Tony Hobbs

Why Do So Many Players Lack Ball Control?

May 3, 2018

I commonly refer to the three levels of dribbling. First we have Ball Handling, next up is Ball Control, and then we have what I like to call Ball On A String.

What’s the difference between the three? Let’s discuss a few NBA players…

I would say Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant had Ball Handling skills. Neither were never fancy dribblers, just efficient and effective handle allowing them to get to there sweet spots. Magic Johnson had great Ball Control. This allowed him to push the ball up and down the court under pressure, along with making the right decisions with the ball. Stephan Curry and Kyrie Irving, totally different story… Lol. These guys have the Ball on a String. Each are capable of doing any and everything necessary with the ball to achieve the ultimate goal, creating space between you and the defender.

Only a small percentage of all basketball players will reach the first level of Ball Control, including NBA players. Most others will never reach any level, because it takes a special dedication to work on dribbling that most don’t have. 

The Problems….

1) To many kids are watching mixtapes instead of working on their game. 

2) Kids, along with parents, are more concerned with shooting the ball. Although shooting is important, working on improving a players jump shot is pointless if they aren’t working as equally hard to improve dribbling the ball. 

3) Kids are overly concerned with making three pointers. Stop running to three point line when you get in the gym, when you can’t make a midrange shot or more importantly drive to the hoop for a layup.

The Solution…. 

“Don’t Put The Ball Down.” The difference between a player with Ball Handling, Ball Control, or Ball on a String is about the relationship shared with the ball. How much do you love it? How many of you can’t go a day without dribbling the ball? In order to be at any of the three levels you have to put in countless hours getting to know the ball, pounding it over and over. Simply put, if you want to improve your Ball Handling get more familiar with your ball. 

Tony Hobbs
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Basketball player development instructor with a passion to help improve your basketball training method and game intelligence.

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