Purpose: To improve ball handling skills by working on quickness, agility, speed and hand/eye coordination.
Drill: These stationary ball handling drills can be performed individually or by having the entire team take part in these exercises. Each player will need 2 basketballs in order to perform all of the drills.
- Around One Leg – Player spreads legs and moves the basketball around one leg as quickly as possible. After :15 seconds, change direction. When one leg is completed, perform the same drill with the other leg. :30 seconds for each leg. (1 minute total)
- Around Both Legs – Player stands with both feet together and moves the basketball around the legs as quickly as possible for :30, then reverses direction for :30 seconds. (1 minute total)
- Around the Waist – Player holds the basketball in either hand and takes it behind the lower back, catching it with the other hand, and bringing the ball around to the front in one motion. This action should go as quickly as possible. Perform drill for :30 seconds and repeat for :30 by moving the ball in the opposite direction. (1 minute total)
- Around the Head – Place the ball in either hand, keep shoulders back, take the ball behind the head, catch it with the opposite hand and bring it around to the front. Continue this process as quickly as possible for :30 seconds and then repeat for :30 by going in the opposite direction. (1 minute total)
- Around the Head, Waist, and Legs – Start with the basketball in either hand and take it around the head to the other hand. In one quick and continuous motion, take the ball around the waist and then down around the legs. From the legs, take the ball up around the waist and then up around the head again. Continue as quickly as possible for :30 seconds. Repeat process in the opposite direction for :30. (1 minute total)
- Bounce and Catch – Player spreads legs and bounces the ball hard through the front of the legs and catches it by moving the hands behind the back. The player then throws the ball from back to front, continuing process for :30 seconds. (:30 seconds total)
- Walking – Crouch down and walk forward, moving the basketball between the legs from one hand to the other with each step. Attempt to increase walking speed as you go through the drill. Continue for :30 seconds (:30 seconds total)
- One-Hand Bounce Between Legs – Use only one hand to control the basketball. Start with the ball in front, in either hand, and take the ball around one leg, bouncing it once from back to front between the legs. Catch the ball in front of the body with the same hand. Repeat process as quickly as possible for :30 seconds then continue with the other hand for :30. (1 minute total)
- Figure Eight – Begin with the basketball in either hand in back of legs, then take it between legs to the other hand. Now take the ball behind the leg and between the legs to the hand you began with. Continue as quickly as possible for :30 seconds then continue in the opposite direction for :30 seconds. (1 minute total)
- Figure Eight Dribble – Start by doing the same as the figure eight drill except dribbling the basketball, keeping the ball as low as possible. Perform as quickly as possible for :30 seconds and then repeat in the other direction for :30. (1 minute total)
- Two-Bounce Figure Eight Drill – Perform just as in the figure eight drill except that each time you take the ball through the legs, bounce it from one hand to the other. Work on getting faster to keep the ball lower. Repeat process for :30 seconds then continue in other direction for :30. (1 minute total)
- One-Bounce Figure Eight Drill – Same as drill 11 above except you only bounce the ball once between the legs upon completing each figure eight. Perform as quickly as possible for :30 seconds. Repeat in other direction for :30. (1 minute total)
- Spider Drill – Begin in a crouched position holding the ball in front of the body. With legs apart, take one dribble with either hand then one dribble with the other hand. On the second dribble, take the first hand behind the legs and dribble once, immediately bringing the opposite hand behind the legs to dribble once with that hand. Then move ball from the back to the front in same manner. There will be two bounces in front and two bounces behind, keeping the ball as low as possible. Continue for :30 seconds. (:30 seconds total)
- Double Leg / Single Leg – Start with both legs together, ball in right hand. Take the ball behind the legs and around to the front with by way of the left hand. Once the ball reaches the right hand in front, move the left leg back and take the ball around the right leg using both hands. Then close legs again taking it around both legs. Then move the right leg back and take the ball around the left leg, then back to two legs again. The ball will always move in the same direction. Continue sequence for :30 seconds then repeat for :30 in the opposite direction. (1 minute total)
- Quick Hands Drill – Start with the basketball between the legs, standing with feet about shoulder-width apart. One hand is on the ball in front of the legs and the other hand is on the ball behind the legs. Flip the ball in the air and reverse hand position, catching the ball with the fingertips. The ball should not hit the floor. Continue for :30 seconds going as quickly as possible. As you become quicker, you should not have to ‘flip’ the ball up too much. (:30 seconds total)
- Flip – Start in the same manner as the ‘Quick Hands Drill’ except hold the ball with both hands in the front. ‘Flip’ the basketball slightly up in the air between the legs and quickly bring the hands around to the back of the legs, catching the ball before it hits the ground. Flip the ball up again and bring the hands around to the front, catching the ball. Perform for :30 seconds, moving as quickly as possible. (:30 seconds total)
- Two Balls Through the Legs – (2-ball drill) Begin with a ball in each hand, take the basketballs behind the legs and at the same time bounce them between the legs towards the front. As soon as they bounce, you must bring your hands back to the front and catch both balls with each corresponding hand. Continue executing the same motion for :30 seconds. (:30 seconds total)
- Two Ball Alternating Drill – (2-ball drill) Begin with a ball in each hand and start by taking the right hand ball behind the legs, bouncing it between them and catching it again in the front. As you are about to catch the ball with the right hand, take the left hand ball behind the legs and bounce it between them to the front and catching it with the left hand again. Continue drill for :30 seconds. (:30 seconds total)
- Toss, Clap, and Catch – These 2 versions are fun to end with. For the first one, hold the ball in front, toss it high into the air above you and then attempt to catch it behind your back with both hands. Once you are successful, add a clap before catching it. Each time you make a successful catch, add a clap to the next attempt — see how many claps you can get in before catching the ball.
The second version is the same as far as the toss and claps go; the difference is in how you catch it. In this drill, you attempt to catch the ball behind you by reaching between your legs with both hands. So, as the ball is coming down, bend over at the waist reaching your hands through your legs as far as you can in an attempt to catch the ball. Again, start with no claps and then progress to see how many claps you can accomplish. As I mentioned, it’s a fun way to end by seeing if you can achieve more claps then the previous day. There is no time limit or time frame on these drills as they are challenging, however, don’t spend too much time here…just break your record (or attempt to) and move on.
Coaching Points: The biggest point was already mentioned several times — go as quickly as possible! The idea here it to improve hand speed, quickness, ball handling skill and hand/eye coordination. Going half speed will not make you better. I always like to tell the players that they should be making mistakes; if you are making mistakes, that means you are pushing yourself to go faster and get better! Obviously you don’t want to make mistakes consistently, but the idea is to improve — so push yourself!!