Basketball Dribbling Drills - Speed Ladder Dribbling Series

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The following ladder dribbling drills are great for warming up and they are a fun way to develop your feel for the basketball. These drills force you to control your dribble as you go through the ladder.

One Dribble Crossover

Take one dribble outside the ladder and crossover in the square and move up through the ladder. Once you develop a rhythm, start to pick up your pace.

Continuous Crossover

Take one dribble back and forth in each square. Fast as you can, dribbling the ball back and forth.

Wide Crossover

Similar to continuous crossover, only this time you exaggerate the dribble and extend the ball wide as you dribble back and forth.

Inside Out Crossover

Inside out dribble outside the ladder and crossover inside the ladder.

Behind the Back Dribble

Keep the ball behind your back the entire time and dribble in each square as you progress down the ladder.

Two Ball – Lateral With Two Bounces

Begin by standing on one side of the ladder, facing the center. Bounce each ball twice in each square as you move down the ladder.

Two Ball – Lateral With One Bounce

Similar to the two ball lateral with two bounce drill, only this time you will only bounce the ball once in each square.

Two Ball – Side to Side

You will dribble two balls in unison, alternating one ball in the ladder and one ball outside the ladder.

Drill Tips

Execute – Then get outside your comfort zone – First work on the execution of the drill. Once you start to feel comfortable, take it to the next level and push yourself by increasing the speed.

Pick three to four variations of these drills to begin your workout.

Don't overuse the drill – You should only spend three to five minutes working on these ladder drills then you should move on to other game-like ball handling drills.

Recommended Training Material:

SKLZ Quick Ladder (Speed/Agility Ladder)
You can use this ladder for agility training, basketball ballhandling drills, shooting drills, and combo drills (agility/skill). Improves acceleration, lateral speed and change of direction...(more info)

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


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Ken Sartini says:
3/21/2014 at 3:55:45 PM

Look at this (you didn't say if you had a problem but here goes)
You didn't say what your problem is OR IF you have one, BUT -

"As I talk to a lot of players, they are looking to correct or improve their shot . there is no quick fix for this, you have probably been shooting that way for a long time and have created a bad habit and its in your muscle memory.

To correct this problem, it is going to take 100s, no, more like 1,000s of shots to create a new muscle memory - so the shot becomes automatic.

The first thing you have to do is correct your form... that can be done by shooting against a wall so you don't have to worry about making the shot... only using correct form - 100s of shots a day until you have correct form.

Then you can go to the basket and do what we called BEEF check going from Block to the Middle to the other Block.

Step 1 - We started this with the SHOOTING HAND ONLY.... maybe 12 shots in all.

Step 2 - Then you can bring your guide hand up but NOT on the ball and do the same thing. 12 more shots.

Step 3 - - 12 more shots with your guide hand in the proper position. ( your guide hand has nothing to do with the shot other than to keep the ball in the proper position on your shooting hand.)

The next thing to do would be to step back several feet... 6-7 feet? Now repeat Step 3, don't move any further back until you have mastered this distance.

Once you are shooting with a good percentage, you can move further back. Don't move to the three point line if you are shooting 30 percent from 10 - 15 feet.

Don Kelbick says that a good shooting percentage is around 46% and in game situations that is good... in practice, from short range, I would like to see it a little higher.

From the free throw line... depending on your age and ability level, 60 to 80 percent is what I had my kids try to achieve.

To explain BEEF for those who haven't heard that term.

B - Balance ( staggered stance, one foot slightly in front of the other )

E - Elbow under the ball ( the elbow might be SLIGHTLY out )

E - Eye on the target (keep your eye on the target until the ball goes in)

F - Follow through..... ( keep your arm extended until the ball goes in)

It takes a lot of practice to become a good shooter, 1,000s of repetitions - So start practicing.

I hope this helps.


siva says:
3/21/2014 at 9:02:20 AM

can you give me tips regarding shooting?


Jude says:
2/14/2014 at 9:32:32 AM

Great drill ideas. I have used speed ladders before, but not quite like this. I have had players do footwork drills in the ladder while dribbling. The mix of quick feet and slow dribble help develop coordination. Another one of my favorites is to get a shorter ladder ( about three rings - most of them can detach if you want to make them shorter), and have the player speed dribble at the ladder before gearing down and stepping both feet in every square. Put a chair at the end of the ladder, and have the player make a move (cross, between legs, behind back, or spin) on the chair and finish at the rim. This emphasizes using a change in speed with a stutter to break the defense down before exploding toward the basket.


Phil says:
1/28/2014 at 10:40:17 PM

Great exercise for young kids - can use no peek glasses in combination. What are the basic dimensions of the ladder. Not sure I could get ready made item in sports stores here in Oz?


Phil says:
1/28/2014 at 10:40:16 PM

Great exercise for young kids - can use no peek glasses in combination. What are the basic dimensions of the ladder. Not sure I could get ready made item in sports stores here in Oz?


Kirk Olsen says:
1/28/2014 at 4:02:41 PM

The half court 1 vs 1 drill looks like it would be a good drill for my 3rd grade and 4 grade girls. With limited practice time, I would get dribbling, defense, and shooting in.

Is this a good drill for that age group?


Jason says:
1/28/2014 at 1:26:58 PM


I've found them at any large sporting goods store. If you say "speed ladder" and you refer to agility training equipment, then somebody at the store should know what you're talking about.


Josh Perkins says:
1/28/2014 at 12:49:46 PM

This looks great, may be a dumb question, but where can one purchase the ladders. Or do you make your own?


Troy Culley says:
1/28/2014 at 10:10:55 AM

Great stuff. If kids have problems working on dribble you can change it and get them to do body wraps for example. You can work on different stops as you exit the ladder for example (1-2 stop or a jumpstop)

Another variation is you can put the ladder in a diagonal from the three point line backwards facing the hoop so the player goes through the ladder and then finish at the rim either into a straight drive or a jumpstop and then work on footwork like a cross step before finishing.

There are so many different variations to this drill to tailor it to fit your needs. But again is an excellent drill to use and we do use to warmup.


Lyn Pemberton says:
1/28/2014 at 9:58:59 AM

Ladder work whether for the feet or ball requires specific focus. Once the kids master the technique of each of the dribbling skills take the ladder away and have them execute same skills, now expect them to Keep eyes up, you could use colour flash cards, put numbers on the flash cards eg. Athlete calls blue 5, red 9 , put in a points award system the more times you keep the eyes up calling the colour/# and can continue the dribbling skill, earns more points. Building speed after quality, then put the specific dribbling skills in to court/game specific activities.


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