Changing Speed - A Key Component of ALL Great Ballhandlers

Changing speed is a skill that ALL great NBA ballhandlers possess. They know how to change their pace to get the defender off balance and keep them guessing. This is a skill you MUST learn to be a great ballhandler.

Chris Paul is an expert at changing speeds (pace). That allows him to get the defender off balance and break players down with ease.

This skill will allow you to get past your defender, reduce turnovers, and create your shot off the dribble. For example, a drastic illustration of changing of pace could be two hard dribbles at the basket, then a hard stop. As the defender flies by, you can pop the shot. This is an effective way to create space off the dribble and make your shot.

You should practice changing the pace from walking, slow, medium, fast, and full speed. You can change the pace from slow to fast, medium to full speed, and any other combinations you can imagine.

Here's a good video of Steve Blake showing another way to use the change of pace dribble:

Take a close look at how Steve Blake combines several important skills. He uses the change of pace dribble, then the cross over (change of direction), step through pivot (as he crosses over), and explodes past the defender with his knees bent. He demonstrates a very fundamentally sound move.

To practice this skill, try the "gears" change of speed dribbling drill

What do you think? What are your experiences? Do you have any thoughts, ideas, and suggestions?


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