The Physics of Dribbling
Figure 1 to the left shows the conversion from Potential Energy, to Kinetic energy, and vice versa after it collides with the basketball court. http://www.connectamillionminds.com/campaigns/stem-in-sports/basketball
Kinetic and Potential Energy
As you hold a basketball, it has built up Potential Energy. Potential energy, as we learned in basic Physics, increases as the ball is at a greater height. As you dribble, adding a force onto the ball, you convert Potential energy into Kinetic energy. This force you applied causes the ball to collide with the basketball court. After this collision takes place, we see Newtons 3rd law take place, by creating an equal and opposite force against the court, and reflecting back up to your hand. As the ball sped up and got closer to the court, it had the greatest kinetic energy. After the collision on its path back up to your hand, the height increased, and it converted from kinetic energy into potential energy once again. You can see an example in the above figure.
The expression practice makes perfect is something you will be raised hearing when playing basketball and dribbling. A great ball player will require great handling skills and this has to do with Muscle Memory. Muscle memory is created and mastered when a player can control the acceleration, the velocity, the direction, and spin of the basketball with each dribble. All of this repetitive practice will lead to better muscle memory, better control of the basketball, and help create moves in order to overcome the defense. This is shown in figure 2 to the right.
Figure 2 above shows multiple moves of Dribbling finishing off with a basketball shot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIkhwc5YZfw