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.
Players - and coaches - may want to use an effective 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 in game situations.
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.
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:
This is also called a spin dribble
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