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Basics of dribbling a basketball

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Dribbling is one of the first skills you learn when picking up the sport of basketball, and it’s one of the most basic skills to play the game.

With that in mind, Singapore Slinger Ng Hanbin brings us through the five fundamental steps of dribbling!

basketball 101Singapore Slingers' Ng Hanbin (left) demonstrates the fundamental steps needed in mastering the dribble in basketball to myActiveSG.com presenter Samantha Low. Photo: SportSG


1.    Use your fingers instead of your palm
You will find it easiest to control the basketball if you hold it with the tips of your fingers. Use your forearm and wrist to bounce the ball, and make sure you are comfortable bouncing the ball with both hands.

2.    Keep your knees bent
Your body should be kept low, with your knees bent to maintain a lower centre of gravity. Be sure to keep your body weight on the balls of your feet, instead of your heels, and your knees caps shouldn’t be covering your toes when you look down. This is the best form to keep your balance while dribbling.

Additionally, your knees should be squared out, so you have the possibility to move in any direction and not provide any indication of your path to your opponents.

3.    Your back should be straight
Instead of having your back hunched over, it should be kept in straight posture while dribbling, and this will also be helpful in keeping your centre of gravity low.

4.    Keep your eyes up
Beginners tend to keep their eyes on the ball or on their hands as they dribble, but you should avoid doing that. Instead, try to keep your eyes up to look out for oncoming opponents and to watch the happenings on court.

5.    Dribble the ball below the waist or knees

According to Hanbin, the ball should be kept below your knees as you dribble, to keep it out of reach from your opponents, and to maintain a low centre of gravity. If you’re a beginner, you can try keeping the ball below your waist as a start.

basketball 101Hanbin emphasised having the eyes look up instead of at the ball, with your non master hand used as a shield to protect against potential interceptions and steals. Photo: SportSG


Once you’re familiar with the dribbling action, you can move on to practice dribbling while running or walking. It will remain important to stay low and continue keeping your knees bent while doing so.

Mastering the dribbling technique will allow you to improve your ball handling skills and help you move around the basketball court at greater speed!

To learn and improve your fundamental basketball skills under the coaching of Singapore Slingers coach Neo Beng Siang, or even players such as Hanbin, sign up for the ActiveSG Basketball Academy today!

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