Ball Handling Drill: Chair Changes

Drill Purpose (All Ages)

This drill will improve dribbling and ball handling skills. It can be done alone or with multiple players in practice.


  1. Place a chair about 21 feet from the basket. It can be on top, on wing, or in the corner.

  2. Start about 8-10 feet beyond the chair. Dribble straight at chair. At chair, use a change dribble (crossover, inside out, behind back, etc) to go beyond chair and make a lay-up.

  3. Try to get to the point where you need only one dribble to get to the lay-up. Practice all the changes.

   chair_changes1 (1K)

  1. You can add additional chairs or cones for more of a challenge.

   chair_changes2 (1K)

Points of Emphasis

  • Keep your head up.
  • Stay low and keep your knees bent when making your change of direction move. (This improves quickness because standing upright will only slow you down when you're ready to explode past the defender.)
  • Use your finger tips when dribbling (not your palms).
  • Work on lengthening the dribble. Work to get your opportunities with 1 dribble. You don't beat defenses with your dribble. You beat people with your feet; you SEPARATE from your defense with the dribble.
  • Practice outside your comfort zone. Experiment; go faster than you are used to, use your imagination. When working on new skills, don't be concerned with losing the ball. Just pick it up and do it again.

Image: download free ebook with 72 of our favorite drills

Do you have any questions or suggestions for this drill? Let us know by leaving your comments...


Most Likes First   Oldest First   Newest First

Bing says:
1/6/2015 at 11:02:44 PM


Would this drill (and others such as full court lay ups, for example) help in learning to drive through lane traffic? My son can dribble fairly well but tends to try and go around the traffic in the paint and takes long layups / bank shots from the wing rather than from the block. He's only 7 and I think he's hesitant with the aggressiveness needed to explode directly around a defender. Thanks!

  1 reply  

jeff says:
1/9/2015 at 10:41:51 AM

For a 7 year old, stick to the basics... pivots, jump stops, standard 1 foot lay ups, left and right handle dribbling, passing, and on ball defense. With young kids (even my own 7 year old son), those are the things I focus on. 7 is so young! Just let him have lots of fun and work on the basics. Here are some of the dribbling aspects we focus on:

  1 reply  

Bing says:
1/9/2015 at 9:18:56 PM

Thanks Jeff. I know I just need to be patient and stick with the basics but I can't help but get excited when there are flashes of 'real basketball' that pop up here and there. We love using the chair and putting a crossover or a spin move on it lol


DS says:
10/17/2013 at 3:06:40 PM

It's very simple and I've done it tone of times. If done correctly you will get lot's and lot's of progress.


Hannes says:
4/8/2013 at 5:04:52 AM

Using this drill for ages, works fine with me.


naman jain says:
6/21/2012 at 5:52:10 AM

tnx man dis is realy a gr8 hlp 4 me.........i''lll v regulr wid dese lssns n m sure i"ll b a gr8 player.......................JAI BASKETBALL


Darnell Warrington says:
2/15/2012 at 5:02:00 PM

Nice Drill , Remember me ill be big. Trust me , Sweat , Blood , Tears , keep me going


parthipan says:
1/15/2012 at 10:01:06 PM

I do this drill keeping "cones",in addition, I also stand in between to pose an actual player threat.


Muuka says:
5/14/2010 at 5:13:26 AM

good drill


asorock says:
3/2/2010 at 5:13:18 AM

great drills i love it so much.


Mark says:
2/16/2010 at 12:16:17 PM

I do this drill but will substitute a coach for the chair. I do this for both 1st/2nd grade level and 3rd/4th grade level. Coach gets in a defensive position and mimics swatting at the ball so they are prepared for someone moving at them.


Scotty says:
2/5/2010 at 8:23:49 PM

Good drill, I us it with all my young teams,

Great site, so much good information.


Show More

Leave a Comment
Email (not published)
Two times three is equal to?  (Prevents Spam)
 Load New Question
Leave this Blank