How To Dribble A Basketball

How To Dribble A Basketball

Key Takeaway: Dribbling a basketball is crucial for every player to control the flow of the game. Mastering techniques like keeping the ball low, staying low, using fingertips, and practicing dribbling drills can greatly enhance ball-handling skills.

Learning how to dribble a basketball is essential for every basketball player because dribbling is the best way to move the ball on the court. The ability to handle the ball with ease can affect the flow of a game and put you in control.

Those beginners may need a brief definition of what exactly dribbling in basketball is. The simple definition of dribbling is the act of bouncing the ball up and down with the use of your fingers. Dribbling the basketball will help you to move the ball inside the court to perform different plays and to avoid traveling. Even though some players can dribble the ball much better than others, dribbling is still a fundamental skill that every basketball player must possess. 

Let me give you the exact meaning of dribbling and let me give you some tips on how you can dribble a basketball better. After reading this awesome article about dribbling a basketball, make sure to put an effort and apply it to work what you have learned today.

But before we start, let me give you first one fun fact. Do you have any idea why basketball players blow on their hands? They blow on their hands to have more grip so that it will be easier for them to dribble the ball. Thanks for hearing me out, let’s go discuss our main topic here!

What Is Dribbling In Basketball?

Before I give you some techniques on how to dribble the basketball well, let me give you the exact definition of dribbling in basketball. 

In simple words, dribbling is bouncing the ball on the floor continuously with one hand at a time. Dribbling the ball is the best way to move the ball around the court and to avoid traveling. You have to dribble the ball with only one hand, or else the referee may call a double dribble violation to you if you dribble the ball with two hands.

You dribble the ball using your fingers, not your palms. It will look like your slapping the ball when you use your palm in dribbling the basketball. 

Different Dribbling Techniques

Mastering the skill of dribbling is not as hard as you think. You should have the proper technique and thousands of hours of practicing dribbling the basketball. These techniques listed below will help you to improve your dribbling easier. 

Remember To Stay Low

There are many reasons why staying low in the ground while dribbling is essential. Staying low has many benefits during offense. Having a low center of gravity will help you to balance yourself, act quicker, increase accuracy and will be difficult for defenders to steal the ball from you. 

Staying low will also help our second technique to be more effective. Our second technique is to make sure to keep the ball as low as you are.

Keep The Ball Low

The general rule on dribbling the ball is to make sure to keep the height of the bounce of the basketball between your knee and waist. Never dribble the ball higher than the recommended because the defender may easily steal the ball from you. Remember, the lower the ball, the more difficult for defender to steal the ball from you. 

Keep Your Head Up

This technique may take time to master. Dribbling the ball while you don’t’ see the ball is hard for beginners, but don’t worry you will get there soon. Keeping your heads up while dribbling the ball will help you to survey the basketball court easily. It will also help you to look for open teammates and will help you to see where your defender is. There are circumstances that you may not be aware of if you don’t keep your heads up on the court.

Dribble The Ball With Your Finger 

Using your fingertips while dribbling a basketball instead of your palm can give you more control over the basketball. If you dribble the ball with your palm it would look like you are slapping the ball instead of dribbling it. Most beginners have mistaken dribbling the ball using their palms instead of fingertips. Dribbling a basketball using your fingertips is the normal way of dribbling the ball and it is proven to be much more effective. That is why you need to make sure to dribble the ball with your finger and not with your palm.

Dribble The Ball Hard

Once you have mastered the basics, the next you want to make sure is to dribble the ball hard as you can. Dribbling the basketball hard gives you a better chance of bouncing the ball fast to return to your fingertips. It will also give you the most effective motion and it will be easier to change the direction of the bounce when you dribble the ball hard. 

Dribbling Drills For Beginners

1. Around The World Drill

This drill may be easy as you see, but this drill is used by many basketball players to practice controlling the ball. Around the world, the drill is basically for beginners, but this drill is used in warm-ups before the ball game.

To get started, first you need a basketball of course. The first thing you need to do is to move the ball left to right around your body. First, you have to start with your waist level. Move the ball from left to right for twenty reps and after twenty reps move the ball around your waist level in vice versa.

Next is at the head level. Pass the ball from left to right around your head and focus on maintaining good control of the ball. Do this for twenty reps and after twenty reps, move the ball around in the opposite direction. 

Next is in the calves. Pass the ball from left to right around your calves. Make sure to bend your knees and focus on maintaining good control of the ball. Do this for twenty reps and do another twenty reps in the opposite direction.

After performing around the world in each of three locations, let us try to put it all together. Start to pass the ball around your waist once, then around your head once and back to the waist again, then around your calves. Make sure to continue this cycle as long as possible. The more longer the duration, the more it will be effective.

2. Stationary Dribble

This drill may be easy, but it is exhausting because you need to make sure to dribble the ball continuously. Stationary dribble drill is used by most basketball players including the NBA players during warm-ups.

Stationary dribbling is also called pounding. To start this drill, you need to make sure you bend down in a low athletic stance and pound the ball as hard as you can. Make sure to keep the ball between your knees and waist while dribbling. This drill will improve your muscle memory and will improve your ball control. You can switch hands for this drill and pound the ball with both of your left and right hand to practice with both. 

You can use the video above if pounding the ball with one hand is too basic and inadequate for you. The video above shows different variations of stationary dribble that you can use.

3. Stationary Crossover Dribble

The crossover is the most used and powerful move in basketball if it is executed right. A crossover is a change of direction. It could be between the legs or behind the back move. When performing this drill, you need to make sure to dribble the ball as hard as you can and make sure to stay low. You have to be in an athletic stance, and dribble the ball between your waist and knee. 

This drill is a great starter crossover drill for all beginners out there. They can perform this drill inside their room, in the garage, or anywhere they are comfortable doing this. To make it more challenging, make sure to count how many crossovers you can do in one minute, and try setting a new high score every day. 

4. Spider Dribble Drill

I put this in the fourth category because this drill is too hard for a beginner. But if you are confident enough that you can perform this drill then try to execute this drill. Same as the other drills above, you have to make sure to stay low and in an athletic stance. Dribble the ball as hard as you can, and dribble the ball low. 

First, dribble the ball in front and tap it with your two hands. Then two taps in the back, and then you start rotating the tapping. Check the video above to have a concise instruction.

This drill will improve the quickness of your hands when dribbling the ball. It will also improve your control of the basketball. Make sure to add this drill to your list. I am sure that this drill will be helpful if performed right. 

Best Dribblers In The NBA

There are many good dribblers in the NBA, some played in todays basketball era, and some have played in the past. It is tough for me to pick a few best ball handler players in the NBA, and because I don’t want to be biased, let me just put my top 10 dribblers of all time in the NBA. I chose these top 10 players because I think that they are so talented in dribbling the basketball. They earned many spots in the highlight reel which considered them in my top 10.

  1. Steve Nash
  2. Stephen Curry
  3. Kyrie Irving
  4. Allen Iverson 
  5. John Stockton
  6. Oscar Robertson
  7. Chris Paul
  8. Mark Price
  9. Magic Johnson
  10. Jason Williams

If you have an issue regarding my list, you are free to put your list in the comment section below. 


Learning dribbling a basketball may be tiring and boring because it involves doing the same drills over and over again before you can be adept at dribbling. However, it was proven that learning to dribble the ball is essential for all basketball players.

Who are your favorite ball-handlers in the NBA today? Drop your top ten names in the comment section below!

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