3 Steps to a Good Waist-High Dribble
The most basic dribble is the waist-high dribble. Let’s break it down into three simple steps.
Step One: You need to have your player bend their knees a little bit. They shouldn’t be crouching. You can’t get very far if you’re standing straight with locked knees!
Step Two: Have your player push the ball straight down to the floor using their fingertips. Their palms should be facing the floor. When the ball comes back, they should receive the ball with their fingertips first as well. They should keep their hands waist-level, because that is where they will have the most control.
Step Three: It’s important for you and your player to remember what dribbling is all about, and that’s movement, not the ball.
Dribbling is a tool for players to move around the court, and any lesson on dribbling should keep that front and center. You don’t want your player’s eyes to be glued to the ball, because that’s going to cost them in a game. They should have their heads up, and their eyes looking to where they want to go and where the defense is. They won’t start off being able to do this, but that’s what drills are for!
The Drill for Mastering Waist-High and Low Dribbling
It’s easy to turn this into a drill for your players. They don’t even have to be at practice! All they need is a nice flat surface. Even a sidewalk will work. They should work on maintaining their waist-high dribble while walking around. If your player can do this for fifteen minutes a day, they’ll be in good shape for years to come.
The trick is that your player needs to keep their eye off the ball. If they can’t do that from the start, don’t worry. That’s the whole point of the drill. First, they have to get comfortable dribbling while moving. Then they can work on keeping their eyes off the ball.
As your player progresses, and becomes more confident in their dribble, you should have them add elements to this drill. Instead of walking the ball for fifteen minutes, have your player keep up a slow jog. After that, have them alternate between a jog and a run.
Beyond changing pace, you can also have your player change hands when doing this drill. If you want your player to remain competitive down the line, they’ll need to master their offhand dribble. In fact, if you look at the higher levels, you’ll see that many players are forced to dribble with their offhand the majority of the time. That’s why it’s important to have your player practice this drill with their offhand.
In addition, you’ll want to have your player practice all of these drills with a low dribble. They would do the same drills, with the left and right, walking, jogging, but with the low dribble form.
At first, your player is likely to be thrown off by each new elements. It’s your role, as a coach, a parent, or another loved-one to keep their spirits up when they lag. Transitioning from one stage of a drill to another can be difficult. If your player struggles with dribbling while jogging, have them switch back to walking. Above all else, make sure that your player doesn’t ingrain bad dribbling habits.