Basketball Footwork Tips Help You Make the Scoring Moves

Don’t neglect the need to pick up basketball footwork tips so you can dominate on both offense and defense.

Many basketball players spend a great deal of time on developing their upper body strength when training for basketball superiority, but fail to master their footwork skills.

Don’t let this happen to you. Pay attention to your balance and pivot skills.

Proper footwork in basketball will allow you to separate from defenders as well as improve your own basketball defense fundamentals.

Coaches – Be sure your post players as well as perimeter players pay attention to the following basketball footwork tips. Smaller post players can have success against bigger players precisely because they master their footwork.

Basketball Footwork Tips

Basketball Footwork Tip #1
Quality balance skills in the game of basketball are crucial. By keeping your feet shoulder width apart, you’ll get the proper support base you need to stay strong against your opponent.

Keep a good bend at the knees and the waist. Keep your head just above the midpoint between both feet. In this position you have the most physical balance possible.

Basketball Footwork Tip #2
Developing great pivot skills will help you explode into effective offensive moves, as well as get away from a pressuring defender. Stay on the ball of your pivot foot and don’t allow it to come off the floor until you dribble, shoot, or pass the ball.

In the post, a good move is the drop step. If you have the ball on the low block and the player guarding you is on the high side (closer to the free throw line), make the foot closest to the foul line your pivot foot and take a strong step with the opposite foot directly toward the basket.

This allows you to seal your opponent on your butt behind you.

In general, if your pivot foot moves and you don’t dribble, shoot or pass, it’s a violation (traveling), and the ball is awarded to the opponent. A reverse or back pivot is when you turn backwards and when you turn forwards it’s called a forward or front pivot

There are many reasons to pivot, including to get open and to give yourself an open shot. If you don’t get comfortable performing pivots, you’ll never be as effective as your potential says you can be.

Basketball Footwork Tip #3
Quick Pivot
We can’t emphasize the need to stay on the balls of your feet. This is be helpful when it comes time to make quick pivots or fast cuts. As you make your move, you’ll be able to maintain your balance much better by remaining on the balls of your feet.

Since you have to be on the balls of your feet to move anyway, by playing on them, you will make your move more quickly

Basketball Footwork Tip #4
Positive Footwork
Now we’re talking about your “free” foot.

Keep your free foot slightly in front of your pivot foot as you’re squaring up so you gain the best position to attack your opponent. If you allow your free foot to end up behind your pivot foot, you’ll allow your defender an opportunity to apply pressure and “belly up” to you. This gets you on your back foot and retreating from the basket.

Get this right because once you declare your free foot, that’s the only foot you can fake or step with.


Ball Handling Drills – Page 2

You may want to check out the first 21 ball handling drills on our first page of basketball dribbling drills.

On this page, you’ll find ball handling drills 22-41… “Two Ball Drills”, “Basketball Dribbling Drills on the Move”, and “Group Drills”.

As always, we recommend you set aside time to practice on a consistent basis. That’s the only way to get yourself to the point of domination.

Remember, even Michael Jordan invested hours and hours into practicing his basketball drills.

Stationary Two-Ball, Ball Handling Drills

22) Figure Eight

Similar to the one ball version (Drill #12) on our first ball handling drills page, except now you dribble in a figure eight pattern with both balls going in the same direction. After you master that, try another version of this advanced ball handling drill: Dribble in the figure eight pattern with the balls going in opposite directions.

23) “X”

Cross the two balls back and forth in front of you. Variation: Cross the balls behind your back.

24) Leg Circles

Dribble one of the balls around one leg while dribbling the other ball around your other leg. Variation: Dribble the balls in opposite directions around one leg.

25) Control Dribble

Dribble both balls at the same time, making sure they both hit the floor at the same time. Variation: Alternate bounces so one ball is high when the other is low.

Ball Handling Drills On The Move

26) Walking Dribble

Great ball handling drill for beginners because they must first get comfortable while walking up and down the floor. Before starting, pick out a spot on the wall at the opposite end of the court. Dribble toward that spot with your right hand, keep your head up and your eyes on the that spot. On the way back, pick a new spot and use your left hand.

The key here is control. If you can’t use both hands to dribble, you won’t be effective. After you can do this with control walking, move up to jogging and then running. Develop both hands!

27) Figure Eight

Dribble the ball in the figure eight pattern as you walk down the floor. (See #12 of the Stationary Ball Handling Drills section on our first basketball dribbling drills page for more info on this ball handling drill)

28) Reverse Spin

Place a chair in front of the foul line. Pretend the chair is a defender and dribble toward it with your right hand. Plant your left foot as you come to the chair and spin to your right side. Switch the ball to your left hand and go in for a lay-up around the chair (defender). Then practice leading with your left hand, planting with your right foot and spinning to the left side.

29) Suicide Dribble

Start on the baseline, dribble with your right hand to the foul line, turn and dribble back to the baseline with your left hand. Now, dribble with your right hand up to half-court, turn and return to baseline using your left hand. Next, dribble with your right hand to the opposite foul line and return again using your left hand. Finish the ball handling drill by dribbling with your right hand to the opposite baseline and then back with your left hand.

30) Slalom Course (Crossover)

This ball handling drill develops your crossover dribble. Place cones (or chairs, etc) in a straight line about 10 feet apart. Dribble in and out of the cones, always using the hand farthest from the cones (defender). Once you get past the last cone, go back through the obstacle course again.

31) Pull-back, Crossover Drill

Move forward two steps as you are dribbling. Keep your head up as you step two steps back using the pull-back dribble. Then cross the ball over to your opposite hand and repeat the ball handling drill.

32) Stop & Go

Pick a hand and speed dribble from the baseline to the foul line and stop quickly while maintaining your dribble. Speed up to half-court and stop again. Speed to the next foul line and stop quickly. Finish by running to the baseline and stopping quickly once again. Never stop dribbling during the entire ball handling drill. Now do the same thing back down the court using your other hand.

33) Full-Court Dribbling

More advanced version of the Walking Dribble (see Ball Handling Drill #26 above). Start at baseline and dribble the length of the court using one of the following types of dribbles: control, speed, change-of-pace, crossover, spin, behind the back, or between the legs. Work on certain types of dribbles each time you work on this ball handling drill.

34) Dribble-Penetration

You can use any one of the following dribble moves during this ball handling drill: inside-out, behind the back, crossover, change of pace or between the legs. Begin at half-court, dribble hard to the foul line, execute a dribble move and then drive in for a lay-up. Grab the rebound, dribble back to the foul line, execute another dribble move and then dribble back to half-court.

Two-Ball, Ball Handling Drills On The Move

35) Straight Line Dribbling

Dribble the length of the court, bouncing the balls so they hit the floor at the same time. Variation: Dribble the length of the court alternating bounces.

36) Zig-Zag Dribbling

Dribble the length of the court, moving from side to side.

Group Ball Handling Drills

37) One-On-One

For this ball handling drill, have players line up in three or four lines equally spread along one of the baselines. The first player in each line is the defender and the second player in line takes the ball. Staying within a 10-foot lane, the player with the ball tries to dribble upcourt against the defender. The player with the ball is forced to use many of the dribble moves to get upcourt because they are forced to stay within that 10-foot lane. They must also use both hands and focus on keeping their eyes off the floor. When the players reach the other baseline, they switch positions and back down the court.

38) Speed Race

Line up the players in 4 or 5 lines just behind one of the baselines with an equal number in each line. The first player in each line has a ball and on signal they dribble to far end line and then back again. When they return, they pass the ball to the next player in line and that player dribbles up and back, also. The team that gets all players up and down the court fastest, wins. This ball handling drill can be done with the left or right hands only, or with alternate hands.

39) Speed Relay

Split up into 3 teams of 5 players each. Have 3 players from each team lined up at one baseline with the ball and the other two players from each team at the other baseline facing their teammates. The first player with the ball on each team dribbles to the far baseline and passes to a teammate there. That teammate then heads back to the opposite baseline. The first team to end up in their original starting positions, wins this ball handling drill. Drill on the right hand and then the left.

40) Control & Speed Combined

For this ball handling drill, have players line up in 3 lines of 5 at one baseline. Each player has a ball. The first player in each line uses the control dribble with a change of pace and direction until they reach mid-court line. Then they speed dribble to the opposite baseline and wait for the others before repeating drill to the starting baseline. Each player starts the drill when the player in front of them has gotten about 20 feet ahead.

41) Press Breaker

Position 3-5 defenders at various spots down the court. A player with the ball starts dribbling from the baseline while the defenders try to force the offensive player into the corners or “traps”. The offensive player must keep their eyes up and work downcourt without picking up the dribble or losing control of the ball during the entire ball handling drill.

For additional tips, check out our Basketball Tips page.
Go to the first page of ball handling drills

Basketball Back Door Play

The basketball back door play is a basketball move every player must learn and every coach must teach.

It’s a major part of almost all offenses ever created and it’s vital you understand the fundamentals of this particular basketball play. The whole idea is to help offensive players get free from tough defenses. Once free, the offensive player should have a nice, open look at the basket.

By the way, would you like to dramatically increase your focus on learning the basketball back door play without ingesting a pill or drink?


Basketball Back Door Play

This is a basketball play that is extremely effective against defensive players who are playing very aggressively on an offensive player and can be utilized anywhere on the floor. The back door play involves two offensive players, one of which has possession of the ball. Any two of the five players on the floor can be involved in this play.

The basketball back door play works best when the offensive player being over-played by their defender is the one without the ball. Since the defender is so close, it’s hard for the offensive player to get open for a pass from a teammate.

If you’re the player without the ball, here’s what you do to get free and work the “back door“: Take two quick steps toward your teammate with the ball. As soon as your defender catches up with you, stop quickly and cut to the basket or into an open space.

Very few defensive players have the speed necessary to catch up to you if the pass is made quickly enough. And even if the defender is fast enough to catch up to you, they’re usually out of position because you will now have your body between them and the basketball or basket.

After seeing this basketball play a time or two, watch how your defender backs off and plays more loosely.

The basketball back door play can be used at any time, but is the most effective against man-to-man defenses. We’re sure you can guess why!

Additional Back Door Tips

When you’re the player dribbling on this basketball play, you need to develop the ability to use both hands without looking at the ball. This way you always have you head up and your eyes focused on your teammates looking for those basketball back door play opportunities.

When you’re receiving the back door pass, you need to be aware of all the other defenders on the court. Otherwise, you may end up getting called for charging when you cut to the hoop. You need to develop the ability to keep your eyes on the pass, move swiftly but also watching out for defenders trying to block your cutting lane.

Now Learn the Pick-n-Roll

Learn These Basketball Defense Fundamentals And Keep Your Opponents From Scoring

Most people don’t realize that playing great basketball defense has a lot less to do with having speed and quick feet, and a lot more to do with having good anticipation, being aware of what’s going on around you, good body balance and basic fundamentals.

One simple reason many players never become good defenders is because they fail to learn the basic basketball defense fundamentals and techniques. Don’t let that be you! Take the time to study this page because anyone can become a great defender. If you really want it and invest time in it, you will get there.

Near the bottom of the page, you’ll also find an introduction to the most common defensive formations.

By the way, would you like to learn how to dramatically increase your focus on applying these basketball defense fundamentals without ingesting a pill or drink?


Basketball Defense Fundamentals

Basketball Defense Fundamental #1) Basic Stance

Keep your feet positioned as wide as your shoulders with your weight balanced on the balls of your feet. If you’re flat-footed, back on your heels or have your legs too close together, it’s hard to move quickly and you’ll find offensive players dribbling right around you. Keep your knees bent slightly with your butt low. Now, make sure you have one extended high to guard shots and passes and the other hand extended low on the ball.

Basketball Defense Fundamental #2) Focus On the Waist

If you want to avoid getting faked out, focus on a part of the offensive player’s body that doesn’t move. Many inexperienced players focus on the eyes, head and legs of their opponents. Or, they watch the ball. If you watch the ball, all the offender needs to do is fake a pass, fake a shot, or fake going one way and go the other way. Don’t do this or you’ll be sucking air as the offensive player goes in for the lay-up! Remember to watch your opponent’s mid-section because they can’t go anywhere without it. If they fake a pass or shot and then do something else, you’ll be right there because you’ll see the waist go where they really intend to go.

Basketball Defense Fundamental #3) Slide Side-to-Side

Position and footwork are two of the most important aspects of playing good basketball defense. Be sure to move side-to-side (laterally), without crossing your legs. As you slide, maintain your balance by keeping your feet as close to the width of your shoulders as possible. Also, avoid letting your feet to touch as you move.

Basketball Defense Fundamental #4) Be Aware of Tendancies

Becoming a good student of your opponent will turn you from an “OK” defensive player into a great one. You want to find out whether they are right-handed or left-handed. Do they like to drive to the hoop or do they prefer making jump shots? The key is to get your opponent doing the opposite of what they like. If they like making jumpers, try to make them drive. If they like to go to the left, make them go to the right.

An important element of this strategy is good footwork. If you’re trying to make an offender dribble to the left, keep your left foot slightly in front by dropping your right foot back. Stay on the balls of your feet. If they still try to go right, you’re in position to move in front of them. If you’re successful in making them go left (your right), you can move quickly that way. Reverse this basketball defense strategy to make them go right, of course.

Basketball Defense Fundamental #5) Guarding the Offender

There are two important fundamentals to guarding players without the ball: Stay between the player and the basket and try not to turn your back to the ball. If the player you’re guarding is on the right side of the floor and ball is on the left, raise your left hand and drop your right foot back a bit. Be sure your left arm is between your offender and the ball but don’t turn completely around or else your back will be to the ball. Keep your head up so you can see your opponent and the ball at al times.

Basketball Defense Fundamental #6) Shot Blocking

When blocking shots, always use the hand closest to the basket. If a player is driving in from the right side of the basket, you’ll use your left hand to block. This allows you to use the hand farthest from the offensive player’s body and lessens the possibility of committing a foul. You won’t be reaching across the offender’s body (which would increase your chances of fouling them).

Basketball Defense Fundamental #7) Switching

A switch occurs when two defenders switch players they are guarding in order to give each of them better defensive position. As an example, the player you are guarding goes to the left. Their teammate sets a pick and the player you’re guarding dribbles by them. Instead of you knocking the pick player over or going around them, your teammate, who was guarding the “pick” player, steps out in front of the player with the ball. You take over guarding the player without the ball and now you and your teammate have performed a switch.

Make sure that when your teammate steps out to meet the player with the ball that you keep your shoulders even with your teammate’s shoulders. If you drop back before your shoulders are at the same angle, the player with the ball can turn around and get by both of you.

Basketball Defense Fundamental #8) Low-Post Defense

The low post area is just to the left or right of the basket on or near the free-throw lane. This is where offensive players (usually the center or a forward) will stand waiting for the ball. They try to keep their defender behind them by spreading their legs wide and have an arm raised looking for the pass (they have their back to the basket). As a defensive player, the first thing you’re trying to prevent is the pass. Don’t try to get in front of the player. Move your body about three-quarters of the way in front with the arm farthest from the basket in the passing lane. Once the pass is in the air, drop back behind and get into good position to play defense.

Most Common Defensive Formations

Defensive Formation #1) Man-to-Man

Each of the five defensive players guards one of the five offensive players. Even if switching is used, each player is responsible for one offensive player at a time.

Defensive Formation #2) Zone

Each defender is responsible for guarding a certain area, or zone, instead of guarding a specific offensive player. The goal is to double-team the player with the ball. When an offensive player with the ball enters a zone between two defenders, those two defenders attack the dribbler while the other 3 defenders guard their areas.

Defensive Formation #3) 2-1-2 Zone

Two defenders are positioned above the foul line, one is in the lane and the other two are low on either side of the basket.

Defensive Formation #4) 2-3 Zone

Two defenders spread out from another above the foul line and the other three players are spread across the bottom half of the lane.

Defensive Formation #5) 1-3-1 Zone

One defender is positioned out front, three are across the foul line extended and the fifth is down under the basket. The player out front tries to force the dribbler right or left. As that player drives, another defender comes up for the double-team.

Defensive Formation #6) 2-2-1 Zone Press

This is usually a full-court defense. As soon as the ball is thrown inbounds after a basket, the defense starts guarding immediately (called full-court press). Again, the idea is to get two defenders double-teaming (trapping) the dribbler while the other three guard the rest of the floor.

Basketball Fouls

Basketball Fouls: Foul Trouble

Players who accumulate too many fouls during the course of a game are said to be in foul trouble. Players who commit five fouls in high school and college or six fouls in the NBA are disqualified or eliminated from that particular game. Teams need to avoid the total number of team fouls reaching more than six in each half. Once they reach this number, the other team is “in the one-and-one” and goes to the charity stripe for all subsequent fouls in that half.

The following is a break-down of some of the most common basketball fouls:

Away-From-the-Play Foul – In the last two minutes of the game, illegal contact by the defense which occurs either deliberately away from the ball, and/or before the ball is released on a throw-in.

Blocking – Physically impeding the progress of another player who is still moving.

Charging – When an offensive player runs into a defender who has established position.

Double Foul – When two opponents commit personal or technical fouls against each other at about the same time.

Elbowing – Throwing your elbows during play in order to hit another player or push him away; it’s a basketball foul if contact is made.

Fighting Foul – When two or more players engage in fighting one another.

Flagrant Foul – Unnecessary or excessive contact against an opponent.

Foul – Actions by players which break the rules but are not floor violations.

Hand-Checking – Using the hands to check the progress of an offensive player when that player is in front of the defender who is using the hands.

Holding – Restricting the movement of an opponent.

Illegal Blocking – Illegal contact which impedes the progress of an opponent.

Illegal Screen – A form of blocking in which the player setting the screen is still moving when the defender makes contact.

Loose Ball Foul – A basketball foul committed while neither team has possession of the ball (such as when going for a rebound).

Offensive Foul – Illegal contact, committed by an offensive player, after the ball is live.

Over-the-Back – Infringing on the vertical plane of, and making contact with, a player who is in position and attempting to rebound.

Personal Foul – Contact which occurs with an opponent after the ball has become live that may result in injury (including a push, hold, trip, hack, elbow, restrain or charge).

Punching – Personal foul where one player punches another.

Pushing – Impeding the progress or otherwise moving a player by pushing or shoving.

Reaching In – Extending an arm and making contact with a ball handler in an attempt to steal the ball.

Team Foul – Each personal foul committed by a player is also counted against his team; when a team goes over the limit, its opponent is awarded free-throw opportunities.

Technical Foul – Misconduct that officials believe are detrimental to the game; can be assessed against team members on the floor or seated on the bench. penalized by a free-throw opportunity to the non-offending team; also called a “T”.

Tripping – Extending a leg or foot and causing an opponent to lose balance or fall.

Great Ball Handling Tips To Help Unleash The Dribbling Master Inside You

Here you’ll find some great ball handling tips. For any player, developing good dribbling skills is a key factor in developing their game.

For taller players, developing good dribbling skills can make all the difference in the world. It can mean the difference between becoming a great player and just being so-so (and who wants to be just an average player, right?). For the smaller players, good ball handling ability is the key to getting around the big players and getting into scoring opportunities.

Basically, everyone needs to develop ball handling skills. It helps set up an offense, get through and around the defense and definitely helps make the fast break work properly.

The ball handling tips displayed below are not in any particular order. Just scroll through, find what tip or tips you’re looking for. Then put these tips to use in your practicing and drills. If you invest the time needed to master your dribbling skills, you’ll be thankful everytime you fake your opponent into embarrassment on the basketball court.

OK, bring on the dribbling tips!

By the way, would you like to learn how to dramatically increase your focus on applying these ball handling tips without ingesting a pill or drink?


Ball Handling Tips

1) Control the ball with your fingers, not your palm. Keep your fingers spread comfortably.

2) Learn to dribble without needing to look at the ball.

3) Be sure there is a purpose to your dribbling.

ball handling
Useless and excessive dribbling can hurt the team.

4) Bend slightly and keep your knees bent a little.

5) As a general rule, you should stay away from the corners and sidelines when performing as a dribbler.

6) Try to keep the ball from going above the waist.

7) Keep your head up and stay alert to what’s happening on the court, not what’s happening at your feet.

8) Get good at dribbling with both hands. The best players have mastered this. You can, too.

9) Be sure to keep the ball close to your body and under control.

10) You should end every single dribble with a successful pass to a teammate or a shot attempt.

11) If you’re being guarded closely or cutting to the hoop, you want to keep the ball from bouncing past your knees. Keep everything under control.

Let’s Break Some Ankles With These Ball Handling Drills

You’ve just found one of the best ball handling drills resources out there.

ball handling drills
If you want the ability to control your opponent and make ’em look silly, then spend some time on this page and on our second ball drills page.

Learn these basketball dribbling drills, practice them with passion and you’ll be motoring through, around, over and under your defenders in no time. You’ll make ’em wish they had just stayed home!

That all sounds great but you need to pay the price for that kind of ability. Study the drills we’ve laid out for you. Use them and practice them.

Some of these drills are easy and some are much more difficult. Don’t get discouraged if you struggle on some of them in the beginning. Put in the time required to master your basketball dribbling drills & skills and watch your over-all game soar to new heights.

Stationary Ball Handling Drills

1) Tap Drill

Extend your hands over your head and tap the ball quickly between your fingertips. Work your way down to the floor
and then back up over your head.

2) Neck Circles

Move the ball around your neck in a circular motion.

3) Waist Circles

Move the ball as quickly as you can around your waist.

4) Leg Circles

Move the ball around your right knee as you stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Then do the same around your left knee. You can also do this ball handling drill with your feet positioned close together and moving the ball around both legs.

5) Waist/Leg Circle Combo

Combine the 2 previous drills into one. Stand with your legs together. Start at your ankles and work the ball around your legs. Then move up to your knees, then waist and then back down to your ankles again. Work on gaining a quick, fluid motion up and down.

6) Wall Drill

Hold the ball above your head with both hands standing about three feet from a wall. Bounce the ball off the wall 10 times with your right hand and then 10 times with your left hand using the top, padded areas of your fingers. This may be a bit difficult when you first try, but it will help you develop the proper feel for the ball.

7) Ricochet

While standing straight up with your feet spread apart, bounce the ball hard between your legs and then catch it behind you with both hands.

8) Pretzel

Put one hand on the ball in front of your legs and one hand on the ball behind your legs while standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Drop the ball and reverse the position of your hands. Try doing this ball handling drill continuously as quickly as possible.

9) Run in Place

Bend over while running in place. Move the ball behind your right leg with the right hand and then behind your left leg with the left hand. Keep doing this while being sure to keep your feet in a straight line.

10) Straddle Flip

Hold the ball with both hands in front of your legs while standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Drop the ball, swing your hands to the back of your legs and catch the ball before it can reach the floor. Then drop the ball once more, swing your hands to the front and catch it there. Repeat this ball handling drill over and over as quickly as you can.

11) Figure Eight

Stand with your knees about shoulder-width apart and bend over slightly. With the ball in your right hand, pass it between your legs in a figure eight motion to your left hand. Swing the ball to the front and then pass it from your left hand back to your right hand through your legs. As with all ball handling drills, start slowly and increase your speed as you get more comfortable.

Stationary Ball Drills

12) Figure Eight

Similar to the Figure Eight ball handling drill above (#11). Stand with your knees about shoulder-width apart and bend over slightly. With the ball in your right hand, dribble it between your legs in a figure eight motion to your left hand. Swing the ball to the front and then dribble it from your left hand back to your right hand in the same figure eight pattern through your legs. Start slowly and increase your speed as you get more comfortable.

13) Bongo Dribble

For this ball handling drill, get on your knees and dribble the ball as fast as you can, alternating your hands as if you were playing a set of bongo drums.

14) Leg Circles

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Dribble the ball around your right leg using both your right and left hands. Then repeat the same ball handling drill around your left leg.

15) Draw the Picture

Stand in one spot and dribble the ball in a circle, cross, square and different letters of the alphabet. Do this with both your right and left hands.

16) Wall Drill

Bounce the ball as quickly as possible up and down a wall. Start as high as you can comfortably reach, work down to the floor and then back up again using your right hand and then your left.

17) Seesaw

Position yourself in a wide stance and bounce the ball behind your legs back and forth between your left and right hands.

18) 360 Degree Dribble

Dribble in a circle using your right foot as the pivot foot. Dribble with your right hand making both front and reverse pivots and then do the same using your left hand for the dribble. Repeat this ball handling drill using your left foot as the pivot.

19) Typewriter Dribble

Get on your knees and use one finger at a time to dribble with. Repeat this ball handling drill with all your fingers, even your thumbs.

20) Front and Back

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and dribble the ball back and forth between your legs using the same hand. Then repeat this ball handling drill with your other hand.

21) Dribble Sit-Ups

Lay on your back and begin dribbling the ball by one side. Start doing sit-ups but maintain control of your dribble as you do so. Repeat the drill with your other hand.

Now go to our Second Page of ball handling drills.

Basketball Free Throw Tips

basketball free throw

Everyone talks up the importance of making that basketball free throw when you’re down by one with one second on the clock.

But if you think about it, every single free throw throughout each game is as important as the final one. How many times has your team lost by one point and all you could think was, “If we had just made two more of our free throws”?

Also, if you & your team had nailed all your early free throws, you most likely would have had a large lead late in the game and had no need to be getting desperate, right? No matter where you are in a game, the most important thing is to have developed a clean, consistent basketball free throw shot.

One thing a lot of inexperienced players (or experienced players that are just plain poor free throw shooters) do, is to vary their shooting method after missing. They think they need to change it up and try it another way. The great players don’t do this!

The great players develop and then practice a sound basketball free throw method and stick with it through thick and thin. Since they develop sound technique, though, there are not many thin spots as they make a very high percentage of their free throws.

By the way, would you like to learn how to dramatically increase your focus on applying these basketball free throw tips without ingesting a pill or drink?

One final thought before we get to individual free throw tips. Getting your consistent technique developed is only part of being a quality free throw shooter. The mental aspect of it plays a huge role. This is a shot that’s uncontested so it should be easy, right?

The problem is that there is added pressure just because the game stops for all to watch you attempt this shot, many times it comes at a crucial part in the game, etc. How well you can handle this pressure is the key to how good you’ll become.

Visit our Shooting Fundamentals page.


Basketball Free Throw Tips

1) – Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and parallel to one another. Think of it as if you are at the end of a diving board. Get comfortable.

2) – Place your feet just behind the foul line and bring the foot on your non-shooting hand side back just a bit.

3) – Your weight should be placed comfortably on the balls of your feet with your knees bent slightly.

4) – Support the ball by cradling it very lightly in your non-shooting hand.

5) – The middle three fingers of your shooting hand should be placed on the seams of the ball as your palm and thumb act as supports.

6) – Cock your wrist back at a 90 degree angle. Point your elbow at the basket with it also at a 90 degree angle.

7) – Lock your eyes on the prize. A good target to focus on is just above the front of the rim.

8) – A basketball free throw gets its power from your legs, not your arms. Straighten your legs in one fluid motion and keep your upper body relaxed.

9) – The ball should release off your fingertips to provide the correct arc and accuracy.

10) – Follow-through high with your fingers pointing at your target.

11) Always focus on why you make shots, not why you miss. Pay attention to what works.

12) – Always start and finish your basketball free throw at the same point.

13) – Keep your concentration! You must have or develop the ability to block out the crowd, the opponent’s trash talk, your argument with your Mom the other day, etc. Focus, focus, focus.

14) – Develop a pre-shot ritual. Dribble the ball 2-3 times before shooting, spin the ball in your hands a couple times, etc. Just do the same thing each time.

15) – Don’t step to the line until the official is ready to give you the ball. If your concentration is broken by anything, step back and set yourself up again.

16) – A good way to relax yourself is to breathe in deeply and exhale. This relaxes your muscles.

17) – If you miss a basketball free throw, step back and set up again. If you make the shot, stay put for the next attempt.

18) – Replicate “pressure” free throw situations in practice. If you’re not practicing 200-300 pressure free throws a day, get to work!

19) – Keep practicing!

20) – Did we mention you better get to practicing?


Master the Basketball Dribbling Fundamentals and Leave ‘Em Gasping for Air

Get a grasp on correct basketball dribbling fundamentals and techniques!

Doing so will determine your success at any level.

basketball dribbling
On this page, you’ll find the different basketball dribbling types and the proper fundamentals to learn for each one. If you need help with this, settle in for a ball handling buffet!

Many inexperienced players waste their dribble by dribbling right after catching a pass. They also tend to over-dribble and not gain any advantage over the defender. Besides learning the basketball dribbling fundamentals, it’s important to learn to dribble with a purpose.

Reasons to dribble:

1) Advance the ball up the court

2) Penetrate to the hoop

3) Find good passing lanes

4) Get out of trouble

Some basic ball handling guidelines:

1) Dribble with a purpose

2) Keep your head up

3) Use the hand farthest from the defender to dribble with

4) Don’t pick the dribble up unless you have a pass or shot available

5) Don’t dribble into trouble (between 2 defenders or into the corners)

On with the basketball dribbling fundamentals!

By the way, would you like to learn how to dramatically increase your focus on applying these basketball dribbling fundamentals without ingesting a pill or drink?


Basketball Dribbling Fundamentals

1) Basic Technique

Cup your dribbling hand with your fingers spread comfortably with the dribble being a push-pull motion of your arm, wrist and fingers. You’ll initiate the dribble with an elbow extension and flexion of your fingers and wrist. As the ball bounces back up, meet it with your fingers, with your wrist absorbing the force. Control the ball with your fingers and pads of your hands, not the palms. Keep your non-dribbling hand up for protection.

Control is the key. Practice dribbling with your hand the following areas of the ball: directly on top, in front, behind, right side and left side.

2) Control, or Low Dribble

Use this when you’re closely guarded. Keep your body between the ball and the defender. Dribble the ball at knee level or lower and slightly away from your body so it’s harder for the defender to knock it away. Advance the ball with a step and slide movement. Keep your free hand up to protect the ball while keeping you dribbling arm close to your body. If you keep you head up and eyes off the ball, you’ll be able to spot open teammates or openings for you.

3) Speed, or High Dribble

Use this type of basketball dribbling when you need to advance the ball quickly: quick drives to the basket, fast breaks or following a steal in the open court. Keep your body nearly erect, leaning forward slightly. Extend your dribbling arm fully, pushing the ball out in front of your body. Keep the ball near waist level or higher to help maintain maximum speed. Be sure to develop your confidence in doing this technique without looking at the ball and dribbling well with either hand. Once this fundamental is mastered, getting up and down the court quickly will be a breeze.

4) Crossover Dribble

This technique is good to use when you’re being overplayed. It helps you change direction quickly. When your foot on the dribbling side contacts the floor, push off hard toward your opposite foot and bounce the ball across your body with a quick flick of your wrist and fingers (flick the ball with your dribbling hand by pushing from slightly outside the ball). The lower you bounce the ball, the quicker your crossover. Take a step with the foot on the receiving side as your receiving hand gets the ball on a short hop. Quickness is extremely important with this basketball dribbling fundamental. A good advantage is you always maintain visual contact with the game action. The disadvantage is it’s easy to expose the ball to your defender if you’re not careful.

5) Spin, or Reverse Dribble

Another change of direction technique. It’s good if the crossover isn’t available because you’re guarded too closely. Advantage: You keep your body between the defender and the ball. Disadvantage: You lose sight for a moment of your teammates and the basket. If you’re dribbling right and need to go left – stop, plant your left foot and pivot on it as you spin in the opposite direction with your back to the defender. Keep the ball close to your body as you spin and switch it to your left hand. As you complete the turn, dribble with your left hand and keep your head up to see the floor.

6) Change-of-Pace

The idea here is to make your defender think you are slowing down and then, as they relax, you speed right by them. As you slow down, straighten slightly, plant your lead foot and bring your head up a bit. This creates the illusion that you are about to stop and your defender will relax. Then accelerate quickly and use a low dribble to get by the defender. Practice this going from slow to fast and back to slow again. It’s very difficult to defend once you perfect it!

7) Behind-the-Back

Another way to change direction and you’ll always maintain visual contact with game action with this basketball dribbling fundamental. If you’re dribbling with your right hand, slide your hand to the outside of the ball as you put your weight on your right foot. Flick the ball behind your back above the back of your knee and across the back of your thigh as you move your left foot forward. Catch the ball with your left hand and continue dribbling. Make sure to get your left leg forward so the ball has room to come under your left hand for a smooth transition.

8) Pull-Back Dribble

This will give you space you’re double-teamed or the defender tries to run and jump at you. Retreat two steps back as you use the control dribble. Use a step-slide movement by pushing off your front foot and sliding back with your rear foot. As always, keep your head up and keep dribbling until you can pass it off.

9) Between-the-Legs Dribble

basketball dribbling
This works well when you’re being overplayed. If you’re dribbling with your right hand, keep the ball low and switch it to your left hand. Bounce the ball through your legs with a quick flick of your wrist, fingers and lower arm.

Check out our ball handling tips section.


Rewards For Mastering Your Basketball Dribbling Fundamentals

As you master all the different basketball dribbling fundamentals, you’ll find it easier and easier to penetrate the defense. This means you’ll be able to get past your defender, finish the play and help lead your team to victory more and more!

If you’re going to penetrate, you must move your defender out of the driving lane (that imaginary line between you and the basket). Using fakes can help you do this. Fakes like foot fakes, head fakes or ball fakes can all be effective in moving your defenders out of your way.

Another way to get a driving lane is by using any of the dribbling moves you learned earlier on this page.

Once you are past your defender, you must read the defense and finish the play properly. There are basically three ways to finish the play:

1) If the driving lane is open all the way, drive in for the lay-up.

2) If a defender on one of your perimeter teammates comes in to stop you, pass to your now open teammate for the jumper.

3) If a post defender steps up to block you, pass inside to your open post teammate.

Don’t forget to check out our ball handling drills section.

Basketball Dunk Skills

Dunking a Basketball
A “Basketball Dunk” article by: Zachary Thompson
How to dunk a basketball.

Well, there are a few things one needs to keep in mind when you start dunking a basketball.

One is to remember there is a lot more to the game than just the dunk.

And not to spend too much time on learning how to dunk.

Even though it’s fun and can be addicting.

But some good things about dunking a basketball are:

– When it’s done during the game and you’re the one doing the basketball dunk, there are fewer things that’ll feel as great as that.
– It gets your fans and teammates into the game and even more importantly, it gets you into the game
– It can be a big confidence booster for you and a morale buster for those you’re playing against.

If you’re athletic enough and good at dunking a basketball any which way you want, then I doubt you need to read this. But for others it takes time and practice.

The best thing to do to become a better basketball dunker is to work your legs. This helps more then just dunking. Running hills and jumping rope helps a lot. There are several different things you can do. I suggest finding out what leg workout works best for you.

Don’t spend too much time working on dunking a basketball. About 10 attempts after each workout or practice is all you need. It’s addicting, I know. But try to make basketballdunking a part of your game rather then just for showing off while shooting around.

Some like to jump off one leg and others like to jump off two. One leg is better for fast breaks and it helps you use your momentum a lot better.

Two legs are better for post players who only take one dribble most of the time. When doing post moves, this will help you go to the basket stronger.

When you jump, always think ‘JUMP’, and jump as high as you can. Don’t always try to hang on the rim. Just putting it down helps a lot. A lot of basketball dunks are missed because guys try to hang on the rim to show off.

Most people who can dunk will do it with one hand. I like the two handed basketball dunk better because I have more control over the ball. This is something that’s really just personal and there’s no real orthodox way of dunking a basketball.

To sum it up, dunking is not all there is about basketball. It’s just a part of the game and only has been for a short time.

Dunking a basketball can help your game out and it can make your game worse.

But it does help your confidence out to know you can do it whenever you want.

Just practice and watch how others might do it. Try to learn from the best. But, most of all, work on the other parts of your game and just slowly bring dunking into yours.

About The Author:
Zachary Thompson