Dribbling the basketball ball with confidence is an essential skill. However, many players are not spending the time needed to master this skill or understand the purpose of dribbling. At Above and Beyond the Playground, we believe that all players should be able to handle the ball and be effective while doing it.
As a Division 1 point guard, Coach Tatum had to handle the ball against many different defenders and be defensive without turning over the ball. He had a 4-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in college. This was mainly due to his ability to use both hands, change speeds, handle pressure with his head up, and manipulate the ball to get to spots on the floor that he wanted. These are the skills he wants to empower players with so they can succeed no matter the time or score in the game.
How many times do we see players young and old not dribbling with both of their hands or picking the ball up when they feel pressure? This can be devastating for the player because once they start turning the ball over, the coach is going to have to sit them down for the sake of the team winning. The result is the player now sitting on the bench, frustrated with their performance and this can linger over into non-basketball time.
What can be learned to help players improve their ball-handling skills? For one, mastering the basics of handling the ball with both hands through consistent high-intensity drills. Also learning how to develop the weak hand so it becomes equally as strong as the dominant hand. Learning how to change speeds to keep the defender from getting comfortable. create space by using your body and taking good angles to control the defender. All of these things are teachable skills that if mastered will build the players' confidence, earn them more time on the floor, and improve their team's chances of winning more games.
Our Saturday ball handling clinics will lay a foundation for becoming an effective ball handler. The drills we use to develop the skills are intense, game-like, and fun, and can be practiced while they are not training with us.