How to Use Tennis Balls for Basketball Dribbling Drills

Performing a basic dribble with a large, rubber basketball is fairly easy. Dribbling a smaller, less bouncy tennis ball is not. Learning to dribble a tennis ball, therefore, can refine your coordination and dribbling skills, leading to better ballhandling on the basketball court. Some tennis ball drills can also help you perfect the no-look dribble. By learning to keep your head up during a game you'll improve your court vision and become a better all-around player.

Tennis balls aren't just for the tennis court. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Dribble and Juggle

Step 1

Bounce the basketball using your nonpreferred hand. Hold a tennis ball in your other hand.

Step 2

Run and dribble with the basketball hand. Throw the tennis ball in the air with the other while dribbling.

Step 3

Bounce the basketball low to the ground and keep your legs wide and stable. Throw the tennis ball higher as you gain confidence.

Step 4

Focus on catching the tennis ball -- don't look at the basketball. This helps you develop automatic dribbling abilities instead of having to fix your eyes on the basketball the whole time.

Step 5

Repeat the drill several times up and down the court.

Tennis Ball Dribbling

Step 1

Dribble the length of a basketball court using a tennis ball. Cross your dribbling hand over several times across the distance.

Step 2

Pick up another tennis ball. Hold one in each hand.

Step 3

Bounce each ball at the same time, dribbling both tennis balls along the court.

Step 4

Avoid catching the tennis ball while running. Dribble it as you would a basketball.

Things You'll Need

  • Tennis ball

  • Basketball


Get a friend to throw a tennis ball at you while you dribble a basketball. Try catching the ball in one hand while dribbling with the other.


Don't run and dribble too fast until you're comfortable bouncing the tennis ball. Going too fast too early could make you trip and fall.

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