Use Combo Dribbles To Take Advantage Of Your Defender

Combo dribbles are a way to stun and take advantage of your defender’s balance, positioning, and intent. This dribble move itself is a combination of any two dribbles, for example a pound dribble and a crossover dribble. There is no right or wrong combination but stick with the dribbles with which you are comfortable. It is never a good idea to try new dribbling combinations in the middle of a game. The purpose of any dribble is to get behind your defender and get as close as you can to the basket to create a play. At ATTACK Basketball, we teach that there are only 4 levels of dribbling:

  1. Straight Line or SLOT (Straight Line of Threat) – dribbling straight to your intended target
  2. Go-To – dribbling with one move to change either pace or direction
  3. Combo – dribbling with a combo of 2 different dribble moves to change both pace and direction
  4. Control – dribbling using jerk back, step-back crossover, or escape dribble moves to release pressure from relentless defenders

As I talked about in a previous blog article, my acronym on how to master dribbles is SOME (Stationary, On Move, Enactment). First, you must learn how to combo dribble stationary and slowly so you can learn the feel, control, and purpose of the move. Once you master these concepts, you implement your combo dribbles on the move where you add changes of direction and changes of pace in game-like situations. When practicing combo dribbles on the move, at first do NOT practice finishing. This puts the emphasis of the drill on the combo dribble and not on the scoring. Many times, the dribbling techniques get overlooked because making the basket becomes more important than how the player gets to the basket. Removing the mental block of having to score allows the player to focus solely on the dribble move, giving them the time they need to develop a feel for the ball. 

Once the player has mastered this, they are ready for the enactment step when finishing options are added back. This allows them to practice leveraging their new combo dribbling skills to score in game-like situations. If a player is practicing on their own, they can use time as their competitor. For example, a player has to combo dribble and make 8-10 finishes at the basket in 45 seconds.  Practice these dribbles using the SOME method and you will be pleasantly surprised at your ability to elude defenders.