The basketball crossover move is one of the smoothest and most entertaining dribbling moves in the game.
The move has left players a step behind and with broken ankles for ages, as the crowd goes, “Whoa!”
Want to get the same effect?
First off, let’s break down the definition of a basketball crossover dribble:
A crossover dribble is a low, quick bounce in front of your body from one hand to the other that allows you to quickly switch momentum and direction. The crossover dribble allows the ball handler to outmaneuver the opponent and an open lane to the hoop.
Basketball crossover moves have been used for decades, because it’s such an appealing dribbling move. It’s easily the quickest way to switch dribbling hands while moving towards the hoop.
When you first practice the crossover dribble you will be slow and inconsistent. This is more than okay, as everyone starts out slow. Remember it took you years to shoot a basketball, so it will also take time to pull off this dribbling move effectively.
The biggest key when first practicing the crossover dribble is not to go to fast. Start out slow, very slow! Make sure you get the basic fundamentals down before you start trying to crossover as fast as the pros.
In order to pull off an effective basketball crossover move you must have:
Agile hands: Quick hands allow you to maintain excellent control while transferring the ball from one hand to the other. Because you will bounce the ball in front of the defender, your hands need to be quick and swift without letting the ball slip out of one of your hands.
Strong Legs: Crossover moves only involve the arms and hands, right? Wrong, an effective crossover move needs the legs too. Your legs need to counteract and move along with the ball, switching your weight with the direction of the ball. If you do this properly, your weight will completely shift from one hand to the other along with the ball, enabling you to blow by the defender much quicker.
Flexible and Strong Upper-Body: You need to find a mixture between flexibility and strength when performing the crossover dribble. Your upper-body needs to stand firm and steady, while making the switch.
If you do not stand firm, the upper-body invites the defender in to steal the ball. The body also must remain flexible because you are twisting your entire upper-body in a matter of seconds.
Deceptive Mind: Great offensive players really know how to trick their opponent into thinking they are going one way when they’re actually going another way. Never scout out where you are going.
If you plan to crossover from right to left hand, fake or take a strong dribble like you are going right, and then perform the crossover. A large part of an effective crossover is baiting the defender into thinking you are going one way when you really have no intention of that direction. Keep that in mind!
Step-by-Step Guide to an Effective Crossover
1) When first starting out with the crossover, always begin dribbling with your dominant hand. For example, if you shoot right handed and feel more natural dribbling the ball right handed, view this as your dominant hand.
2) Proceed towards the defender (or object, such as a trashcan) dribbling with the dominant hand. Take small steps, studying your opponent’s posture and positioning. For example, if the defender wants you to dribble right (based on his or her positioning), a right to left crossover is highly recommended and vice versa.
3) When you are a few steps from the defender, bend your upper-body a little closer to the defender and take a small jab step with your right foot.
4) Twist your right hand with the ball, around your right knee and bounce the ball back towards your left hip. Twist your upper-body with the ball. Twisting your upper-body is especially important yet often ignored by many ball handlers. Moving your upper-body with the ball simply defends the ball from being stolen.
5) Receive the ball with your left hand off the bounce. The ball should hit your hand around the side of your left hip. Your left shoulder should now protrude back further and your right shoulder pointed directly at the defender’s face.
6) If the defender takes the bait and unsuccessfully goes for the steal or takes a step to your right, you now have a clear path to the hoop with the left hand dribble. Do not waste any time! Immediately dribble to the left of the defender after receiving the ball with your left hand.