The Basic Shuffle Dribble

When you are being closely guarded anywhere on the court, the shuffle dribble is a very effective way to protect the ball with your body. The instructions in each step are for a player who chooses to dribble with the right hand.

Body Stance

Step 1. With your feet parallel and roughly shoulder width apart, stand erect and stationary. Keeping your left foot and your head pointing straight ahead, rotate your body until your left shoulder is also pointing straight ahead. Your right foot should be at right angles to a line running straight back from your front foot.

Step 2. Lower your center of gravity by bending at the knees and widening your stance. Bend your knees until your thighs are at a forty-five degree angle to the court. Then, move the upper left arm forty-five degrees away from your body. As you raise it, move the forearm to form a right angle with the upper arm. The arm in this position helps to protect the ball.


Step 3. Now you are ready to shuffle. With a quick sliding motion and with almost no space between the floor and the foot, move your front foot forward a normal stride length. The moment you complete this movement, do the same with the rear foot, bringing it up close to the front foot. The moment it contacts the floor, execute the front-foot movement. Repeat each movement quickly.

As you advance, keep your knees bent so that your shoulders remain parallel to the floor. Try to imagine having a full glass of water on your shoulder and not spilling a drop.

This shuffle footwork is very similar to the defensive shuffle.

Ball-Body Relationship

Step 4. While standing still and in the correct stance, begin dribbling with your right hand, keeping it roughly midway between your front foot and your rear foot. Dribble the ball no higher than your knees. The forefinger should be pointing in the direction you will be advancing. Maintain the correct body stance. Dribble the ball as described in my tip, Basic Dribbling, in the ball-handling category.

Step 5. While dribbling, begin to advance up the court as quickly as possible, using the shuffle footwork.

Step 6. Repeat Steps 1 thru 5, using your left hand.

Step 7. Practice, Practice, Practice................

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