Every seen this situation? A player has the ball and has shown the entire game that he can only dribble well with his strong hand. The defense then starts to pick up on it and forces the player the other direction. The player passes the ball because all hope is lost for that possession. I see this scenario at just about every youth game I watch. Even on the High School level you see players who can’t dribble with both hands or do the basics to make them a better player. There is nothing stopping every player from being a better ball handler except themselves and their inability to work. Let’s look at 6 keys to ball handling success and how each player can improve their weak hand.

1. Keep the dribble low to the floor

You hear coaches say this all the time but it really is the key. It is nearly impossible to steal the ball from a player who is dribbling the ball low to the ground. Players that remain low also tend to have better explosion from their legs when they go to make a quick move. To practice this, always make sure that when you work on your ball handling you never let the ball get above your waist.

2. Keep your head up

The best ball handlers can dribble while not looking at the ball. No player is going to be successful with his head down while the rest of the game is going on around him. A number of products have been developed to help in this area including dribble specs that limit your vision to what is above your waist. The best point guards have no issue with this but it is something that needs to always be worked on.

3. Work your weak hand

Like in the example at the top of the article, it is critical that players are able to use both hands to handle the ball. Never allow yourself to be the player who can only go one direction. The best players can use either hand and are just as strong either way. This has to be a focus. When working out alone it is important to make time to work on this instead of just focusing on shooting. Even if it is 15 minutes of dedicated time, you will quickly see positive results.

4. Protect the ball

Know that it is ok to use your off hand and your body to protect the ball. You should use them both as a shield to fend off any defenders who try to steal it. If you stand directly in front of them and bounce the ball above your waist it will get stolen. Work on staying low and using your body as a shield while dribbling. If you watch any basketball at all you will see this from every point guard at the High School, College and Pro levels.

5. Change of pace

Great ball handlers understand how important speed is to the game. You should be able to run and dribble at the same time and be able to change from slow to fast at a moment’s notice. This too can be worked on with dedicated effort and practice. You need to be able to use both hands while working on this because you should be able to go just as fast on both sides.

6. Changing direction

This is the key to me to be really good. Great players can change direction and not lose the ball nor lose the speed of the move. If you can do this you will feel that the ball is really an extension of your body. The lower you are, the easier it is to change direction and maintain control of the ball.

Author's Bio: 

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