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Pistol Pete Maravich Dribbling Drills

There is a ball handling sequence that is called the Maravich drills, named for the dribbling meister of all time hall of famer Mr. Pete Pistol Maravich, a renowned NBA player.

Every day after a long practice with his team or during off season, Maravich would practice these drills one his own to develop his coordination, quickness, strength, as well as the hand eye coordination so hard in maintaining complete control.

He would complete the following drills 10 times each on each occasion he practices them. No matter how shattered he was, how little energy he may have had, he completed them and concentrated as best he could

Ball Slaps

Holding the ball in front of your chest, slap it as you move it from hand to hand. It is an excellent way to warm up your hands and help you get a good feel for the ball.



Holding the ball in your left hand, use all five fingers to pinch it toward your right. The ball will squirt back and forth from one hand to another.


Hold the ball over your head with you arms fully stretched out. Tap the ball back and forth between your fingertips.


Pass the ball around your head, waist and each leg. Try to keep your head up while doing this. It will help you handle the ball totally by feel.

Figure 8 Dribbles

Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Dribble the ball in and out of your legs in the figure 8 motion.


Hold the ball before your legs, with your left hand in front and right hand in back. Without dropping the ball, quickly switch the position of your hands. Repeat.

One-Hand Dribbles

Dribble the ball around your right foot with your right hand. Then do left-hand, left-foot. Try to keep your head up as you do this.

Figure 8 Passing

Hold the ball at knee level. Stand with your legs apart. Pass the ball in and out of your legs in a figure-8 motion.

Four-Point Spider Dribbles

Stand with your legs apart. Bounce the ball in front of your legs once with your left hand, and once with your right hand. Reach your left hand behind and through your legs to bounce the ball, and then do the same thing with your right hand. Repeat quickly.

These drills helped make Maravich the star he was. When he played and probably even after he played there was no one that could do what he could. He made pinpoint passes from behind his back, between his legs or behind the head all to teammates that somehow always happened to be there.

The drills made these types of passes and ball handling tricks possible since he practiced them relentlessly until they became a natural movement for him. Pistol Pete’s passing should be taught by every coach no matter what level they are coaching. At times many thought he was showing off, but to those that knew the game he was doing what he did best simply PASSING.


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