The Crossover Dribble:
Drills to Make it Work
The crossover dribble is perhaps the most effective dribbling technique a player can have at his disposal. Spin dribbles, around-the-back, between-the-legs, onside dribble - all of these have their place in any player's arsenal of dribbling moves, but being able to properly execute a crossover dribble in a one-on-one situation is the most effective basketball move a player can use.
Basketball crossovers, unlike most other dribbling moves, can be performed at any speed (try executing a spin dribble on a fast break!). Also, it is a reasonably uncomplicated move, which allows it to be executed quickly and thus more effectively.
A properly executed crossover dribble is essentially two moves in one - a jab fake in one direction followed immediately by an explosive dribble in the other direction. For the basic skills, see Crossover Moves and More in the Offensive Skills section.
Instructions to Players
Here's what players need to focus on:
- They must realize that the crossover move is effective when the player is able to convince the defense that he intends to dribble in one direction, and then bursts past them in the other direction
- The foot that is jabbing in the direction of the fake must plant firm - this is the push-off foot for the explosive dribble to follow the fake
- The crossover dribble itself needs to be quick and low - the ball will be vulnerable to be stolen when it crosses in front of the defensive player, so make it vulnerable for the least amount of time
- Once the player jabs hard in the direction of the fake, he needs to push off hard in the opposite direction, past the defensive player - it will be the first step off the jab that will either get him past the defense or not.
- After passing the defense, the player must continue hard to the hoop or pass off or shoot quickly - if the player slows up, the defense will catch up
How this Basketball Dribbling Drill Works
- Players line up behind the three point line, one behind the next.
- The first few players in line have basketballs
- The coach stands a few feet above the block, just outside the key
- The defensive player sets up at an angle to pressure the ball carrier toward the sideline
- On the coach's signal, the first player in line dribbles towards the coach, in control, using his outside hand to dribble (e.g., if they are on the left side of the court, he uses his left hand to dribble in)
- As he nears the coach, the player makes a sudden jab toward the coach's side
- It is important that the jab is directly at the coach's outside leg, not way out toward the sideline - the intention is to move the defensive player's outside leg back a step, to put him off-balance and make it easier for the offensive player to flash past him on the inside
- Immediately after jabbing to the outside, the offensive player pushes off that foot and crosses the ball over to the inside hand, driving hard to the inside, past the defensive player and to the basket
- The offensive player drives hard to the basket and focuses on scoring
- After scoring, he retrieves the ball, passes to the next player in line without a ball, and then goes to the end of the line
To execute solid crossover moves on a consistent basis, players really need to focus on two things - first, a good, hard jab fake to the outside; then a strong push and quick step to the inside, past the defensive player. The two movements happen so quickly, one after the next, that they are practically one movement. Both are needed for the move to be effective, but once the player masters it, the crossover will get him past almost any defender.
Be sure to practice on both sides of the court, so players get practice with both hands, and to make it harder, the coach can swipe at the ball as it passes on the crossover - which will reinforce the need to keep the ball low and quick on the crossover section.
Find more drills to practice the Crossover Dribble here
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"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
- John Wooden
Want something more visual?
Check out UMass Head Coach Derek Kellogg's video package of drills