There's a reason basketball newbies are prone to traveling calls.
When a person decides to learn how to play the game, the first thing that they usually master is the proper way to dribble the ball. Often undervalued, ball-handling is no doubt the foundation of every great player.
Good thing it's possible for the average baller to achieve ridiculous handles a la Kyrie Irving and Terrence Romeo. All we need is precision and perseverance in training, according to FEU Tamaraws trainer Jonathan de Guzman.
We spoke with the former Talk N' Text Tropang Texter after Nike's Come Out Of Nowhere workout series, where FHM sweated out for some dribbling drills in the new LeBron 14, and he shared some secrets and the correct approach in achieving the perfect bounce.
1) At least 600 dribbles per day
Repetition is key to any activity that requires you to build muscle memory, which is also applicable in dribbling. In stationary, do two sets of 50 counts for each hand and level: low, middle, and high.
"For the first one, you have to bend your knees; the next height will be around the hips; then the last as high as above your head."
De Guzman says bouncing the rock in this manner will improve your ball control. "As much as possible, pound mo lang. Hindi siya basta-basta mawawala sa kamay mo, kasi sanay ka na na full effort." Apparently, the more forceful the dribble, the more effective.
All that fancy ball-handling actually serves a better purpose than just for showing off when bae is watching. Once you've become adept at one-handed dribbling, it's time to incorporate this series of modified dynamics: crossover, between the legs, then behind the back.
He reasons, "Kasi pag sa actual game na, hindi naman puro kaliwa o kana lang eh, lalo na sa pickup games, para maiwan mo yung bantay mo, you have to make a move."
If a wider space is available, say a garage, you can perform these patterns, only this time moving forward, maximum of five steps.
4) Keep your eyes off the ball
De Guzman explains, "Hindi ka naman kasi nakatitig sa bola habang naglalaro, di ba? Nakatingin ka sa mga kakampi mo, kung sinong papasahan, lalo na pag guard ka."
Beginners can give the basketball occasional quick glaces in the course of the drills. But as you get used to the motion, everything while looking ahead.
5) Push yourself
This final reminder does not deal with your dribbling technique and the physical requirements: it's developing the right kind of mentality. Training is exhausting, that it's up to you if you can carry on and elevate your handles.
"You just have to fight it, para pag naging second nature mo na na you keep pushing yourself, later on you'll see the improvement. Don't give up, even if your brain tells you to stop."
The likes Jayson Castro of the PBA and NBA's Stephen Curry also started out with these exercises and even does them until now, says De Guzman. No wonder these superstars handle and manipulate the basketball like a yo-yo.