Dribble (Basketball)

Bouncing the ball while standing still is one of the earliest object control skills to be mastered, however it is much harder to bounce the ball while walking or running (dribbling). This skill should be introduced in Year 1 and mastered by Year 4.

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Assessing the Fundamental Movement Skill of Dribbling (hands)
Assessing the Fundamental Movement Skill of Dribbling (hands)
Learn now to dribble - hand and foot
Learn now to dribble - hand and foot

Checklist of skill criteria:

  1. Eyes focused forward throughout the bounce
  2. Contact the ball with the fingers of one hand at about hip height 
  3. Wrist and elbow bend then straighten to push the ball
  4.  Hip and knees slightly flexed during the bounce
  5. Ball bounces in front of and to the side of the body

Teaching Strategies

For beginners (at the emergent level of dribbling skill development):
  • Focus on skill criteria number 2, 3 and 5
  • Use large colourful medium weight balls
  • Practice bouncing on the spot, then walking bounces
  • Start with watching the ball at this stage (before progressing to eyes forward)
  • Encourage ball control rather than moving with the ball at this stage
  • Practice bouncing against a wall
  • Have targets on the ground to bounce on
  • Play games such as Wicked Witch with each student having a ball, use commands such as 5 bounces and then catch, sitting on the ground and bouncing, walking and bouncing
For children at the developing level of dribbling skill development:
  • Set up obstacle courses to bounce around
  • Practice dribbling while looking ahead at a target
  • Speed up and try dribbling at a fast walk, then jog, then run – all whilst still in control
  • Play Wall Ball and try Basketball Dribbling Relays
For children at the acquired or accomplished level of dribbling skill development:
  • Dribble in different directions
  • Play games of Modified Basketball
  • Have a go at dribbling with both hands
  • Dribble around obstacle courses
Wicked Witch (catch)_photo

Teaching Cues

  1. Push the ball down with your fingers (pat the dog)
  2. Ball in front and to the side
  3. Bounce ball up to your waist

Common Errors

  • Slapping the ball with the hand
  • Inconsistent force when pushing the ball
  • Problems tracking the ball
  • Unable to coordinate moving and tracking the ball