Strong ball handling and ball security on the court puts you in possession of the ball for as long as possible, which means more opportunity to score. To work on those techniques, try the Dribble Tunnel basketball drill.
Basketball camp director and college coach Donnie Arey says that he personally uses this drill to evaluate his players and see if they have the ability to be great ball handlers in a game situation.
To begin, place three cones on the sideline and space them about 4-5 feet apart. Place three more cones on the volleyball line (the closest parallel line from the sideline) and align them with the ones on the sideline. This will be your “tunnel.”
When you’re ready to begin the drill, start at one of the end cones and dribble to the next cone on the opposite line. Once you reach that point, perform a crossover and head toward the cone closest to you diagonally. You’ll basically be attacking the cones in a zig-zag pattern. Get as close as you can to each line without crossing.
At the beginner’s level of the Dribble Tunnel, all you have to do is perform a basic crossover when you reach each cone. Try to create a rhythm by keeping a steady pace as you move diagonally from cone to cone.
To make this drill a bit more challenging, try performing a between-the-legs or behind-the-back crossover at each cone. Try to work on your exchanges so that they’re quick and fluid.
The advanced-level Dribble Tunnel will have you performing three separate moves at each cone: spins, pivots and retreats. During your first go, use all the space you have when you’re performing a spin.
When you perform a pivot, keep the ball tight against your body as you pivot back and forth at each cone. You don’t want a defender stripping the ball from behind during a game.
To start performing retreats, head to the first cone, hit the brakes and bounce back. Make sure these are quick stops and bounces; you’ll lose momentum if you take your time.
“Match the Move,” another advanced-level Drill Tunnel, requires multiple players. It’s just like follow the leader. The starting player will perform a crossover and the player behind them has to follow suit. The faster you’re able to mimic the move, the better.
This drill is great because it replicates the short space you’ll have between you and a defender. If you’re able to keep control of the ball and pick up speed as you move, you’ll be better equipped to get around your opponent and set up a scoring play with ease.