There is no better place to practice dribbling hard than on the carpet. If you don’t dribble the ball hard it won’t come back up to you. This is a great way to vary your dribbling routine and do something different to get out of your comfort zone. Make sure you get permission from your mom before you start! When I was a kid I did ball handling drills while watching tv in the family room. In order to keep my dribble alive I had to pound the basketball. This leads me to my next tip…
What better way to make sure you are keeping your head up and not looking at the ball. Your brain is forced to attend to multiple stimuli at the same time just like it will during game situations. There is an added bonus that the workout will seem to go faster because your mind is engaged in what you are watching. Just make sure that you are concentrating on giving your max effort to the dribbling and not just going through the motions!
This is another great way to improve your feel for the ball. Obviously you want to do this in a stationary position or in an empty gym where you have plenty of space to maneuver without crashing into anything. Don’t do it in the living room right next to the coffee table with the antique vase!
Borrow a pair of gardening gloves from your parents. The idea behind wearing the gardening gloves is to create a challenge that gets you out of your comfort zone. When you wear the gloves, your natural sense of touch is taken away so you really have to focus on maintaining control of the ball when you have less grip.
The Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving used this technique to improve his dribbling. The plastic bag creates an unpredictable feel for the ball during dribbling. The bag takes the bounce out of the ball and makes you dribble harder. The smooth, plastic surface also reduces the feel you have for the ball, so that you have to focus more on the controlling the ball when you have less grip.
These 5 unorthodox dribbling tips can help you become a better dribbler. Don’t be afraid to look silly and make mistakes. If you practice some of these methods in the gym, you may get funny looks or have people asking you questions. Remember, the only way to get better is to get out of your comfort zone and force your body to adapt as you work to develop new skills.
One last bonus tip – Take your basketball with you and dribble it everywhere you go. A basketball player should never have to ask the question, “Has anyone seen my ball?” Just like it says on the Nike T-shirt “Basketball Never Stops!”