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Basketball is my Passion

Ball Handling: Dominate this fundamental to be the best player on the court

The New Year 2011 is just around the corner. We have only one week left before this year ends. It is the right time to review how well we did at fulfilling our 2010 commitments and to set our new resolutions for the year to come.

How about becoming a better basketball player or coach? Sounds really good right? I am going to tell you about the number one fundamental you need to train to be a better player and that is ball handling. Every game fundamental is important and we are going to be talking and writing about them here so stay tuned.

Why is ball handling the number one basketball fundamental? Well, I will put it this way: Without the ball, there is no game. And the objective of the game is to have better control of the ball and score more points than the opponent with it. As a result of better ball handling you will have less chances of turning the ball over; you will be able to pass more effectively. You will be able to train on gaining more speed on the court, to improve rebounding and defense; shooting will become easier. Bouncing the ball is part of handling it and that is why it is one of the first drills when learning the game. Usually as a coach, you will tell your players to carry the ball everywhere day and night; sleep with the ball until it becomes an extension of the body. Let yourself become fully aware of the ball, its size, its weight, how it bounces and travels through the air.

Excellent ball handling abilities is not only reserved for guards. Forwards and centers stand out of the crowd if they are able to dribble with the ball, make great passes and shoot free throws. For guards, to handle the ball without even seeing it is a must. Point guards need to survey the court constantly while running with the ball. A great drill to start mastering this skill the way Steve Nash does is to learn to handle two balls at a time.

Holding one basketball on each hand, begin to walk forward bouncing the ball in your right hand first. Then bounce the ball in your left hand and continue to walk and alternate bounces between hands. With practice you will be able to speed up your pace and handling just one ball will become like a walk in the park.

There are many other drills to improve your ball handling skills. I am pretty sure we can add them all here. If you know a drill, please leave a comment and share it with the rest of the world.

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