It's tough enough already to keep possession of the basketball and move around while having a defender on you. Add to that scenario the fact that you can barely maneuver the ball around yourself without incurring a violation or losing the ball altogether, and things are gonna start to look grim.

Maintaining your mobility on the court is a crucial aspect of the game, and the best way of doing so is to develop better ball-handling skills. Although various game-specific drills are available that help with this, we'll strictly stay on the topic of dribbles, and look at the most fundamental dribbles when it comes to either in-game use or practice.

There are many types of dribbles you can practice, but the one's that transfer over the greatest benefits when playing will prove to be the strongest options. The goal is to provide yourself with an arsenal of tools that can help relieve pressure and provide space between you and defenders.

Dribbles To Develop Strong Handles

These dribbles are kept basic since it's much more important to get down the proper form first; afterward, you can tweak them to add variations to your training sessions.


If there ever was a classic move in basketball, this would be it.

Crossovers are performed by dribbling the ball from one hand to the other, with the ball touching the ground once about halfway. The special thing about this dribble is that it's just about one of the few ways to transfer the basketball between your hands.

This move lends itself to tons of variations and can be done in front of the body, between the legs, and behind the back, all of which serve a purpose. The greatest thing that the in-front and behind the back dribble provide is lateral movement, which often proves to be useful when there's too much defense or pressure on you.

They also make it easier to carry out a directional change by moving in the direction you crossed the ball, either to the left or right. These quick movements add versatility and can be used to quickly move past opponents, faking them out in the process.

A between the legs dribble can also accomplish much the same feat but is arguably even better at keeping the ball from getting stolen by passing it under your body. This makes it a lot easier to reposition yourself for a shot, adding an extra layer of protection.

Pound Dribbles

This is about as simple as you can get.

Pound dribbles are performed by dribbling the basketball as hard as you can while trying not to lose it. This dribble doesn't serve much use in an actual game and is better left for practice, but the benefits it provides make it well worth using.

Basically, you're intentionally forcing yourself outside your comfort zone, and are over time adapting to the intensity with which you dribble in practice. This makes dribbling in-game a whole lot easier since you'll naturally scale back the intensity of your dribbling.

Other major gains include greater control over the ball as you get more comfortable dribbling and heightened awareness for the ball which gets you accustomed to intense play. It's also a move you'll sometimes see even professional NBA players pull out just to relieve pressure on the court.


Pullbacks play a specific role and play it well, making them a valuable tool.

A pullback is done by bringing the ball up from a dribble and using the momentum to guide the basketball back before bringing it forwards. The purpose of this move is to pull the ball back towards you when dribbling in the case that a defender tries to reach in for the ball.

This dribble does require a bit of practice since you cannot palm or suspend the ball in any way without getting a carry violation called. The only way to really accomplish this legally is to move your hand back while keeping it on top of the ball, then bring your hand to the back of the ball, not passing a 90° angle.

Also, don't palm the ball, only make contact through the fingertips. If this were professional play then I'd say it doesn't really matter all the much considering most carries and palms don't get called, but you can bet that won't slide at the local court.

So work hard on that form to turn this into something powerful that you can use at any given time without having to worry about getting called out.


There are definitely more dribbling moves that could be considered foundational to a player's toolkit, but these three are amongst the best. They all work especially well once you start using them in dribbling drills and modifying your training sessions, such as doing them in reverse or adding additional dribbles in between.

With that said, all dribbling moves will help you in some way because they all involve handling a basketball, which is ultimately your main focus. Improving your handles is simply the case of getting more practice with a basketball, but these dribbles provide both experience and tactic, making them particularly good choices.

Author's Bio: 

Ball Amazingly is a basketball blog that covers various topics on becoming a better basketball player, information regarding basketball and training, and content made to entertain.