The crossover is one of the most essential basketball dribbles for any player on the basketball court. No matter the size or the position played, the crossover dribble helps any offensive player create separation from their defender in an effort to have an opening on the court.
The crossover is a simple move to understand, but perfecting can improve the success of a player on the court by leaps and bounds.
The crossover simply is a move that is used by a dribble while dribbling the ball in one hand swiftly dribbles the ball to put it in the other hand, and is particularly used when changing direction, or trying to deceive a player into believing there is going to be a change in direction.
Types of Crossover Dribbles
- Simple Crossover – Used when dribbling the ball in front and crossing the ball in front of the body into the opposite hand. The best way to perfect this simple crossover dribble is to work on the speed of the dribble and push the ball into the floor as quickly as possible to put it into possession of the opposite hand and continue to change direction
- In-and-Out Dribble (Half Crossover) – Using one hand, bring the ball from one side of the body, in front of the other, and back to the original side of the body. When used in conjunction with a head fake and a believable step towards the side being faked towards, it creates the belief that the player is going into that direction, right before they swiftly bring the ball back to the original side and continue moving in the original. Works fantastically with a normal crossover and makes it very difficult for the defender to predict which way the offensive player is moving.
- Between the Legs Crossover – Used particularly when a defender is guarding close, the between the legs is essentially crossing the ball from one hand to the other between the legs. It is best used with a step and head fake towards one direction, then bring the ball back between the legs and head towards the other direction. It is used often to create separation from a closely guarding defender and is hard for the defended to steal the ball without committing a foul.
- Behind the Back Crossover – Essentially crossing the ball behind the body rather than the front. It is very hard to steal this ball, and can be used similarly to the between the legs. The Behind the Back is also great to use when moving forward to get a defender to bite and make an attempt towards the ball, and then wrap the ball behind the back to bring it to the front smoothly, and continue moving forward.
- Double Cross – Any type of crossover followed by another quicker crossover that brings the ball back to the original position. Used to confuse the defender in hopes of finding an opening on the court and being able to predict which way the defender will move and quickly cross the ball the opposite way and take advantage of the opening. Double cross can be used in conjunction with the behind the back, between the legs, and half crossover.
When using these crossovers to perfection, the dribbler has the advantage on the court by being able to create openings between one’s self and the defender, and take advantage with the jump shot, layup, a pass, or simply to draw attention away from the defense. Crossovers are also the number one way for an offensive player to “break the ankles” of a defender and draw a lot of positive light to the offensive player.
Keys to Killer Crossovers
- Get comfortable with having the ball in both hands.
- Work on the speed of the crossover dribble, the faster the better. Being able to use a range of speeds to trick the defender is essential into getting them to bite, and get around them
- Practice hesitation and head fakes in conjunction with taking the steps in different directions while crossing over.
- Practice leaning towards the way you are faking. Stay on your toes and use your hips and point your chest to the direction you are faking to.
- Practice finishing at the rim from both sides so the defense knows you are a threat at both sides of the basket instead of them being able to keep you to your weak side of the court.
- Get low. The lower you are the, the less the ball has to travel during the dribble and the quicker the crossover.
- Eyes Up. If you are dribbling, you must be able to scan the court and see what your defender is doing, open lanes, and teammates that are open. Your eyes must be up to make the right play.
- Practice variations of the crossovers and be able to integrate all types into your tool belt.
The crossover is one of the best ways to get an opening at any time on the court. Practice the crossover regularly and many other aspects of your game will have the chance to shine with a defender further away.