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“Alternating Hands Dribble in the Open Court”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on January 14, 2009

When I was a kid going to camps and practices, coaches used to have us do the “speed dribble”. Basically going – supposedly – fast as you could using the same hand to dribble all the way up court. It’s what you were taught and directed to use during the hopelessly boring and inefficient use of time “relay races”. I’m pretty sure coaches at camps are still teaching the speed dribble. Last I looked, they were. Problem is, if what one wants to do in teaching hoops is to show players what the pros (and college players) do and help developing players master those skills, i.e., “do as the pros do”, none of the pros ever speed dribbles. Never! Watch! Instead, the technique they employ is the “alternating hands in the open court dribble”.

What is it? Well, what it is not is crossing over. Crossing over when running hard is too constricting, too tight to the body. That, in fact, is the problem with the speed dribble, as well; it doesn’t flow. Instead, imagine doing the Australian Crawl (swim stroke) while standing up and running with a basketball. That’s the “alternating hands in the open court dribble”. Push the ball out, almost as if you are telescoping your arm; out it goes then down goes the ball. Right arm out and slightly diagonally left, then left arm out and slightly diagonally right. Out and then down. Doing it that way never impedes your running progress and allows you to run quick-as-you-can with the ball, much speedier than the old, tired, seen-its-better-days speed dribble. (Video Coming Soon!)

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