One of the greatest challenges we have [tag]coaching youth basketball[/tag] is getting our players to look up while dribbling, not only to see their teammates but to see where the defense is aligned on the court and to look for gaps. The players that figure this out early-on tend to be the team play-makers.
One thing I have learned as a [tag]basketball coach[/tag], whether it is watching my own team play, other youth teams play or even at the high school level, the team that has excellent court vision usually wins.
Effectively dribbling the [tag]basketball[/tag] without looking up is something that requires time outside of normal team practice time, at every practice I make sure I incorporate a short [tag]basketball dribbling drill[/tag]. It really doesn’t matter what the drill is (any full court dribble move drill will work), what matters is the ability for the player to focus on what is happening on the court.
In order to emphasize this skill during the dribble drill, I hold a random number of fingers up during the drill and the players must call out the number of fingers being held up. Not only does this encourage them to look up, it encourages them to talk and communicate more effectively. This works even better with basketball coaches stationed at various places along the dribbling route which forces the players to look up on a more consistent basis.
You can vary this [tag]basketball drill[/tag] by having the coach(es) move around while the drill is in progress to further promote on-court awareness.