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Ball Handling

Any short player that can't ball handle might as well kiss their basketball career good-bye. Playing one-on-one without the proper ball-handling skills can lead to embarrassment.

First of all some basic tips:
1)ALWAYS keep your head up.
2)Never Dribble without a purpose. Don't waste your time dribbling and not know what your doing - thats how you get trapped and get the ball stolen.
3)Use the hand farthest away from the defense (i.e if your driving left use your left hand).
4)And because of tip number 3 always work your off hand when you go out to play ball. Your not gonna improve its feel for the ball without playing with it.
5)DO NOT use your palm when dribbling. Only use your fingers, fingertips (main part), and your wrist.

The following programs WILL help you improve your handles.

1)Skip to Mah Lou's Program
2)Crazy Handles Program

And then theres the Moves Section

The Famous "Skip to Mah lou program"

"Tennis ball drills- 5 min- dribble a tennis ball around like u would a basketball
Do these drills with wrist weights or gloves Backwards dribble running- 1 minute- dribble while running backwards
Windmill around legs w/dribble- 1 minute- dribbling between legs in a windmill type motion
v-dribble between legs-1 minute between each leg-dribble between one leg for a minute then switch legs
dribble behind back- 1 minute- dribble behind your back
defense dribble- 2 sets of 50 dribbles with each hand- in a crouch position like you are under pressure with your guide hand up to keep defenders away dribble low and hard as fast as possible
figure eight dribble- 1 minute- while walking dribble between your legs
1 minute rest
pound 1, 2, crossover- 1minute each hand- dribble twice then crossover and repeat then switch the hand u do the pound 1,2 in
spider dribble- 2 minutes
side v dribble- 1 minute on each side- like the yo-yo dribble with the ball at your side dribble back and forth
front v dribble- 1 minute with each hand- same only in front side to side
between the legs behind the back- 1 minute each direction- dribble between your leg and then immediately behind your back then switch the leg you are dribbling between
dribble with right hand two minutes dribble with left hand two minutes
1 minute rest
windmill around legs w/o dribble-1 minute each direction- around your legs in a windmill motion without dribbling then switch directions
circles around head- 2 sets of 50 each direction
circles around waist- 2 sets of 50 each direction
circles around ankles- 2 sets of 50 each direction
circles around individual leg- 2 sets of 50 each direction
1 minute rest
fingertip taps in front of body- 50 taps- stick your arms out and tap the ball back and forth repeatedly
Crossed leg circle dribbles- 1 minute- sit crossed legged and dribble around your body
Different strokes- 1 minute each way- kneel down trying to dribble as low and fast as possible, first dribbe with both hands, then pinkies, then ring fingers, then middle fingers, then pointer fingers, then thumbs, then karate chops, then with the back of your hands, then fists
Sit on a chair dribble under 1 leg then the other then both then with circles- 3 minutes
Laid back dribble- 1 minute- lay down and dribble behind your head
Walking reverse crossover dribble- 1 minute- walk and dribble under your leg to the other side and repeat
Dead ball- do drill 15 times with each hand- while kneeling place the basketball in front of you on the ground then with your right hand hit the basketball with the back of your hand causing the ball to bounce up then with your palm try to get the ball to dribble
Lights our dribbling- 3 minutes- dribble in a dark room and do all the moves you can think of
Do the same drill but with no gloves or weights - 5 minutes
Do this workout 5 times a week
Try and always keep tapping on something"

I know its long, but it will improve your game. Do as much of it as you can if you can't do the whole thing.

Crazy Handles Program

Creator: Webmaster Ben of Only Hoops

Warm Up

Ball Pounds: Hold the ball in front of your body with one hand. Pound the ball from the hand that it is in to the other hand, which is empty. Move the ball all around; rotate it so you’re not pounding the same spot over and over again. Try to get a feel for the ball. Do this about 35 times.


10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1: Sit in a chair. Dribble the ball with your right hand 10 times as fast as you can, keeping the ball as low to the ground as you can. As soon as you dribble ten times immediately switch the ball to your left hand and do the same, without stopping in between. Once you do that, go back to your right hand and dribble nine times as fast as you can, then switch it back over to your left hand and do the same thing. Repeat going down by one until you reach one and then just keep dribbling as low and fast as you can, alternating hands. Go for about 30 seconds once you reach 1.

Finger Dribble: This is a great exercise for increasing strength in the fingers as well as grip for each finger. Start by dribbling the ball with your thumb. Then move on to your index finger and do the same with all your fingers and move on to your other hand. Do about 15 each finger.

Wall Dribble: Stand in front of a wall. Hold a ball in your hand and then dribble it against the wall. Do the same for both hands. Do 50 twice with each hand.

Ball Slaps: Put a basketball on one hand then slap it over to your other hand quickly. Do this repeatedly as quickly as possible. Only use your fingers and wrists to move the ball. Do this in front of your chest, straight out in front of you, with your arms straight pointing towards the floor, with your arms straight pointing up, and with your arms straight continuously moving up and down. Do about 200.

Circles: There are 4 types of Circles: Head, Waist, Legs, and Corkscrew. The first 3 you just circle the ball around what it says as fast as you can. Once you do 3 of those, do the corkscrew. You go head, waist, legs, waist, head without stopping. Try to do it both clockwise and counter clockwise. Do about 20 rotations at each spot.

Walking The Dog: There are three parts to this drill; low medium and high. For medium: start by extending your right leg out in front of your body. Then lower yourself a little so you are sturdy. Dribble the ball back to front, dribbling about knee high. For low: dribble as low to the floor as possible in the same fashion. For high: stand up straight and dribble as high and far as you can. The pattern for this drill is medium-low-medium-high-medium-low-medium-high-medium. Dribble about 15 times at each height. Do both hands.

V Dribble: Same as Walking The Dog but do it in front of your body. Use the same dribbling pattern; m-l-m-h-m-l-m-h-m. Do 15 reps at each position. Do both hands.

Bounce: Same as Walking The Dog but do it straight up. For high do controlled shoulder dribbles, for medium do protection dribbles, and for low dribble as low and fast as you can while protecting the ball with your off hand. Use the same dribbling pattern; m-l-m-h-m-l-m-h-m. Do 15 reps at each position. Do both hands.

Cool Down

Finger Stretch: Press each finger against the same one on the opposite hand. Hold for 30+ seconds.

Thats the first month.
Do this everyday for a month then start month two. This month focuses on pushing and pulling.

The whole program should take about a 20 minutes a day. Feel free to do any other exercises on top of these.

Another Good Program that is not quite as long as the skip to mah lou program but works.


I'm always looking for new moves to add - if you have one to contribute it would be greatly appreciated. E-mail me at

Aight Guys, check this one out.. cool post up move some of you might have heard it b4 though. Post up on someone so that your butt is in there midsection. Recieve the ball take a hard dribble with your strong hand and and sorta go behind the PERSON THATS GUARDING you's BACK with the ball. once the ball has gone behind him spin the other way (i.e the ball went around the right side of his back, u spin left) and meet up with the ball and just lay it in or something.
- Sand

Take the ball and dribble with your left hand (or weak hand). Take a large stutter step right (or strong foot) but keep your foot there. your legs should be in the shape of a upside down V now. Then Head fake left and go inbetween your legs (that are in the position of the v) so your right hand gets it and drive.
- Sand

Alright cool move that next time your opponents will hesitate before they guard you (this one prob wont work in a 1 on 1 game). Once you recieve the ball put it over your head like your about to overhead pass it. then make a quick motion and sorta let it "slip out of your fingers but make your hands go in the direction of the person on your team as if you were passing it to him. If you did this quick enough the person guarding you should quickly turn there head around and while there doing that you turn around (the balls behind your back) and grab the ball and dribble to the hoop. Believe me this works if you perfect it.

ok here goes, while dribbling near the baseline or wing with only one defender in front of you, dribble hard towards the baseline then cross over back to your weak hand and look as if to pass, quickly then cross back over to the baseline hand and go strong to the basket...this move gets done frequently and many know about it, yet the key is ability to handle the ball, quickness and most importantly finesse.
~ Hec D.

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