In basketball, both the teams playing are always on the lookout for the opportunity to outsmart one another. Some say that the defense is better and can give a team the necessary strength. Now this doesn't mean that offense doesn't require tactics and quickness from a player. In fact, offense takes more thought, strategy, and sharpness from any team.
Of course, there are various moves which players try to maneuver around the defense players; and out of these moves, a crossover dribble is one of them. Today, we are going to learn a bit about this simple, yet smart move that can actually leave your opponents baffled.
What is a Crossover Dribble?
What happens in a crossover dribble is that you switch the ball from one hand to the other. This creates a bit of change in direction and keeps the defense player in mystery as to which way you will go. Not just the dribbling, but even your body is involved in fooling the opponent.
As you switch the ball, for example in your left hand, you make a fake head gesture making the opponent think that you are going around his/her left side. Then, quickly switching the ball from your left hand to the right, you escape from the right and pass the opponent. This way, you have outwitted your blocker and can reach the basket easily.
Perform the Dribble with Finesse
What makes this powerful dribble so effective is that it comes really suddenly and can leave the opponent guessing, if executed properly. In the following section, we will look at the steps to perform the dribble.
- Depending on your dominant hand, left or right, start dribbling the ball with it.
- As you move closer to the opponent, you will use small steps to move forward and see what position your opponent is standing or blocking.
- Being about 2 to 3 steps away from the opponent, halt and keep dribbling the ball.
- After a few seconds, go one step ahead with the left leg. In the next step, you will move your body towards the right side.
- Here, it is very essential to lower your upper body, mainly the shoulders so that you make it look like you're going towards the right.
- As your body is showing the signs that you will be moving towards your opponent's right side, you will quickly sidestep with the left leg and break the block.
- While you are dribbling the ball, trying to fool the opponent, your back will be on his/her side and you need to stand between the ball and your opponent.
- Dribble the ball from your right hand to the left and move forward with a big step with your right leg.
- As you move past the opponent, you will have a clear space to make the shot.
Of course, a basic crossover dribble isn't the only offense move a player has to his/her advantage. Also, there are many more variation to this incredible dribble such as the half crossover, the killer crossover, a double crossover, and behind the back crossover. Once you have learned the basic maneuver, catching up on these variation will be easy.
Tips to Keep in Mind
Now that you are aware of what you, as the offense player, need to do to execute a successful crossover dribble, why don't see some important tips and tricks that will help you pick up this maneuver.
- You need to have strong legs which are quick to respond the sudden shift in weight to attempt this maneuver.
- Speed is the one thing that will keep your opponent guessing and till he/she can figure out what to do next, you would've made the shot.
- Keep your upper body steady and flexible so that even when your head and body movement says 'left', you can easily shift the weight and move out from the 'right'.
Here, you not only learned how to do a crossover dribble in basketball, but also understood why this maneuver is important. Keep practicing the move along with other offense and defense maneuvers to become a better basketball player.