When it comes to basketball ball handling skills, you need to practice a lot of ball handling drills to become a good ball handler. This is because a lot of the ball handling drills made not only helps to make your hands faster and nimble, but they also help to develop a better feel for the basketball. In fact, without good ball handling skills, many of the amazing shots and passes we see on TV are impossible to execute. By doing ball handling drills every day, you will significantly improve your ball handling ability.
Neck Circles – this drill is as what its name implies – moving the ball in circles around your neck using both hands. Go one direction several times then move the ball towards the other direction.
Waist Circles – this is similar to the neck circles. However, instead of moving the ball around your neck, you do it on your waist. Go one direction several times then move the ball towards the other direction.
Leg Circles – this is also similar to both the neck circles and waist circles, but that you move the ball around both your legs. Another drill is to have your feet at shoulder width apart and then move the ball around at one leg and on another. Just make sure you go clockwise several times and do a counterclockwise next. You can even combine the last three circle drills together and alternating amongst them depending on what you want.
Tap Drill – to execute this drill, hold the ball with both hands and extend your arms forward. Make not to have your palm touch the ball. Tap the ball quickly (as if passing to your other hand) with your fingers using left fingers, right fingers, left fingers and so on. The objective of this drill is not to let the ball fall off your tapping. When the ball goes downwards to your waist while doing the tap drill, increase your tapping speed to elevate it again. Doing this drill will increase your wrist speed as well as give your fingers a better feel for the basketball. Do this drill every day, particularly when you are doing nothing on your free time.
Wall Drill – to execute this drill, you first need to stand three feet against the wall. Hold the ball with both fingers and do a chest pass towards the wall as hard as you can. Catch the ball with both hands. Make half a step backwards each time. Bit by bit, you will be increasing the distance between you and the wall wherein the chest pass becomes harder because you would not want the ball to bounce on the floor before catching it.
Another would be to do a two-handed overhead pass on the wall. Make sure you do it as hard as you can and try to catch it as it rebounds. Make half a step backwards each time until the ball barely bounces back at your current distance. Do the two-handed overhead pass wall drill again. This time, maintain the distance of three feet. Bounce the ball as hard as you can and try to catch or stop the rebound using the pads of your fingers. Do these drills as many times possible.
Crossover – perform small fast dribbles passing to the other hand after each bounce. Perform this drill as fast and as low as possible. After doing this several times, perform a wide crossover, making sure that the ball passes the side of the body before bouncing it back towards the other hand.
Ricochet – to execute this drill, stand straight and have your feet at shoulder width apart. Hold the ball with both hands in front of your chest and bounce it to the floor as hard as you can at an angle or in between your feet so it bounces right behind you. You then try to catch the ball with both hands as soon as it bounces behind you. Do this for at least 30 seconds.
Straddle Flip – to execute this drill, you need to stand with your feet as shoulder width apart. Hold the basketball in front of your legs, do a small slow pass towards the back, and catch the ball at your back, making sure that ball does not fall to the floor. Then you do a small slow pass in front so you can catch the ball in front. Do this as fast as you can and for at least 30 seconds.
Pretzel – this is similar to the straddle flip. The only difference is that you are holding the ball with one hand in front of you and the other at your back. You then swing your upper body from right to left to catch the ball with one hand in front and the other at the back, all the while making sure that the ball does not fall and bounce off the floor. Swing your body again towards the right to catch the ball. Do this for at least 30 seconds
Figure Eight – to execute this drill, stand with your feet at shoulder width apart. Bend over slightly and with the ball in your right hand, pass the ball in between your legs to the left hand at the back. When the left hand catches the ball, swing it towards the front so that it could pass it towards the right hand waiting at the back. Swing the right hand to the front to repeat the whole process. Do this drill several times then switch directions or alternate directions according to your liking. Once you have built up become accustomed with this drill, try adding some behind the back with the rotation. This can be done after every other figure of eight using the receiving hand at the back to pass it to the other hand.
One Ball Kill – to execute this drill, do a high dribble then pound the ball as fast as you can with the hand following the ball near the floor. You then catch it after it bounces with your dribbling hand and do small fast dribbles. Do this for at least 30 seconds then do it using the other hand.
Kill/Cross – this is similar to the one ball kill but that you cross the ball to your other hand after a few small dribbles.