If you can’t handle the basketball under pressure you will find yourself spending more time on the bench then on the basketball court.
Coaches don’t want basketball players on the court that are going to rack up the turnovers. Every time you have the basketball in your possession you should protect it like your life depends on it.
Nobody wants to get the ball stolen, but if you don’t have ball control and confidence in your ball handling ability, you will wonder why you can’t seem to protect the basketball.
So, if you want to be able to dribble the basketball under pressure you need to develop ball-on-a-string handles. When you have ball-on-a-string handles you will feel like you have complete control over the basketball. You will be able to dribble the basketball without even thinking about it and you will be able to focus on other aspects of the game such as making intelligent basketball plays.
Dribbling the basketball should be like breathing air, you should be able to do it without thinking about it.
When was the last time you thought about inhaling oxygen before you actually did it?
There is no reason to think about inhaling oxygen before you do it because you have to inhale oxygen to survive. Well, the same thing goes for dribbling a basketball, if you’re consciously thinking about how to dribble the basketball and when to do it then you’re probably going to end up losing the ball.
In order to develop ball-on-a-string handles you need to practice ball handling drills, expose yourself to tough defenders, watch and study the professionals, and become confident with dribbling the basketball.
You can search for “free basketball dribbling drills” on Google and you will find tons of drills you can start doing to improve your ball handling drills. Once you find five to ten challenging drills, you need to do those drills on a daily basis until you master them.
When you go out to play basketball pick-up games you should practice dribbling the basketball against tough defenders. Playing against tougher opponents will force you to get better and your ball handling will improve as a result of that.
Study the professional basketball players and apply what you learn. You can learn a lot just from watching footage from some of the best professional ball handlers in the world.
Performing dribbling drills, playing basketball against tough defenders, and studying the professionals will lead to a new confidence in your ball handling ability. That new confidence is exactly what you need to handle the basketball under pressure.