Singapore Slingers' Desmond Oh (Photo by: Danny Toh)
By Alan Yuen
With good dribbling skills, you gain better control over the ball. Once you have mastered the basics, advance your dribbling skills with the following tips.
1. Improve your dribble
Once you’re comfortable with the stationary dribble, begin dribbling while running. Imagine a defender shadowing you and work to create as much separation from him with each dribble. Efficiency is the key. Whenever you dribble, try to move in straight direct lines towards the basket. If you are dribbling laterally, try to realign your path towards the basket as soon as possible. Once you master this, you are ready to incorporate the crossover move into your repertoire of skills.
The crossover is a dribbling technique that creates space between you and the defender. The basic move involves feinting movement in one direction, then dribbling in the opposite direction. If done right, this is also known as the anklebreaker. A move that leaves your defender on his rear as you dribble right past him.
2. Push yourself outside your comfort zone
Experiment. Go faster than you’re used to. Make mistakes. No matter what your skill level is, you can always push yourself. For example when trying to dribble as fast as you can in practise, don’t be afraid to lose the ball. This will test your limits and make you aware of what's possible. In fact, when learning new skills, if you don’t lose the ball often it just means you aren’t dribbling hard enough.
3. Push yourself outside your comfort zone
The only way you can be a good dribbler is through many hours of practicing. During practice, try your best to simulate the conditions of an actual game. During your first few games, you may initially feel afraid to dribble. As always, don’t be afraid to make mistakes – learn from them. Pick up the ball and try again. You’ll be a confident ball handler (GC129 link) before you know it.
Keeping these 7 tips in mind during Practice will go a long way in improving your dribbling skills. Lastly, you can always find drills to practice on YouTube. There are tons of videos and channels that cater to whatever skill level you’re at. It's actually better to learn visually straight from a video then reading text about the drill and re-imagining it visually in your mind.
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