Updated: Jul 21, 2021
Improving your weak hand in basketball is an excellent way for players to add variety to their game, and make them a more elite, and versatile scorer.
Without a powerful weak hand you become easier to predict, and other teams will force you to one side of the floor.
In order to avoid this, you need to practice your weak hand as much as possible, and change your mindset- by looking at it as a strength, rather than a weakness.
Here are the three basic things you need to know:
1. Over stimulation
Practice, your weak hand as much as possible, by setting aside 20 minutes a day to work on your weak hand.
For example let's say your weak hand is your left hand. Then give your self 20 minutes of practice time to only work on your weak hand, weather that be finishing, dribbling, or even passing with a partner.
The basics of this is that,you are only using your weak hand. Getting an over stimulation of reps like this will improve your muscle memory and get you more used to using your weak hand and turn it into a strength rather than a weakness.
Another thing you can do to over stimulate you're left hand, is constantly use your left hand throughout your day.
For example if you have a ball, and you walk to school, then focus on just dribbling with your left hand, or make your combos heavily focused on that weak hand.
While just practicing can be great for your weak hand, there are certain drills that can really speed up the process.
Below I will be giving you drills to improve your weak hand in Dribbling, Passing, and Shooting/ Finishing.
Sprints- Sprints when it comes to dribbling with your left hand, are as simple as dribbling up and down the court, as fast as you can with your weak hand.
This will help your dribbling control, and also get you used to dribbling with your weak hand under fast circumstances, that might arise in game scenarios.
Stationary Ball Handling- Stationary ball handling, is great because you can add combos to it, and do it however you want. The basics of it are staying in one place and really putting an emphasis on your weak hand.
Some simple tips to make this drill effective is, dribbling the ball hard and with pace, so you improve that muscle, and your conditioning, and also make sure to mix it up with multiple different dribbles and combos.
For example a great way to mix it up with stationary dribbling, is to do in and out dribbles, between the leg, around the back, and figure eights.
Figure eights are great because, you dribble in small dribbles around and between your legs. Which can be great for your weak hand because you practice getting low, and you practice dribbling hard, and with pace.
Combos- This is for the players who struggle to get there combos working because they have problems when they go to the side of there weak hand. Whether that be when they catch the ball with there weak hand on a crossover, or when they start the combo with a move like the behind the back.
The basics of this drill, is too work on your favorite combos, but really focus on making it hard on your weak hand. That could be by overloading the combo on one side of your weak hand, or by just dribbling hard and going a little faster than what your used too.
Tennis Ball- A tennis ball is great to incorporate in your weak hand dribbling workout, because it can really work on your concentration and hand eye coordination.
An easy way to incorporate this , would be on your stationary ball handling. Focus on dribbling with your right hand, while simultaneously throwing the tennis ball up, and catching with your left hand, do this on the other side too.
This is more of an advanced drill, and if you struggle with this at first, keep going because it will get easier.
Here is a great video below giving you great drills to improve your dribbling with your weak hand.
Partner passing- Partner passing can be a great way to improve your passing. The basics of the drill is have a partner, and focus on making different passes to them, whether they be moving, bounce pass, chest pass, or even behind the back.
Whatever it is mix it up, and pass only with your left hand to improve your weak hand passing.
Target Passing- This is for players who do not have access to a partner. With this drill focus on hitting one specific point when your passing, whether that be a wall, or off the backboard if you have to.
The goal of it is to try and hit one specific point, when your passing, do this with your weak hand to improve that, and also do this in different positions, like when your moving, and when your dribbling to get the most variety and effect out of it.
Mikan Drill- The Mikan Drills can be great for working on your finishing. To work on it with your left hand work on only using your left hand for both sides.
Try and do this drill fast and hard, while also working on jumping in the air ,and really emulate the motion you would use in a in game layup, especially on your weak hand side.
For a video on how to do the MIkan Drill check out the video below
There are many variations to this drill, as well. You can focus on reverse layups, or even layups under the basket, mix it up and see what works best for you.
Layup Line drills- This drill is as simple as driving to the basket, and working on finishing on your left hand.
Tips to make this drill effective, is working on different type of finishes like floaters, hooks, and simple layups.
This is kinda a free for all drill, as the basic point is to use your imagination, drive to the hoop, and work on finishing with your weak hand, with any type of shot you want to add to your game.
Below is a great video I think ties in all the points I made above
One of the biggest things that holds people back, when talking about using there weak hand, is there mindset towards it.
What I mean by this is so many players lack the confidence when it comes to there weak hand and do not feel comfortable with it in games.
To be really effective with your weak hand you need to shift your mindset and look at it as strength instead of a weakness. So all your practice can manifest in a game.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is there anyway to strengthen your hand in general for basketball?
Answer: Well an easy way to strengthen your weak hand that will translate into basketball. Is to try and use your weak hand more often in everyday activities.
I noticed this worked for a lot of players and it made there weak hand seem second nature, which really translated into basketball.
Question: How do you improve your hands in basketball?
Answer: Well when talking about catching, when doing a passing drill, with a teammate, use that as an opportunity to catch the ball in different scenarios, especially on your weak hand side, since so many passes can go to that side.
Question: Why do I feel so tight when shooting with my weak hand?
Answer: Like any muscle, if you do not do it enough, it becomes tight and less effective. The best peace of information I can give you is too keep practicing it, and maybe even overuse it for a while, so you build up the muscles to be effective with that hand.
I hope this article gave you some good and useful tips, on how to improve your weak hand in basketball.
Let me know below how good you are with your weak hand, and what you did to improve on this aspect of your game.
Thank you for reading and as always keep hooping my friends.