3 Simple Drills to Improve Your Ballhandling & Shooting Off the Dribble

To succeed at basketball, the most important thing is to stay one step ahead of your opponents. And for that, one needs lots and lots of practice.

Sometimes you cannot always have the ball where you want it on the court. But if you have the right skills and practice, you can create space for yourself and get the ball to your sweet spots on the floor.

In this post, we’ll give you some basketball drills that will improve your ball handling and shooting off the dribble…

WARM UP – FORM SHOOTING – 10 SHOTS, 3 to 5  SPOTS

Before we get to the off the dribble shooting, we have to make sure we are properly warmed up.  You can jog, skip, do jumping jacks or anything to get your heart rate up. 

Next, you should always start every shooting workout with a form shooting routine.  This helps improve and engrain really good shooting mechanics into your game.  

To perform Form Shooting, stand underneath the basket, and when you are exactly underneath it, take a step outside of the basket. This will give you the ideal room to practice form-shooting.

You should have a low and balanced stance, with your feet shoulder-width apart, and your dominant foot slightly forward. For right-handed players, the dominant foot will be the right one, and for left-handed players, their left foot will be the dominant one.

Next, make sure your shooting arm(s) make an L-shape, with your elbow exactly over your right knee, the right knee over the right toe and the toe aligned with the basket.

In this position, you should work on getting some motions up, holding on to the follow through. The follow through should be a 45 degree angle towards the basket.  Do not release the ball too high or too low, and make sure you don’t make a hard touch.

Perform 10 shots from 3 to 5 different spots. Hit the basket and get comfortable.

STATIONARY SHOOTING OFF THE DRIBBLE DRILL

Once you are done with form shooting, you are all ready to do the stationary off-the-dribble shooting.

This drill will be performed with three different moves. First, you are going to work on a Double Cross Over, then practice some Double Behind The Back move, and lastly, focus on the Double Scissors.

Before you make these moves, position yourself properly. Stand near the free-throw line, keep a low stance, hold the ball close and tight, and keep your eyes on the target.

DRIBBLE MOVE #1 – DOUBLE CROSS OVER

A Crossover is a move which occurs when a player moves the ball from one side of their body to the other with a single dribble. This is mainly used to wrong-foot the defender.

When performing the double cross over, position yourself near the free-throw line and pound the ball, because once you pound it, it will allow you to explode a little bit quicker and shoot. 

Stand aligned to the basket, keep a low stance, with both feet shoulder-width apart and dominant foot slightly forward, perform a quick double cross over and shoot.

When shooting, it’s important to quickly bring the ball to your shot pocket after the dribble move.  In other words, you want to have the SAME STARTING POINT (your shot pocket) every time you shoot the ball.  

It’s also to hold your follow through on each shot.  

After each shot, keep running and building on the momentum. Collect the ball off the rebound, and quickly get back to the starting position to make another repetition. The goal is to get a lot of reps and work on shooting.

DRIBBLE MOVE #2 – DOUBLE BEHIND THE BACK

Behind The Back is a move which occurs when a player dribbles the ball behind their back from one side to another. This move is very useful because it allows an attacker to use their body as a shield to secure the ball from a defender.

To perform the move, you will have to follow the same steps as mentioned in the Double Cross Over section.

Stand aligned to the basket, keep a low stance, with both feet shoulder-width apart and dominant foot slightly forward, perform a quick behind the back dribble and shoot.

The important thing is to hold your follow through after each shot.

After you shoot, hustle to the ball and get back to the starting position for another repetition.

DRIBBLE MOVE #3 – DOUBLE SCISSORS

Scissors move involves crossing the basketball over from one hand to the other, but putting the ball between your legs.

Again, you will have to follow the same steps.

Stand aligned to the basket near the free-throw line, keep a low stance, with both feet shoulder-width apart and dominant foot slightly forward, perform a quick Double Scissor dribble and shoot.

Repeat with Opposite Hand

Once you have performed a decent number of repetitions of the aforementioned moves with your dominant hand, the next thing is to perform the same move with your opposite hand.

Suppose you are a right-handed shooter performing a double cross over with your opposite hand, you have to make sure you bring the ball back to the shooter’s pocket when going for the shot.

The steps to follow are pretty much the same as with the dominant-hand Double Cross Over. Stand aligned to the basket, keep a low stance with both feet shoulder-width apart and dominant foot slightly forward, rip the ball across, perform a quick double cross over and shoot.

Make sure you hold your follow through, hustle after the ball, and perform all the repetitions.

ON THE MOVE DRIBBLE MOVES AND JUMP SHOTS

DRIBBLE MOVE #1 – CROSS OVER

With the next drill, you’re practicing your dribble moves and jump shot on the move. 

When you are performing an Off the Dribble shot, make sure you are pounding the ball and exploding into the shot. 

Before you perform this drill, make sure you keep the same stance/position as mentioned above, which is; keep a low and balance stance, feet aligned but dominant foot slightly forward, and be in the attack mode.

When you attack, start with going over to the right side, take a few steps forward attacking, stop and make a crossover, because when you make a crossover, you are getting your leg out ready to attack. 

Keep in mind that your last dribble should not be high, but low by the knee.

Perform a quick one-two and shoot. Hold your follow through, get the rebound and perform repetitions.

Practice the same moves going both to your right and your left.  

DRIBBLE MOVE #2 – THROUGH THE LEGS

When you attack, start with going over to the right side, take a few steps forward attacking, stop and make a Through The Legs move to switch to the left side of the court. Then pound the ball, dribble and shoot. 

Keep in mind that the last dribble should not be high, but low by the knee.

Hold your follow through, get the rebound and perform repetitions. Perform the move with your opposite hand.

An important thing to keep in mind is when you move past the cone, and make a Through The Legs move, DON’T go wide. Focus on getting low e.g. your shoulder should be at the height of the defender’s hip, and attacking and getting the shot from inside the paint area.

DRIBBLE MOVE #3 – BEHIND THE BACK

There are two ways you can perform this move e.g. You can either perform a wrap escape, which means that you perform a behind the back move without breaking your running stride. This move is difficult to perform and requires quite a lot of practice.

The other way, which we will be focusing on, is performing a behind the back move by stopping while attacking, and keeping a low stance. Have your feet shoulder-width apart, come to a stop with both feet landing at the same time and put the ball behind your back.

When you attack, start with going over to the right side, take a few steps forward attacking, stop and make a Behind The Back move to switch to the left side of the court. Then pound the ball, dribble and shoot. 

Keep in mind that the dribble should not be up top, but low by the knee.

Hold your follow through, get the rebound and perform repetitions. Perform the move with your opposite hand, and the opposite side.

Follow this routine three times a week (or more) for maximum benefits. Remember, practice makes perfect.

Workout Summary and Reps

Here’s a summary of the workout and how many reps for each drill:

  • Form shooting – 10 reps from 3 spots (30 total shots)
  • Stationary – Double Crossovers – 10 reps with each hand
  • Stationary – Double Behind Back – 10 reps with each hand
  • Stationary – Double Scissors – 10 reps with each hand
  • On the Move – Crossovers – 10 reps to right and 10 reps to left
  • On the Move – Through Legs – 10 reps to right and 10 reps to left
  • On the Move – Behind Back – 10 reps to right and 10 reps to left

Do this workout 3 days out of the week and I guarantee you will get better.

This was just a sample of our full shooting off the dribble workout…

Get All 10 Moves/Drills and the COMPLETE Shooting Off the Dribble Workout for FREE

We gave you 3 out of the 10 dribble moves and one piece of our off the dribble shooting workout.  To get all 10 dribble moves and the entire workout for free, click this link.

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