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How Kyrie Irving Used a Plastic Bag to Develop His Amazing Handles

In a recent survey led by The Athletic that include nearly 130 active NBA players, 77.1% of the participants deemed Kyrie Irving the best ball-handler in the NBA.

We’ve never seen a player with such flashy, yet functional and controlled handling skills. The ankle breakers and dazzling crossovers Kyrie has blessed us with weren’t learned overnight, of course. Through all the years of training with his travel teams, high school coaches, Duke staff, or professional coaches Micah Lancaster and Sandy Pyonin, he still gives credit to this one little trick for helping him perfect his handles.

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The drill is simple.

After watching a documentary about Baron Davis, Kyrie Irving learned that tying a plastic bag around his basketball could take his ball-handling skills to the next level.

This easy household trick helped Baron Davis master his handles when he was young and couldn’t afford to get personalized training. Kyrie Irving recognized how effective this drill was right off the bat and implementing it has changed his life.

Like most drills, the idea is to make things more difficult while practicing than playing in the game. Tying the plastic bag around the basketball makes ball-handling much tougher.

Therefore, if you can handle the bag, you can handle the rock.

The first thing you’ll notice when dribbling with a plastic bag tied around your ball is how slippery the basketball becomes. Maintaining your grip and maneuvering ball is a lot tougher during this drill.

Thus, you will learn how to control your touch.

Another game changer you’ll experience during this drill is the lack of bounce from the basketball. The plastic bag cuts the amount of give or bounce the ball has, making you adapt and develop strength in your hands, wrist, and forearms.

Lastly, dribbling with a plastic bag around your ball will cause it to take unusual and unpredictable bounces and turns. You’ll learn to stay focused and on your toes in no time. Because you will never know which direction the ball will go after each dribble, you will learn to stay incredibly focused on the basketball and be prepared to react and control the ball, regardless of the crazy bounces it takes.

When you take the bag off and play in a game, you’ll notice your grip of the basketball has greatly increased.

“If you can play with a plastic bag on a basketball, you can play with any basketball, anywhere, anytime.” -Kyrie Irving

Handling the ball will feel effortless when you have 5x the control you did before and now you can steer the rock wherever you want.

Successful ball-handling is essential to become a skilled basketball player, especially for guards. And nowadays, the bigs are even getting better at handling.

If you’re a point guard, you need to be able to handle the ball at an elite level if you have dreams of playing D1 basketball or making it to the NBA.

For undersized guards, having exceptional handles needs to be in your bag to compete against bigger defenders that will cover a lot of space.

You need to be able to dictate where you want to go on the court and catch your man off their feet. A skilled ball handler can create their own shots and be a playmaker for their team.

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The Point Guard Academy has mastered teaching this art.

Techniques from Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Tony Parker and more have been included in this training.

We highly recommend the Point Guard Academy Vol. 2 to you because they not only teach players how to become expert ball-handlers, but how to use your body as an undersized guard, and when the proper time is to use a crossover.

If you’re interested in learning more, click the banner below:

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