Basketball Crossover Moves and More
Need-to-Know 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.

The crossover dribble is probably the most useful of all dribbling moves, as it 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.

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 & More
The Crossover Dribble

Basketball Crossover MovesCrossover Dribble
  • 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 - low, so it isn't swiped away - to the left side
  • Make sure they practice the move on both sides

Basketball Crossover Moves & More
The Reverse Dribble

This is also called a spin 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 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 player 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 Crossover Moves & More
The Hesitation Dribble

  • The ballhandler dribbles the ball at about half speed
  • As he nears the opponent, he slows as if he is considering using a crossover move, or pulling up. This will cause the defender to step back on his heels, preparing to counter a crossover or similarly sophisticated move.
  • The the ballhandler speeds up - explosively - to sprint past the defender, while the defender's weight is still resting on his heels - the defender will not be able to shift his weight back again in time to counter the move
  • The ball is not crossed over - it stays on the original side, with the ballhander's body and off-hand protecting it
  • Again, be sure that players practice both left and right side dribble

Basketball Crossover Moves & More
The Behind the Back Dribble

  • The player dribbles the ball on right side
  • He plants the ball-side foot with intent - as if he intended to drive past the defender on the right side
  • Cupping the ball in the right hand, he wraps his right arm (with the ball) around his back, pushing the ball behind his back and out in front of him on the left side
  • He then switches to dribble with his left hand
  • 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.

"The principle is competing against yourself. It's about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before."

- Steve Young

Great program to help players become sensational ballhandlers

effective ballhandling program