A basketball player with large hands has an obvious edge, because big mitts make it easier to dribble and catch the ball. But just as shorter women can overcome their disadvantage and become strong basketball players, small-handed women can also prevail on the court -- with a little extra effort. Just because you can’t palm a basketball one-handed doesn't mean you can’t get a grip on some mad hoop skills.
Gripping the Ball
Place your middle and ring fingers, plus your thumb, on the basketball’s seams to produce the tightest possible grip.
Adjust the angle of your thumb on the ball, relative to your index finger, to determine the optimal gripping angle for your hand.
Spread your fingers as wide as possible when you grip the ball.
Press the ball into your palm with your non-dribbling hand to improve your grip.
Strengthening Your Grip
Play catch with a small medicine ball to improve your grip strength. Catch the ball with your forearm perpendicular to the floor and your palm facing forward.
Squeeze a tennis ball and hold the squeeze for five seconds to strengthen your grip. Perform 10 reps with each hand.
Place some small, dense objects -- such as screws -- into an empty coffee can. Hold the can around the side with one hand for as long as you can to improve your finger strength.
- Vertical Dunk: How to Palm a Basketball
- Elite Basketball Training: Build Grip Strength for Better Ball Handling
- Physio Advisor: Hand Strengthening Exercises
- Diesel Crew: Training Grip Strength for Basketball Players
- NCAA Basketball 2011-12 and 2012-13 Men’s and Women’s Rules
- Juneau.org: 2011-12 NFHS Basketball Rules Book
- Under both high school and college rules, a women’s basketball has a circumference between 28 1/2 and 29 inches.
- If you have small hands, use two hands whenever possible to rebound the ball and catch passes.
M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.