Youth Basketball
Dribbling Skills

Dribbling may be one of the most over used skills in the game of basketball. Many times you wonder if there will be any air left in the ball by the time the kids are done playing. Dribbling, however, is one of the easiest and most fun things to do as a youth basketball player. We all start out early trying to dribble a ball and it's great when you can develop enough rhythm and timing to actually keep the ball bouncing.

The first skill we teach is CONTROL DRIBBLE

Control Dribble - With Advance and Retreat Steps

The BODY-BODY-BALL Relationship

With CONTROL DRIBBLE, maintain a BODY-BODY-BALL relationship. Keep your feet in line to the basket and maintain VISION to the basket while seeing the floor.

Knees bent at 45 degrees to floor, back straight, ball dribbled on back leg no higher than the knee, non-dribbling arm forms an armbar - parallel to the floor - making a fist with the armbar hand.

Many times when the kids encounter a defensive player, they will turn their back to the defense to protect the ball with their body, however, their vision to the basket and floor is limited. It is important that the kids understand the VISION and BALL CONTROL is possible with the Control Dribble postion.

The BODY-BODY-BALL Position is a KEY teaching point we build on as we develop a funadamental basketball foundation.

This video above demonstrates the player establishing CONTROL DRIBBLE, then using Advance and Retreat Dribble to move forward and backward in Control Dribble stance while maintaining vision to the basket and seeing the floor.

The Armbar

The Control Dribble Position protects the ball from the defender with the body in a Body-Body-Ball relationship. This position allows the offensive player to maintain vision of the floor while protecting the basketball. We also teach the kids to use an ARMBAR with their non-dribbling arm and hand. This ARMBAR should be parallel to the floor with the goal of protecting and blocking the defender from reaching to the ball.

We want the kids to make a fist with their ARMBAR hand for two reasons

- It makes the arm of the ARMBAR firm
- It encourages protection and blocking - not pushing away the defense.

The kids will have a tendency to push away the defender if they keep thier ARMBAR hand open. Making fist is preferred on the ARMBAR hand to eliminate pushing away the defense.

Please notice the Body-Body-Ball position with a firm ARMBAR in the picture below.

Control Dribble

How do we BEAT a Defender?

There are two ways to beat a basketball defender:



It is IMPORTANT to teach the kids that being tall, strong, fast, and quick are all good things, but none of them are as important as learning "how to play". Learning to change direction and speed are primary keys to learning "how to play". It will build the confidence of all kids when they realize learning to play is MOST important. How tall, how fast, how quick, how high you can jump, all good things, but NONE more important than learning how to play.

Three Primary Change of Direction Dribbles:




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Flames Basketball
Instructional DVD Series

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