The product inception came when Luke Lloyd, a basketball trainer in Flint, MI was trying to find a way to teach ball control to his athletes. He started by having his players dribble over and around cones and chairs to work on different ball handling techniques. However, they were difficult to move from place to place and not very practical, so Lloyd decided to get creative. After a trip to The Home Depot and a few hours building in the garage, Lloyd had created his first prototype of the Dribble Stick primarily made of PVC pipe in the shape of a hurdle.
While the hurdle shape PVC was more convenient than the chairs, it still had its downfalls. Without much weight, the slightest mistake by an athlete would tip over the hurdle and disrupt the flow of the drill. After trying a few different options to improve the product, Lloyd knew he had something when he brought the Dribble Stick to clinics where parents and coaches alike commended the product and even provided input and support to bring the product to life.
Along the way Lloyd formed his team and together they worked to solve the balance issues with the Dribble Stick as well as added new features including the adjustable rods, a key component to the product today. There were over 10 different prototypes before they settled on a product they were happy to use.
The evolution of the Dribble Stick
Lloyd filled his trunk with the new Dribble Stick and headed to camps, clinics and practices to incorporate the product into the events. Two key experiences convinced Lloyd the product was a success: First, after getting linked with the University of Michigan, Lloyd brought over 50 Dribble Sticks to their camp and within a week sold through his entire inventory. Still making inventory in his partner’s garage, they could barely make enough to fulfill demand. Second, the coach of Grosse Pointe South High School in Michigan purchased six Dribble Stick units after a disappointing season of not winning a single playoff game. The following season, his team came one win away from winning the state championship and he largely attributed his success to the team spending an hour a day on the Dribble Stick. He claimed the teams ball-handling and lack of turnovers was key to their turnaround.
Dribble Stick inventor, Luke Lloyd
After about four years on their own, Lloyd and his team began working with SKLZ to fine tune the product and gain nationwide appeal. Lloyd continues to make an impact on kids today as a basketball trainer and couldn’t be happier with how the Dribble Stick has evolved. “The Dribble Stick is more than me, it’s a way for kids to challenge themselves and build confidence in their game. I always believed we would be in backyards and on courts around the world, and now that dream is becoming a reality and that is an exciting thing!”
Stay tuned this week as we will bring you a series of videos on how to use the Dribble Stick to improve your ball handling.
For more on the Dribble Stick visit: http://bit.ly/1xXzBSW