How do I improve my hand coordination for basketball?

Aaron Nelson
Sports Medicine
To improve hand coordination for basketball, you should work on a couple of things. First, make sure your hands are strong. Not everyone has large hands that can easily palm a basketball. Therefore, it is very important to strengthen your hands so they can handle the ball more easily. The best way to do this is using items such as hand webs(webbing that you can grasp and squeeze), hand putty, tennis balls or anything similar that you can grab and squeeze. Secondly, it is important to work on reaction. There are a different ways to work on this, but a couple of good ones are the use of reaction balls and 2 man passing/catching drills. Reaction balls are small balls with knobs on them that you can drop on the ground, let them bounce and try to catch them. Because of the knobs, the balls will bounce in random directions, making it difficult to grab. Using a partner to pass you balls in different directions, heights and speeds will also help with you work on your reaction and coordination with a basketball.
Often big men, forwards and centers in basketball, are criticized for their hands.  Typically, this means that the player lacks coordination and finesse in their hand movements. Coaches will try to increase forearm strength, use medicine balls during drills, and throw things at their big men to force improvement.  Unfortunately, the ability to catch a ball has more to do with reaction time and touch,  and less to do with speed and strength.  Using reaction drills, along with incorporating passes for both hands into skills practice will likely have the greatest impact.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.