When you watch basketball, particularly the NBA, you will hear experts remark that it is a ‘make or miss’ league. This means that the sport is all about taking shots, and it simply comes down to whether or not you make said shot. However, whilst basketball is all about shooting, it’s essential for any young player to focus on one other thing: ball control.
After all, if you cannot control the ball and make it dance to your tune then how can you possibly hope to become a better basketball player? How can you shoot if you cannot keep the ball under your spell?
The best players in the world today are not only great shooters, but outstanding ball movers, handlers, and passers. If you want to become a better handler of the ball, then you need to get used to dribbling and playing the game with a flow.
To become a more comfortable dribbler, you need to adopt a proper stance. To o this, you want to try and keep your head behind your toes and your hips should be taking the brunt of your physical weight, without being pushed forward. Too many players fail because they dribble with the head up but the body tilted over the ball. The key to proper ball handling come down to being able to move the ball as opposed to your body.
Your body has to remain in a static, specific position – the ball moves around you, not the other way around. Regardless of whether you are a youngster dreaming of making it big in the UAE or abroad, or you simply play pick-up games for fun, you will find that ball control can be improved. You should get used to moving the ball around properly.
Bouncing the ball and handling it with confidence
To become a better basketball player, get used to moving the ball around the body. You should try and get used to bouncing the ball not in front of you, but to the side of your foot. This offers an easier chance to move the ball out of the reach of an opponent, but it also means you are able to easily move the ball from side to side without having to contort your body.
Watch someone like Portland star Damien Lillard; look how he moves the ball from side to side without really shifting body position. you want to get used to making sure you bounce the ball with enough force to ensure it reaches between knee and hip; not higher, not lower. This helps you to maintain flow and control of the ball, and it means that you can maintain a height that gives you control without instilling confidence in the opponent.
The more power that you put into your dribbling, the more control you tend to have over the ball. Get used to moving the ball from side to side, and get used to moving the ball from side-to-side and behind the back. The sooner you get used to moving around yourself, as opposed to moving yourself around the ball, the quicker your game will improve.
Ball handling is everything – and without it, you cannot become the best player that you can be. Work with your coaches to become better at crossovers and moving the ball behind your back. The sooner you get used to doing that, the quicker your game will improve.