Basketball Ball Handling Drills: The World’s Best Compilation

What This Is:

This a compilation of basketball ball handling drills.  All drills are designed to improve your ball handling in one way or another.  There are many different components that go into being a good ball handler and they are:

  • Being able to dribble the ball fast and hard
  • Being able to dribble the ball comfortably low
  • Being able to dribble the ball with rhythm
  • Being able to dribble the ball well with your weak hand
  • Having good ball control
  • Being able to complete complex combos
  • Being able to dribble without looking at the basketball

Some of these ball handling drills do work on multiple skills and some are just focused on one part of ball handling.  Every drill has an explanation in text on how to execute the drill as well as a video that goes along with it.

I recommend that you read all the text as well as watch the video because sometimes there are some key coaching points left out of the videos that you want to make sure you pick up through the text.

How To Use This:

I have all of the ball handling drills separated out into the sections listed below:

  • Ball Control Drills
  • Crossover Move Drills
  • 2 Ball Dribbling Drills

With it broken down like you should be able to easily navigate the page to find what you’re looking for.

How To Use These Drills:

This is really important.  You must execute these drills in a certain way to get the most out of them.

With every dribble in every drill you must pound the ball as hard as you can.

Yes, you will lose the ball often, but in time you will start to notice that you lose the ball less often and that means that you done it!

You have improved you ball handling skills, and now you can work to dribble even harder to improve even more as well as move on to more advanced variations of that drill or different drills altogether.

Next, don't look down at the ball.  Great ball handlers know where the ball is going to bounce back up to without looking.  That skills comes from repetition.  And unlike shooting where a 500 shot workout is a lot of shots you need like a 5,000 dribble workout for it to be considered a high rep workout.

Finally, take note of the proper footwork that is used in the drill or move you're working on.  People usually overlook this area of ball handling.  If you are supposed to take a step, take a step, the best ball handlers are able to move the ball and feet at the same speed and rhythm while dribbling.

Ok, now that we have all that covered lets jump right into:

Basketball Ball Handling Drills: The World's Best Compilation


Ball Control Drills


What the heck it ball control?  It's the ability to keep the basketball in your hand for a long period of time and to actually move the basketball to where you want it to go while it's in your hand without carrying the ball.  This is often overlooked when discussing what it takes to be a good dribbler.

Cone Dribbling

How To Do This Drill:

Take a cone an put it on the ground (You can also just use a line of the court as well).  There are three different variations to this drill which are:

  • Side to side
  • Front to back
  • In a plus sign

1st Variation: Now for the first variation take the basketball and dribble from "side to side" of the cone.  This means that you dribble once on the left side and then once on the right side back and forth.

2nd Variation: For the second variation you are going to dribble one time in front of the cone and then one time behind the cone moving the basketball from the "front to back."

3rd Variation: The last variation you will be moving the ball in a circular motion around the cone landing each dribble on what would be an invisible plus sign on the ground.

Advanced Version: If you want to make this drill more advanced you can put multiple cones side by side and now you have a larger distance to cover with each dribble.

More Advanced Version: You also can do this drill with 2 basketballs.

Simply take two cones and place them about 2 feet apart on the ground and complete the same variations as before while dribbling two basketballs at the same time.

Reps: Whatever way you are going to do this drill you are going to take 50 dribbles for each variation.  Make sure you work your left side equally with your right side.


Wall Ball Handling

How To Do This Drill:

This is a good drill to do as the very first thing you do when you get into the gym.  It works on strengthening your wrist and works on fingertip ball control.  If you ever are dribbling and you simply make what I call a miss-dribble then chances are you dribbled with the palm of your hand and not your fingertips which is how you should be dribbling.

You need a good solid wall for this and the 3 different variations for this drill are:

  • Up and down
  • Left to right
  • Walking

1st Variation: First start out by dribbling the basketball on the wall while moving the basketball up and down. When you finish switch hands.

2nd Variation: Next dribble on the wall moving the basketball from left to right.  When you finish switch hands of course.

3rd Variation: Finally, what you want to do is reach up with the basketball and dribble at the highest point you can on the wall and then walk while keeping the dribble.  When you finish this variation switch hands and repeat coming back.

Reps: This is really up to you.  I would recommend that you complete 100 reps per hand of each variation.


 Balance Ball Handling

How To Do This Drill:

You will need a partner for this drill.  The ball handler will dribble the basketball with one hand and then extend his or her other arm where the partner will push on to try and throw him or here off balance.  The person who is pushing needs to vary from hard pressure to soft pressure to make it harder for the ball handler to stay on balance.

The 3 variations of this drill are:

  • Pound dribble
  • Left to right V dribble
  • Forward and backwards V dribble

Reps: You want to complete 50 dribbles per hand of each variation.

Note: This is a great ball handling drill for post players who don't really need to work on there combo moves that they would never use in a game.  With this they can work on their balance which is huge in the post.


Crossover Move Drills


The Lateral Double Crossover Drill

For this drill you are going to need 2 cones.  We are going to be working on 3 different moves for this drill and they are the:

  • Through the legs cross
  • Switch hand cross
  • Behind the back cross

Place the cones about 4 feet apart.  The further apart the cones are the more difficult (advanced) the drill is.  Start in front of one cone and execute the first crossover on that cone and then hesitate with the ball and move laterally at the same time.  Once your outside foot reaches the next cone crossover back in the opposite direction.

You now should be at that first cone again.  If you can repeat the move with no dribbles in between then great, if not, take 1 dribble in between in the move and then repeat.

Reps: Complete each move 10 times from the right side and 10 times from the left side.


Ball On A String Drill

This is a great drill to use as a main staple in your ball handling workouts.  This drill focuses on footwork in your crossovers.  So make sure that with every crossover you have fast and precise footwork.

There are 3 different moves (variations) to this drill and they are:

  • Crossover
  • Through the legs
  • Behind the back

Reps: You are going to go full court and back with each move.

1st Variation: You are going to do back to back crossovers.  These crossover need to be big like an Allen Iverson crossover where you cross the ball over, hesitate, and then cross back over.  There are no dribbles in between.

2nd Variation: Now you will go through the legs, but unlike other drills where you might take a straight route, you are going to be changing directions on each dribble.  Really work hard to pound the ball with each dribble and to shift your hips and shoulders from left to right.

3rd Variation: The last move is behind the back.  Just like the 1st variation where you were doing crossovers in front, here you are going to be taking small steps in between each dribble.  So make your behind the back cross, hesitate while taking small steps, and then cross back again behind your back.


Quick Hand Basketball Ball Handling Drills

This drill you will be working on having an active off hand as well developing quick hands.  This is a stationary ball handling drill that can be done with 1 basketball and a wall.

There are 3 different crossovers you will be working on and they are:

  • Crossover
  • Through the legs
  • Behind the back

Simply stand in front of a wall and make a crossover dribble.  As soon as the ball leaves your hand you must quickly touch the wall.  Then reset your hand position and prepare to catch the ball as it's going to be coming right back.

As you crossover with your other hand make sure to touch the well as well and just keep repeating this.

Reps: Complete 50 dribbles of each variation.

Focus on moving the basketball as fast as possible.


2 Ball Drills


2 Ball Crushers

This basketball ball handling drill is designed to work on your ball control along with developing the ability to dribble faster and harder.  You are going to start on the baseline with 2 basketballs and there are 3 different variations to this which are:

  • 1 dribble, crossover then repeat
  • 1 dribble , 2 crossovers then repeat
  • 1 dribble, 3 crossovers then repeat

After using this drill for a few weeks you should be able to improve enough to where you can go full court while doing nothing but crossovers the whole way with no dribbles in between.  That is when you know you have mastered this drill.

Reps: You are going to go full court and back for each variation.


2 Ball Balance Ball Handling

You will need 2 basketballs for these basketball ball handling drills.  Simple start on 1 foot and dribble the basketballs.  When your partner says, "Go!" jump backwards and land on your other foot while keeping the same dribble rhythm.

You can do 2 different variations of this drill and of course make some up of your own if you're feeling creative 😉

1st Variation: The first variation is just dribbling at the same time pounding the ball as hard as possible.

2nd Variation: The second variation is with alternating dribbles.

Reps: For each variation complete 10 jumps backwards.

If this is easy for you a more advanced version would be to crossover every time you jump backwards without losing the basketballs.


Conclusion:

One of my favorite quotes is, "I can either give you some fish and you can eat for 1 day, or I can teach you how to fish and you can eat forever."

I hope I just taught you how to fish.

All of these basketball ball handling drills can help you become a better player in one way or another.

It's up to you to take action and create a workout and actually do it.  I recommend that you take 3-4 of these ball handling drills and combine them into 1 workout.

Remember that each drill needs to be done at full speed, dribbling as hard as possible, and with proper footwork.

7 Comments

  • Augie Johnston

    Reply Reply August 28, 2014

    C’mon, don’t be shy. What is your favorite drill?

  • Robert

    Reply Reply September 14, 2014

    Hey Augie,

    I’m really liking your videos where the drills have a rhythm to them, like the Lateral Double Crossover Drill. My son is almost 10 and we have been training seriously for two years, but he’s like a robot. Very little rhythm and very little touch on his shot. So, that LDC Drill has become my favorite. Thanks!

    • Augie Johnston

      Reply Reply October 13, 2014

      Yeah it really is all about finding rhythm in your ball handling to improve that robotic style.

  • derontae

    Reply Reply September 15, 2014

    Can we put these videos on YouTube, I would like to show my friends.

    • Augie Johnston

      Reply Reply October 13, 2014

      They are on youtube 😉

  • arian

    Reply Reply February 22, 2015

    This is fun im going to work hard on this

    • Augie Johnston

      Reply Reply February 23, 2015

      Great!

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