If you're starting to learn how to play basketball, working on your dribbling, shooting, and passing skills is crucial if you want to become a great player. Dribbling is arguably the most important aspect of the sport. Every player has to start somewhere, so read on to learn some fantastic tricks to elevate your game.
The importance of dribbling
Dribbling is important for both offensive and defensive basketball. On the offense, it's used to free yourself from congested areas and drive the ball up the court. Dribbling in defense can be an effective stalling tactic when you're being pressed. You need to be able to dribble with both hands to enable you to move freely in either direction and make it harder for a defensive player to guard you. In your practice sessions, work on dribbling with your weaker hand.
Mastering these six basketball tricks will help you become a valuable team player and dominate on the court. Any trick you learn can go a long way toward smashing the opposition.
One of the first dribble moves a player needs to practice when they start learning basketball tricks is the crossover dribble. It's also one of the easiest basketball moves for a player to perform, but don't be fooled by the simplicity — players at all levels use the crossover to blow past an opponent.
The crossover involves bouncing the ball from one hand to the other in front of you. You would mostly use this move when you want to change direction and you're not being closely guarded by a defender who could poke the ball away from you.
A great basketball move for players learning the game is the in-and-out dribble. It's a move that's designed to fool a defender into thinking you're going to perform a standard crossover. You can get a defender to switch their weight to the wrong leg, opening up a driving lane to attack.
While bouncing the ball with one hand, you use a fake move of the head and shoulders to make it look like you're going in the other direction. You move the ball inside and then back out by changing the position of your hand on the ball and then move forward in the same direction.
3. Through the legs
The through-the-legs dribble is similar to the crossover in that you bounce the ball from one hand to the other, but you cross it between your legs. As the ball passes through the legs, the front leg makes it difficult for an opponent to reach in. It also keeps the ball further from the defense.
Young players can find this move difficult because of the coordination and timing involved. However, when you learn to stay low and explode out of it, this can be one of the most effective basketball tricks.
4. Behind the back
Like the through-the-legs move, the behind-the-back dribble enables you to cross the basketball from one hand to the other while protecting it from a defender. As you pass the ball behind you, your whole body protects it.
One of the biggest advantages of this basketball move is that you can pass the ball out in front of your opposite hand, allowing for a quick offensive attack. While you're on a fast break and a defender lunges in to take the ball, using the behind-the-back dribble helps you protect the ball and escape from your opponent without breaking your stride.
5. Hesitation dribble
The hesitation dribble is a straight-line move that's often used to explode past a defender, giving you the opportunity to attack the basket or enable a teammate to shoot. The aim of this dribble move is to make your opponent think you're going to stop — and then you burst past them.
As you're dribbling quickly down the court, you slow down for a split second, slightly raise your body, and look at the basket or a teammate as if you're going to shoot or pass the ball. To stay in a good defensive position, the defender will slow down and, as they lose their momentum, you push off on your back foot and explode past them.
6. Spin move
One of the most difficult basketball tricks to learn is the spin move, but it's important for you to have this dribbling skill in your repertoire. When you've put in the work to practice this move, it's a quick and effective weapon to use against your opponents.
For the spin move, you plant your inside foot and reverse-swivel around the defender while taking the ball with you and protecting it with your body. You have to make sure your hand stays on top of the ball, because if your hand goes under, you may get stopped for a carrying violation.