When you play either guard position it’s important that you be one of the best ball handlers on your team. If you’re a short basketball player, like myself, you’ll usually be at the point guard spot and the need to have a great handle skyrockets. Having a great handle will help you create scoring opportunities for yourself and for your teammates because the defense gets worried about having to help the defender who’s guarding you. It’ll also help you run a team more efficiently because you’ll be able to use your dribbling skills to escape traps and create better passing angles.
While these points are intended for beginners, the best basketball players work religiously at mastering the fundamentals because it makes everything else so much easier.
Whenever Michael Jordan had a bad game, he’d go back to the basics and his fundamentals the following day.
- Don’t Overdribble – A player that overdribbles is someone who doesn’t dribble with purpose, they usually just stand and bounce the ball up and down which leads to inefficient offense and poor possessions. An overdribbler can also be someone who constantly does a crazy combination of dribble moves that don’t lead to anything. Of course this is going to happen once in a while, but it’s important for new players to get into the mindset of dribbling with a purpose. Watching Chris Paul is the best way for someone to turn their mind towards purposeful dribbles.
- Be comfortable dribbling with either hand – Basketball is a game of ambidexterity and being able to dribble equally as well with both hands will make you such a better player. Right-handers need to work until their left hand is at the same level as their right, and vice-versa. Good defenders will recognize your weak hand and attack it relentlessly which will lead to poor play, and ultimately, a drop in confidence.
- Keep your head up – Arguably the most important thing to do when dribbling and running an offense is to keep your head up and on a swivel. Players that look down while they dribble are subject to double teams and miss open teammates which will hurt your team’s chances of winning.
Studying guys like Chris Paul and Steph Curry will help you recognize what a proficient dribbler looks like. While they’re masters at it today, they both started off at an average level. Consistent work is the main factor in how they got to the league, but consistent work at the fundamentals helps keep them in the league.