Dribble Warm-up Drill
By Hal Wissel
Dribble the ball using your strong and weak hand. Keep your guard (non-dribbling) hand up to protect your dribble. Maintain your balance with your head over your waist, and back straight. Keep your head up. Dribble the ball with your hand in a relaxed hand shake position. Do not spread your thumb. With your thumb and fingers relaxed and your thumb spread comfortably, your hand will form a natural cup enabling you to dribble the ball with your finger pads and not with your palm. Dribbling off your finger pads enables you to control your dribble. Not spreading your thumb relaxes your hand helping you to dribble with more force. Flex your wrist and fingers on each dribble. Do not pump your arm. To improve your weak hand, emphasize forcing your weak hand through the ball. Work for force and control, not just quickness. The dribble warm-up helps you develop your ability and confidence in dribbling with either the strong or weak hand.
There are five parts to the drill as follows:
- Front Change. In a balanced stance, dribble the ball with control while changing hands in front of your body. As you change hands, dribble the ball below your knees, and within your knees. Also, change the position of your feet and body in order to always protect the ball with your body as well as your guard hand.
- Figure Eight. In a balanced stance, dribble the ball in a figure eight manner from back to front through the middle of your legs. Change hands each time after going through your legs. Dribble in a figure eight manner from back to front through the middle of your legs, and then change direction dribbling in a figure eight manner from front to back through your legs.
- One Knee. Continue to dribble the ball, as you kneel down on one knee. Starting in front of your knee dribble around to one side and under your raised knee, then change hands. Dribble behind your back leg, then change hands. Dribble forward and under your raised knee, change hands and continue to the starting point in front of your knee. Dribble in a figure eight manner in one direction and then reverse and dribble in a figure eight manner in the other direction.
- Sitting. Continue dribbling as you sit down. Raise your legs, dribble the ball to your other side, and proceed to dribble with your other hand while sitting. Follow the same procedure each time you want to change hands.
- Lying Down. While you continue to dribble, lie down on your back. Sit-up, raise your legs, and dribble the ball to your other side and proceed to dribble with your other hand while lying down on your back. Follow the same procedure each time you want to change hands.
On the figure eight and one knee parts of the drill, dribble the ball five to ten times in one direction, and then reverse and dribble the ball five to ten times in the other direction. On the sitting, and lying down parts of the drill, dribble five to ten times with one hand, and then change and dribble five to ten times with your other hand.