • Technically, sure, but I think it's mincing words. Ball handling and dribbling are generally interchangeable, depends on context. Technically "dribbling" is the action of dribbling the ball, but if someone is describing a skill set, most people will interpret dribbling/ball handling as the same thing.
    – A D
    Jul 16, 2017 at 16:05

2 Answers 2


Ways you can up your dribbling

On your own:

  • Do Drills (see youtube)
  • Learn and practice all the basic fundamental moves: crossovers, behind the back, in and outs, hesitations, spin moves, etc. The fun part is combining them all as a reaction to defense in-game. It's free-flowing open-ended creativity, like an art. See Allen Iverson, Pistol Pete, Kyrie Irving, etc.
  • Practice each move on different parts of the court
  • Imagine a defender in front of you and how you'd react in-game


  • Some of the best ball handlers aren't flashy, but they know how to control the ball. I've played vs PLENTY of "flashy" dribblers who I picked their pocket because they thought all it takes is flashy dribbling.
  • Focus on protecting the ball, instead of only on moves
  • Start thinking which move is most effective vs which defense
  • Study the defensive positioning of your defender and the help defense
  • Study other player's dribble moves and tendencies
  • Play a lot of 1on1 games vs different players! This is great practice to try out different moves vs real-game defense.

Best advice is to get in the game! Practice is great but a lot of growth comes from playing vs good competition. Practice dribbling and dribbling vs intense defense are two way different things. GL.


I'm actually going to take a different tact and expect that you have no real problems with ball-handling. Crossovers, between the legs, spin moves, whatever - mechanically, they're all pretty straightforward, easy to perform maneuvers with some practice. Of which it seems like you're getting plenty.

What differentiates an effective move from one that basically ends up just for show is whether you can beat a defender off of it. These moves are geared towards making a defender hesitate long enough for you to blow by them. While performing the move cleanly is part of it, the hesitation caused by the move is what you really need to capitalize on, and you haven't mentioned the key component of taking advantage of it - quickness.

Your first step or two after performing a move are crucial. They need to be decisive and quick. Watch any of the great ball-handlers and you'll see a common theme: insane quickness. Any great on-ball defender has the same attribute. They can change direction on a dime and get back in front of their man even if they get juked.

While your current drills will also help with quickness, dedicating 10-15 minutes a day to drills that focus solely on improving it will help you beat defenders off the dribble. There are tons of drills to help with this - agility ladders are among the best, and you can make them on a gym floor with some tape easily enough. You may not immediately notice the improvement and quickness, but those defending you certainly will. They'll also make your moves more quick and more fluid by improving your footwork without you even realizing it.

Lastly, practice these moves with a defender as well. Get your quickest buddy and play one-on-one with them. They'll help you learn how to use these skills in a real atmosphere and with some physical contact. Plus it's a lot more fun than just doing drill alone.

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