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Basketball Crossover Moves and More
Advanced Dribbling Moves

Basketball crossover moves, along with many other dribbling maneuvers, are essentially fakes - you want the defender to believe you are going to move in one direction, but then you actually move in another direction. Executed well, they can get the ball carrier past the opposition and quickly within scoring range. But these dribbling moves need lots and lots of practice.

Basketball crossover moves are probably the most useful moves of all dribbling moves, as they can be performed on the open court as well as when closely guarded, at high speed and in close quarters. Having said that, these moves are most often used when the ball carrier is being guarded tightly, so being able to execute them quickly and effortlessly in close quarters - when there is little room for error - is very important.

All players should be able to execute a strong crossover dribble; players you expect will handle the ball for any amount of time should learn a variety of dribbling moves, such as behind the back, onside dribble, spin, and so on. But everyone, even the big men, should know how to do a crossover.

Players - and coaches - may want to use a solid step-by-step program such as Alex Maroko's Effective Ballhandling Program, which will teach players how to decisively use basketball crossover moves along with many other dribbling moves.

As for team instruction, you can put together your own program that includes a mix of skills instruction and ballhandling drills involving the dribbling moves listed below, and add to this with instructional DVDs like Grassroots Basketball: Perfecting the Art of Ball Handling - a great DVD developed by Nike Basketball Training Specialist Ganon Baker and AAU Boys Basketball National Chairman Boo Williams.


Teaching Basketball Crossover Moves, Reverse, Hesitation and Behind the Back Dribbles

Start off by teaching them step by step - have them walk through the movements slowly and deliberately - and then speed it up until they are able to perform the movements fluidly. And teach everyone on the team at first - later on you can let the big men focus on other skills like rebounding and inside moves. But in the beginning, introduce them all to these four moves:

Basketball Crossover Moves

  • Dribble ball on right side
  • Plant foot on ball side
  • A fraction of a second after planting the right foot, the player pushes off that right foot and at the same time crosses the ball in front of him by bouncing it to the left side
  • Repeat moving back to the right side

Basketball Reverse Dribble

  • Dribble low on right side
  • Plant left foot forward, and swing the right foot out behind to the left
  • At the same time, cup the ball in the right hand and push it behind the back - the ball turns with the player
  • Note that the player does not palm the ball, and the right hand does not dip below the center of the ball - i.e., he does not carry the ball, just merely pushes it quickly from the side
  • The free hand always protects the ball, and the players needs to be watching the floor to know where he is spinning into - no one wants to spin into traffic or a double team

Basketball Hesitation Dribble

  • The players dribbles the ball at about half speed
  • As the player nears the opponent, he slows as if he is considering using a crossover move, or pulling up
  • Then the player speeds up to quickly sprint past the defender, while the defender steps back on his heels preparing for a more sophisticated move
  • The ball is not crossed over - it stays on the original side
  • Be sure that players practice both left and right side dribble

Behind the Back Dribble

  • The player dribbles the ball on right side
  • He plants the ball-side foot hard - as if faking the defense that this is the direction the player is going
  • Cupping the ball in the right hand, he wraps the arm (with the ball) around the back, pushing the ball behind his back and out in front of him on the left side
  • Repeat on both sides

Break each move down into separate movements as outlined above. Teach your players the move, have them copy it, and then give each player a ball and have them perform the move over and over again as they dribble up and down the court. Be sure they remain under control at all times. Once you are confident that your players have the fundamental movements worked out, introduce some advanced dribbling drills into your practice to give them game-like situations.

Basketball crossover moves may be the moves your players can use most often, but the more of these moves your players have in their tool kit, the easier they will be able to beat the defense and get to the hoop to score.

Drills for Basketball Crossover Moves and other Ballhandling Skills here

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