The Problem: Players only have confidence in their strong hand, therefore, continue to only dribble that way
- Players become very predictable…and therefore easy to defend
- They “run out of runway” on the sideline (or worse yet in the corner) where they get trapped
- Usually these players do not see the entire court, leaving teammates open
Strategies: Regularly work on weak hand dribbling (with their heads up!)
- Make sure they understand WHY they need to use both hands (and the whole court) when dribbling (see reasons above)
- Run 1 Drill every practice that is a “weak hand only” drill. Working on weak handed dribbling and weak handed layups will help kids gain confidence, and build up the proper muscle memory they’ll need to be strong going to either hand during games.
- Encourage players to dribble up the middle of the floor, not up the sidelines. When players have space, they should try to start going to the weak hand side, so they can come back to their strong hand in traffic
Something to Try: Many of your everyday drills can be done as “weak hand only” drills. Players usually need twice the amount of weak hand work to become proficient and confident in their off hand. Try out Dribble Lengths II with your team, but make it WEAK HAND ONLY. This will work on the weak hand, but also make them keep their eyes up. For a little more fun, you can play Dribble Knock Out as a weak hand only game. Once you’re seeing some real progress, consider making a portion of your scrimmage “weak hand dribbling only” (shooting with strong hand is fine). Don’t be surprised if you see more passing when you do this (which isn’t a bad thing!). Most players likely lack confidence in their weak hand so be vocal and encourage/compliment them as they are trying to get better with their weak hand. For players that constantly dribble to their strong side sideline or corner, try telling them they’re “not allowed” to dribble within 10ft of the sideline during scrimmages so they are forced to keep the ball away from the sideline and see the whole court. For older players, consider adjust your scrimmage rules to not allow strong hand layups, which will force players to try making a weak hand layup (shooting it from the weak side with their weak hand, not strong hand) so they can develop some confidence to try it in a game.