What is Dribbling in Basketball? Basketball 101

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Would you like to know what is dribbling in basketball? Would you like to know how to dribble a basketball? Would you like to get tips on how to improve your basketball dribbling skills? Good news, you are in the right place.

Many basketball players would like to know how to improve their handles, and we would like to help. If you are a basketball player, fan, or thinking about becoming a player, you may want to know the importance of dribbling. You may also want to know when to dribble and what are the different types of dribbles. Dribbling is a skill that all basketball players should know.

This article will be a comprehensive piece on all you need to know about dribbling. After reading this article, you will be equipped with all the information that you need to know to up your game. We will help you to impress your teammates, coaches, and friends by showing you how to improve your handles.

What is Dribbling in BasketballWhat is Dribbling in Basketball?

Dribbling is the act of bouncing the ball on the floor with either one or both hands. There are many different types of dribbles and many reasons why a player would want to or should dribble the basketball. Dribbling is also one of the few ways a player can move from point A to point B while moving with the ball. In most situations except one, if you move with the ball without dribbling, a travel will be called against you. The only other exception is when you receive the ball on the run. In this situation, you would be allowed two take up to two steps without being hit with a travel call.

The rules of basketball only allow for a dribble to be done by touching the ball with one hand between bounces. You can only bounce the ball with two hands when attempting a power dribble. A power dribble can only be done once, and it has to be the first dribble that is done after receiving the ball.

If you dribble the ball with two hands at the same time for any other reason, a “double-dribble” call will be made against you. A double-dribble violation will result in a turnover for you, and the opposing team will be awarded the ball.

What are the Different Types of Dribbling in BasketballWhat are the Different Types of Dribbling in Basketball?

One of the reasons why we love and enjoy basketball so much is because of the variety of moves that can be performed and the number of ways we can customize these moves. Dribbling is one of these moves that have a wide range and are very customizable. Every year there are new dribble moves that are being invented or being popularized.

Many NBA players have signature dribbling moves such as Allen Iverson’s crossover and Kyrie Irving’s crossover that have a special place in NBA history. These guys used these two moves to get by opponents or create open shots. There are many other types of dribbling that can be done for many other reasons. Let’s now look at some of the many different types of dribbling moves.

What are the Different Types of Dribbling in Basketball
Regular Dribble

A regular dribble is, as the name suggests, a typical basic dribble. This can be done while stationary, or it can be done while moving. Regular dribbling can be done to gain rhythm or balance before a shot. In the half-court, regular dribbling can also be used to move from one point to the next when the dribbler is not under pressure.

Low Dribble

A low dribble is done by dribbling the ball as close to the ground as possible. Low dribbles are often utilized when trying to maintain possession of the ball while waiting for a play to develop.

Here is a video to demonstrate the low dribble:

Change-Of-Pace Dribble

The change of pace dribble is often used to freeze defenders and then blow by them. The ball handle would slow down almost to a stop, and then when the defender relaxes and expects a pass or a slowed tempo, the ball handler would then quickly dribble past the defender before they can react appropriately.

Here is a video to demonstrate the change-of-pace dribble:

Crossover Dribble

The crossover is used to get past defenders by sending them one way and then going the next. The ball handler will dribble one direction with the guise of going that way. When the defender commits or gets off-balanced towards that direction, the ball handler would then dribble in the opposite direction.

Crossovers are very customizable and vary in degree of difficulty. Basketball dribbling tricks are often incorporated into crossovers. Some players will have a few that they are very comfortable with that they practice and use in games more than others. There are many ways to do crossovers, such as behind the back and under the legs.

You may want to know how to dribble a basketball under your legs. This dribble looks cool but can also be quite useful. To dribble under your legs correctly in games, you will need to practice your hand and leg coordination a lot. To dribble under your legs, make sure that one leg is approximately 2ft in front of the next. Slightly bend your knees (experiment with different degrees) and bounce the ball between your legs. Do this in sets of fifty.

You should feel comfortable with this drill in a few days. When you are, you can try to change legs after a few bounces and then eventually try to walk while doing the exercise. You should try a variation of walking and stationary bounces.

Here is a video to demonstrate the crossover:

Hockey Dribble

The hockey dribble is a dribble that uses the head and shoulders to fake the defender into going the wrong direction. It is most efficient will the defender is backpedaling. You would use your head and shoulders to fake a move in the opposite direction of the dribbling hand while doing a small step in the wrong direction. When the defender shifts to that direction, you would then explode in the opposite direction past the defender.

Here is a video to demonstrate the hockey dribble:

IN and OUT Dribble

The in and out dribble is basically a build on to the hockey dribble. In addition to the head and shoulder fake, the dribbler will also fake a dribble in the wrong direction then comes back to the direction they want to go.

Here is a video to demonstrate the in and out dribble:

Speed Dribble

The speed dribble is used to get up the court as fast as possible. This dribble is used to maintain the offensive advantage before the defense can set up. To do a speed dribble, the ball should be kept waist level and lower while maintaining control of the ball while dribbling as fast as you can.

Here is a video to demonstrate the speed dribble:

How Do You Protect Your Basketball When DribblingHow Do You Protect Your Basketball When Dribbling?

Here are two simple tricks that you can use to keep the ball safe while dribbling:

Keep your eyes up

Being aware of the location of the defenders will help you to see advancing double teams and avoid traps.

Arm Bar

Utilizing your armbar (your off-hand) will help you to ward off steal attempts. A good armbar will protect your dribble while moving and also while stationary.

Quarter turn

A quarter turn will allow you to put as much space between the defender and the ball. The quarter-turn will put the defender on your hip while enabling you to protect the ball and see the majority of the court. 

How to Improve Your Dribbling SkillsHow to Improve Your Dribbling Skills?

Like all other skills of basketball, you will need to commit yourself to your craft if you want to improve your dribbling skills. There are a variety of drills that you can do daily if you want to get those Kyrie handles.

How to Improve Your Dribbling Skills

While performing drills, start slow so that you can get the proper techniques. After you get the proper techniques, gradually increase your speed until you get to game speed. You can utilize cones, chairs, and other obstacles to simulate the presence of defenders. You can find a variety of dribbling basketball drills here.

Why is it Important to Have Good Handles in BasketballWhy is it Important to Have Good Handles in Basketball?

In today’s game, every player must learn all the necessary skills of basketball. Dribbling is one of those skills that all players should work on. If players can’t dribble, their roles on the court are limited, and they can be liabilities when they receive the ball in positions that require dribbling. If you are a weak dribbler, you should try to limit the number of dribbles that you take so that the opponent doesn’t steal the ball from you. Good ball handlers are significant assets for any team because they can put pressure on the defense and keep the offense stable. 

How Many Steps Can You Take Before DribblingHow Many Steps Can You Take Before Dribbling?

Technically you can take one step before dribbling the ball. The foot that isn’t moved will be the pivot. You can take one step with your non-pivot foot. You won’t actually be able to move from one the spot with only one step, but you can use that step to change the direction that you are facing before you make a dribble. 

Can You Jump While DribblingCan You Jump While Dribbling?

Many people believe that you cannot jump while dribbling, but this is not the case. It is entirely legal for basketball players to jump while dribbling. Here is a funny video (1:20) of Blake Griffin doing jumps while dribbling. 

Helpful Videos for Learning DribbleHelpful Videos for Learning to Dribble

Here is a video that shows drills that will improve basketball dribbling skills for beginners.

This second video shows advanced crossover moves. These require a lot of practice, so be diligent with your training.

Wrapping Things Up: What is Dribbling?

Dribbling is done by bouncing the ball on the floor and is often necessary to move from point A to point B. Dribbling is highly customizable but requires a lot of practice. All players should work on their handles so that they can all expand their contributions on the floor. Until next time ballers, work on your dribbling. Get your handles on a string.

Did you enjoy this article? You might also like our other basketball FAQ articles here.

> What is an Assist in Basketball?

> What is a Steal in Basketball?

> What is Rebounding in Basketball?

> How to Do a Layup Correctly?

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Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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