One Hand Pound

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This is an extremely challenging drill for players of all levels (including professionals). However it has a steep learning curve and all players adapt quickly as long as they use proper technique. This drill improves dribbling, passing, hand strength, weak hand, and confidence.

  1. Players are paired and placed about 8 feet apart. One player has a ball. To start, player puts the left hand behind his back.

  2. On command, "Pound," player dribbles the ball one time, as hard as he can. Ball should not come above the waist. He also must catch it with the same hand he dribbled with. Repeat several times to create a level of comfort. Give the ball to the other player and repeat.

  3. Repeat the drill with the left hand with the right hand behind his back.

  4. Ball goes back to first player. On the command,"Pound," player dribbles one time as hard as he can. On the command, "Pass," player passes with the same hand he caught the ball with. Repeat with other player.

    To do this drill by yourself, use a wall.

  5. As drill progresses, you can give multiple, "Pound," commands before calling "Pass" and you can adjust the speed in which you call the actions.

Points of Emphasis

  • Players must maintain an athletic stance so they are able to get their legs into the pass.
  • Only one hand is used to dribble, pass and catch
  • Recover the dribble in the finger tips
  • Get your hand behind the ball to pass and follow through to your target

Recommended Resources:

Ball Handling Workout App
Baden Heavy Training Basketball - 29.5"
Baden 35" Oversized Training Basketball

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please post them below...


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panos says:
9/17/2007 at 10:30:24 PM



eguru edward says:
4/11/2008 at 8:25:35 AM

basically personal drill is what i want concerning ball dribbling and handling


kim ucang says:
11/18/2008 at 10:28:20 PM

great, it helps a lot to a neophytes... tnx a lot..


paul price says:
12/27/2008 at 9:07:10 PM

It works !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Kevin Garnett says:
3/3/2009 at 5:53:11 PM



Kylie says:
7/12/2009 at 12:26:50 PM

This should help alot with my ball handling skills. Thnkx alot!


MYKO says:
10/4/2009 at 3:30:37 AM

i am a point / shooting guard and i have a problem catching a basketball.
Given that i have small hands, i just cant cath a basketball without dropping or slipping through my fingers. i have an average dribbling skill but can you give me tips or drills to help improve catching


Carlmay says:
11/30/2009 at 10:34:47 PM

I am a new coach in one of the High School Basketball Teams here in the Philippines. All your posts are really helpful. I have been reading your articles and yesterday we ended up 2nd in the Championship in the Inter-Secondary Basketball Tournament. The team is hoping to win the championship next season. My players have improved a lot due to the tips I learned from the site.



Eddie says:
5/25/2010 at 10:44:43 AM

Thank you for your effective informations. I've been receiving and reading the emails from you. I am a new coach of our Elementary Basketball team i our school here in Philippines and luckily we won the Mayor's Cup Championship game last November 2009. Thanks a lot.

By the way, my son was the only one selected in the team to play with the regional team for the National Game held last April 11-18, 2010 at Tarlac City, Manila, Philippines. He said that the drills and techniques i taught is very useful. The regional team landed 6th place out of 17 regions/teams. It proves!


Amanda says:
10/1/2010 at 5:48:21 PM

You can also progress into two balls per pair. IN other words, each player has a ball, pounds at the same time, and then passes at the same time. To avoid hitting each others passes, instruct your players to pass as if around a defender.


10/8/2010 at 12:52:39 AM

this suckz....i dont need this


Shaquille O'Neal says:
12/24/2010 at 4:18:59 AM

Can't do it... Too hard!


Addison williams says:
11/12/2011 at 6:45:04 PM

Im 13 years old an m a PG im pretty fast at crossing over from left to right but im not that fast. Our middle school basketball try outs are monday. im nervous even though the coach told me im already on the team. he has saw me play in a game b4 but he just says i gotta keep my grades up.

  1 person liked this.  

11/12/2011 at 6:48:44 PM



Wrathe says:
11/29/2011 at 2:17:23 PM

Your drills are great. 11 year old put 27 on a team last night off dribble penetration. Anyone saying they don''t need it, can''t do it.

Thank you


Coach Maurice Crowder says:
12/16/2011 at 8:43:58 PM

This drill has help my jr.high team tremedously I encourage everyone to do this at all levels!!!


Coach R. says:
1/7/2013 at 3:12:14 PM

This drill helped helped my guys alot. All of them I saw improvement in except one, but he is clumpsy as Hell. It helps that he is 6' 11


Ken says:
1/7/2013 at 8:14:15 PM

One thing you can't teach....... Height! Just keep him close to the basket ... pass him ball and let him drop it in the basket..... And let him be the eraser anytime anybody drives.

Find some ballhandling drills that he can do to help him.... Do some footwork drills with him, jump rope, jumping lines etc.


DS says:
10/17/2013 at 2:42:04 PM

I like this drill, it'll help a lot. It's one of those drills that you have to wait to see the results. But as every drill there is, the pain is rewarding.


DS says:
10/17/2013 at 2:51:15 PM

Pozdrav iz Srbije!


Belle says:
11/9/2013 at 8:01:57 PM

I need practice dribble my team is small young new to ball I like this page my coach tell me about it


Dwight Howard says:
1/8/2015 at 12:26:16 AM

Thanks I really think I could use this drill. I wanna replace Patrick Beverly soon.


Ted Wise says:
1/26/2015 at 6:49:16 AM

Is drill only for those who can Palm the ball?

  1 reply  

Joe Haefner says:
1/26/2015 at 9:02:22 AM

No. You want to keep the ball off the center of your palm.

You want to control the ball with your finger pads and finger tips.


viktor says:
9/8/2015 at 9:33:26 AM

i am also a point/shooting guard and i have a good handles but i don't know how to use them in a game. i am mostly asked to pass the ball without trying to do anything myself. I think this is because the intensity and speed of the game is just too fast to handle. help


Amanda says:
1/6/2019 at 10:01:37 PM

Can you please explain what you mean by "catching" the ball after the pound? Thank you!

  1 reply  

Jeff says:
1/7/2019 at 8:16:59 AM

Maybe a better work is "control". The player needs to be able to dribble and pass with one hand. So he/she needs to be able to "control" the ball after the dribble and make a one hand pass. I would not get too technical... players should be able to figure it out on their own. Hope this helps.


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