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Will Dribbling with a Smaller Basketball Help? | Surprising Truth


It seems that most players want a quick fix or a short cut to improving a skill when it comes to their basketball game. If what they try doesn’t give the results they are looking for they write it off as if what they tried doesn’t work. This question comes up often from aspiring basketball players who want to improve their handle.

Will dribbling a smaller basketball improve my handles? Dribbling with a smaller basketball can help a basketball player improve their handles. A smaller basketball is difficult to handle because it requires focus and concentration. But If you really want to improve your handles nothing beats hard work and many hours of practice.

If you are expecting fast results or a magical handles after dribbling a couple of times with a smaller ball, well I got news for you, it’s not going to happen. Like anything in life, you need to work hard and that is the same as your handles if you want to improve.

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Does dribbling with a smaller basketball help?

Dribbling with a smaller ball or smaller basketballs will help your handles but you must think of them as just tools. When you add a different stimulus or variable to your dribbling it makes it harder allowing you to improve at that skill. Dribbling with a smaller basketball is going to be harder and challenging. This is a great way to challenge the player in controlling the basketball and focusing on trying to handle the ball with every dribble.

I recommend a progression with the basketballs to improve your dribbling. Dribble with a women’s basketball (size 6), then a size 5 rubber basketball. Then try a small basketball size 3. Finally, move onto a tennis ball. If any of these balls feel easy then just move to the next smaller size, the idea is to challenge yourself working on your handles with drills and moves.

You can also use a heavy basketball to help build the muscles in the hand and forearm, more on dribbling with a heavy basketball later…

Understand to be a shifty basketball player which means to move the defense one way and go the other is a skill in itself, because you have a good handle doesn’t mean that you will automatically cross people up, you need to learn how to do that. Having a good handle is the first step that will help you along the way to breaking ankles.

Does dribbling with a heavy basketball help?

Many players swear that dribbling with a heavy basketball works, which again very well probably does. Not only does it strengthen the muscles for dribbling but it makes dribbling the ball more difficult physically. There are a number of heavy basketballs on Amazon in which all have good reviews. Usually, with fads or gimmicks, they tend to start to fade away and disappear from the market. Not the case with a heavy basketball. Trainers use these to add a different stimulus to their player’s training and it’s apparent that it does work. Give it a try.

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How to practice dribbling without a basketball?

Many professional basketball players carried a tennis ball everywhere they went when they were young, dribbling the tennis ball on the way to school and to the store. They would throw the ball against the wall and catch it working on their ball handling and control. It is a very easy way to work on your handle without having to bring a basketball around with you. It fits in your pocket and if you lose the tennis ball they are pretty inexpensive to replace.

You can also use a racquetball or volleyball which is also a challenge to your handle, and is better than nothing if you don’t have access to a basketball. There are so many ways to improve you really have to just think outside the box.

Does dribbling a tennis ball help your handles?

Dribbling with a tennis ball is really hard, be prepared to make a lot of errors. The control and focus needed is immense when compared to a regular size basketball. When you have to focus on every dribble you really dive into each detail of skill needed to control the ball.

Your hand-eye coordination and concentration are required total focus with every dribble, while if you add some dribble moves it becomes increasingly more difficult. This will be the by-product of improving your handle with the tennis ball. You will automatically get better with the Men’s size basketball but with everything takes time.

Does dribbling with a plastic bag around the basketball help?

So if you never heard of this phenomenon, this came from Kyrie Erving in which I actually thought he was trolling everyone in an interview. Kyrie was asked how he got his handles and he replied with a plastic bag tied around the basketball. What this does is makes it much more difficult to dribble the basketball as it feels as if the ball has no grip.

Again this is another way of making it harder and more challenging for the player. In the end, nothing will get you handles without practice, hard work, and time.