Gripping a Basketball With Small Hands

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Small hands can make it difficult to grip and palm a basketball, especially if the leather is worn down, and players with small hands might find themselves losing control of the ball more while dribbling or passing. Even if you can jump high enough, small hands might keep you from dunking the ball. For all these reasons and more, being able to grip the basketball is especially important for players with small hands.

Yoshiko Wootten/Demand Media

Hold the basketball using the proper technique. Open your hand as wide as possible, placing your middle and ring fingers on one of the seams of the basketball. You can position your hand so that your thumb also is on one of the seams, as the black rubber in the seams is often a bit tackier and can help you hold onto the ball. Use your other hand to press the ball into your grip hand. Slightly deflate the ball if necessary to get your hand muscles acclimated to gripping a basketball.

Yoshiko Wootten/Demand Media

Use weights to improve your grip strength. Playing catch with a 4- to 6-pound medicine ball can help build grip strength, as can weightlifting exercises like the deadlift. Players with large hands might be able to grip a basketball just because of their hand size, but players with smaller hands need to take an active approach to strengthening their grip.

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Build more grip strength using a rice bucket. Fill a large bucket with rice and plunge your arms forearm deep into the rice, then squeeze the rice with your hands. This will help work all of the tendons and ligaments in your hands, which is necessary for gripping a basketball with small hands. Having strong hands can help you overcome the lack of size when gripping a basketball.


When palming the ball, it helps to put your middle and ring fingers on the basketball's seams.


Palming the ball relies on finger strength. Avoid training with hand grippers because they focus more on grip strength and don't effectively work your fingers.