The Weak Hand Dribbling Drill looks to promote players confidence with their non-dominant hand. Basketball is a sport where players will need to develop their skills to overcome challenges posed by defences and playing in a sports environment that is three hundred and sixty degrees. To be successful at this a player must develop the ability for them to use both their left and right hands autonomously. Otherwise, they will run the risk of never being able to fully reach their individual potential. The Weak Hand Dribbling Drill looks to not only promote the use of the non-dominate hand, but also apply some pressure that can be a challenge in itself for players to deal with.
The Weak Hand Dribbling Drill starts out with players needing to be broken into groups of three. Players should be grouped depending on their non-dominant hand (left or right) and playing positions (Guards and Forwards). A coach will need to be mindful when placing athletes who maybe have well developed dribbling skills or speed as these players might need to be moved between groups to ensure a challenge for all involved.
The Weak Hand Dribbling Drill utilises the whole court so working in groups of three is useful in keeping more players moving then just standing around waiting for their turn as well. This drill works best over two courts when using in a team situation due to the amount of time spent on the court to rest ratio.
The group of three players start lined up on the baseline. One (1) starts needing only one foot touching the baseline. When the Coach calls out go a stopwatch is started and One (1) starts to dribble at the first cone. One (1) will dribble around the first cone and head towards the opposite end of the floor performing a lay-up with their weak hand (in the diagram above this is the left hand variation shown).
Once One (1) has reached the first cone Two (2) will then commence their dribble around the cone and to the opposite end of the floor.
Once Two (2) reaches the first cone Three (3) will then start their dribble.
Once making the lay-up One (1) will continue on the opposite side of the floor repeating the movement.
A complete rotation of the floor (up and back) is repeated three times with the player aiming to make six lay-ups (three circuits) in under thirty-five seconds.
By having multiple players on the floor, the whole aim of the drill is to not only beat the clock, but also catch the person in front of you. Those players who are able to catch the person in front of them continue with the drill and try to run down the person ahead of them again or just try to finish in their best possible time. In the next repetition of the drill, these players who successful chased down one of their team mates will start in the first position.
The second dribbler should finish in under thirty eight seconds. With the third dribbler finishing in under forty-one seconds. These times are based on the one stopwatch being used and started when the first person commences the Weak Hand Dribbling Drill. If three stopwatches can be utilised then individual times can be recorded.
For those players running down others within the Weak Hand Dribbling Drill part of the reason for them moving to the front of the line is so they then start to compete against their personal best times instead of focusing on just competing against others.
Points of Emphasis
- Players must maintain vision of the court at all times; watching the ball or looking at the floor only serves to limit the rate at which players will develop their weaker hand
- Players must control the ball and keep the ball within their cylinder so they gain maximum effect from the activity; when dribbling the ball it should be kept at around hip height so players learn to control the ball and maintain contact
- Players are allowed one dribble and two steps inside the three-point line when performing a lay-up; technique is still important as is making all uncontested lay-ups
A time only based variation of this drill can be found utilised by Rick Pitino in the Five-Star Basketball Drills book that sets the Weak Hand Dribbling Drill as a single person endeavour with only one person involved within the activity at one time. In this variation, the dribbler simply has to perform the same circuit in under thirty-five seconds by performing six lay-ups. This activity might be suitable initially for player development and especially for younger athletes when first developing this skill.
The Weak Hand Dribbling Drill is about developing the weaker hand of each individual basketball player. The focus on performing a lay-up is a very prudent activity as if teams know a player is weaker in one particular side of their dribbling they can sometimes overload the strong dribbling side so much that they then create an open driving lane when using the weak hand. In some cases, this can be so extensive that players have open lay-ups as a result.