Effective dribbling is one of the most important aspects in the game of basketball, and people who can use both their hands for the purpose of dribbling undoubtedly make better players. When a team is playing offense in a game and is moving down the court towards the opponents basket, the aim is to dribble the ball in a manner that leaves the defending team confused. The individual who is dribbling needs to move fast, needs to keep his eyes up so that he can spot the runs that this teammates are making and most importantly, he needs to constantly change the direction of the ball so that the person marking him does not get an opportunity to steal the basketball away from him.
The most effective way to achieve the last portion is to use both hands while dribbling, and this is a skill that needs to be worked on and trained for intensely. Not everyone is ambidextrous and not everyone can dribble effectively with both hands, so this is a skill that is inculcated in people who are capable of doing this. A crossover dribble is nothing but a form of dribbling where the dribbler is constantly using both hands to bounce the ball, thus giving him an opportunity to dribble past his marker more effectively.
Someone who only dribbles with a single hand becomes very predictable in his actions, and this makes it easier for the individual marking him to steal the ball away from him. Changes in speed and direction of the body of the dribbler become twice as effective if he can shift the ball between both hands and then glide past the opponent to gain space on the court to either pick out a pass or to shoot.
Best Crossover Drills in Basketball
First and foremost, some basic conditioning is required in order to perform crossover dribbles effectively. This involves strengthening the legs and the lower body, improving the speed and the agility, improving hand-eye coordination and of course, building the stamina. All these elements are strengthened with the help of many different drills and exercises, and once this has been done, the individual can start focusing on drills for basketball crossover dribbles.
A basketball player needs to learn how to dribble using both hands, and this can only be acquired through hours of practice. The simplest drill requires nothing but a basketball. The player should simply practice dribbling the ball with both hands and should move around the court while doing so. This will get his body adjusted to the process, and it will also make him mentally prepared for the kind of movements that he will have to perform.
Once the basic dribble has been understood by the player, a coach will need to place some cones on the court in a straight line. The distance between each cone should be around 3 feet, and the player has to move fast and go between the cones in a zig-zag pattern. He should be bouncing the basketball while doing this and every time he turns to the left he should be transferring the ball from his right hand to his left hand, and the other way round when he turns right.
One common problem that players face while performing crossovers is that they tend to dribble the ball too high when they are shifting hands. This gives the opponent a moment to steal the ball. In order to avoid doing this the player must stand next to a regular sized table and bounce the ball between both hands, while constantly keeping it under the table. Shorter bounces are preferable for such dribbles, and these table drills will help achieve this.
Since crossover dribbles are quite common, most teams know how to defend against it. Hence, in order to dribble successfully one needs to mix up the routine and do something unpredictable as well. Certain crossover dribbles shift the ball from one hand to another after it has passed under the leg of the dribbler, and another move causes the ball to shift hands by moving it behind the back of the dribbler. These are moves that need time and patience to master, but they can be highly effective for dodging an opposing mark if they are performed correctly.
Another great way to learn some moves is to watch some videos and highlights of some of the best basketball players in the world. The kind of moves that feature on these videos will simply blow your mind away, and they will then inspire you to perform these moves yourself. Performing crossover drills will improve the efficiency of these dribbles, but ironically, the creativity and originality of dribbling can only be achieved by watching other people perform some great dribbles.