Thread: Ball Handling!!
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:10 PM   #17
NBA sixth man of the year
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 7,751
Default Re: Ball Handling!!

You know, I coach, and I played for 30 years, and I've always had issues teaching people ball handling stuff. I was a PG, and my handle was extremely tight. You wouldn't mistake me for an and1 guy, but you weren't gonna take it from me in general either.

For me, a lot of ball handling drills are more about testing one's ball handling than they are about getting it better. I know growing up my court was maybe a quarter mile from my house, and I walked there every day. I would try to go through my legs every step, and by the time I got to high school, if I didn't make it, I'd go back and start over.
Things like around the back circles, figure eights, spider dribbles, low taps, even spinning the ball on my finger, always felt more like I was doing them because I could, and it proved I was a good ball handler, not because they were making me better, although I'm sure they were.
I always like to run with the ball. If we ran suicides I dribbled while I was doing it. I just never carried a ball. I also remember as a kid sitting watching tv and hanging my legs off the couch and dribbling in rhythms. Under a leg, under both legs, under the other leg, frontwards, backwards. But that was just stuff I did.
I did have a routine warming up. I'd start at a corner, go up the sideline doing inside outs, a spin at mid court, a half spin at the circle, an up two back two at the other circle, around the back at the other sideline, then charge the elbow, make a hard crossover, and go to the bucket. I'd do it a few times from each corner, sometimes switching up the mix, but always that same format.

I use that same warm up routine as a drill in practices now. In fact I just started this year coaching 7 year olds, and I'm tempted to use it with them. Mostly I coach middle schoolers.
I also do some timed ball handling stuff. A minute of up two back twos (a wildly undertaught move in my opinion), kill the grass (which is a free ball handling in the FT circle where you try to hit as much of the area as possible), and things like running with the through the legs moves. And warmups with around the backs and finger taps and stuff.
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