Dribble moves


A crossover dribble can be done in many different variations and used for many various purposes. It is among the most common dribbles you will see in any basketball game. The basic principle of a crossover is dribbling the ball from one hand to the other. This can be done simply to change the hand with which you are dribbling, or to blow past a defender. If the intent of the crossover is to go past the defender then the move requires more detail to be executed effectively. When using the crossover as a dribble move to go past the defense, the defender must believe you are going one way, and then the ball handler quickly switches to the other hand and the other direction before they can recover. For this example let’s use a right to left crossover…Make the defender believe you are going to the right by taking a quick explosive step to the right pushing the ball out to your right side as if you were trying to go past them to the right, your head and shoulders should also look as if you are going right. Just before you dribble the ball that you pushed out to your right side, plant your right foot and swing the ball back towards your left side while exploding off that right foot back to the left side. Try to keep the ball as close to your body as you can, as the defender can reach and steal the ball as you execute the crossover. The crossover can be an effective move, but since the ball is out in front of you, it is also one of the moves that leaves you most vulnerable for the defense to strip you. Knowing what circumstances and executing correct time are crucial to successfully utilizing the crossover dribble. This dribble can be used in many different circumstances and will be used consistently throughout any game, however players should limit the number of times they use it as a one-on-one or isolation scoring move (especially when being guarded by a good defender).




Inside out dribble

The inside out dribble is essentially a fake crossover. The goal of this move is to bait the defender into believing you are about to perform a crossover, then going the opposite direction. Let’s use a left handed inside out dribble for this example. Using the left hand, a player begins to sweep the dribble across like you would do on a left to right crossover. The sweep should be slightly higher than it would be for a normal crossover. The player also moves their head and shoulders to the right side (almost as if they are giving away the fact a crossover is coming). The player should then plant their right foot while simultaneously rolling their left hand over top of the ball so the hand is just slightly on the right side of the ball. As soon as this position is reached, the player explodes off of the right foot and pushes the dribble back to the left side, keeping the ball in their left hand. The inside out dribble is an effective dribble that can be easily executed at high speeds. This is a very effective dribble when the offensive player has a full head of steam or whenever the defender is backing up or already on their heels.


Between the legs

Dribbling between the legs is vary similar to the crossover dribble, with the added nuance that the ball passes between an offensive players legs while moving from one hand to another. This move is sometimes thought of as a safer move since it keeps the ball hidden and further from the defender. For this example let’s assume a right to left between the legs move. Begin with the ball in the right hand. Assuming you are already dribbling and moving at a slight angle to the right sideline. Right before you take your next dribble, plant your left foot you’re your right foot at least 18-24” behind the left. As you do this, the next dribble should be bounced between the legs and to the left hand. There are many uses for the between the legs dribble, and it is best used while varying speeds or using it to change speeds (from moving really fast to an almost stopped position, or even if you are moving slow then you go between the legs and explode the other way). When using it to go past a defender it is best used when a defender reaches for the ball. You can quickly move the ball from one side to the other and go past them while they are off balance from the reach.


Behind the back

The behind the back dribble is similar to the crossover or the between the legs dribble but it adds yet another layer of protection that even dribbling between the legs does not provide. When done correctly, dribbling behind the back your entire body separates the ball from your defender. The behind the back dribble can be done at full speed without stopping. To do this behind the back dribble you simply move the ball in one hand almost as if you are about to throw a behind the back pass, however you “pass” the ball towards the ground on the other side of your body. This behind the back dribble uses only a slight change of direction and is generally used in the open court. The other type of behind the back dribble is the one more likely to get you past a defender or create space. For this example we will assume the player is moving to their right. As you dribble a couple of hard dribble to the right try to lure your defender into reaching for a steal or lunging to overplay your right side. As the defender commits, quickly plant your right and left legs with a bend in both your knees and hips. Almost simultaneously, do a hard crossover dribble behind your back (similar to how you would do a normal crossover). As soon as the ball moves to the left hand explode off of your right foot moving your whole body to the right side.



The hesitation move is one of the simplest in all of basketball. It requires very little movement, however it calls for a little bit of acting. The hesitation dribble is executed by fooling the defender with a short pause. The most common way of doing this is when you dribble hard at a defender, you then stop suddenly and pause, trying to look relaxed and as if you plan to stay stopped and perhaps shoot, pass, or set-up a play. Once the defender begins to come out of his stance, relax, or move towards you….you EXPLODE by them. This is a great move with very low, which should actually be used throughout the entire game. Changing speeds is very important for an effective guard.


Spin Move

Spin moves have become more and more populate, not only in basketball but also in football. This is a great move to use when a defender cuts you off, or when you are at the 2nd level of the defense. The spin move requires balance and strong footwork in order to be executed correctly. For this example lets assume you are dribbling to your right side and a defender cuts you off. Begin turning your body into the defender and take one last dribble, plant your left foot directly in front of the defender and do a reverse pivot spinning approximately 180 degrees while keeping your right hand on and on top of the ball (while spinning you should be turning your head over your right shoulder to spot any additional defenders, or an open man on your team for a pass). As you complete the 180-degree turn you can either keep the ball close to your body going right up for a lay-up or shot (without dribbling again), OR you can bounce the ball down with the right hand switching to the left hand after the dribble. This move can be tricky to master and can be deadly when utilized correctly. Some officials also incorrectly call a spin move as a travel, so make sure you adjust accordingly. As I mentioned, this move is great for the 2nd level of the defense, but can also be used in the open court or to get by an initial defender. This will also be an effective post move, however it is executed slightly differently. As with any move, this move is more potent when paired with a change of speed.


Fake spin

There are two ways to do a fake spin. The first version of the fake spin is done by getting the defender to believe you are about to do a spin move, then quickly turning back the other way. The second type of fake spin was made famous by Michael Jordan…this move is essentially a fake spin then a real spin. To do this fake a spin move then stop as if you are just going to go back to a normal stance, then as soon as the defender relaxes for a second you do a very explosive spin move as you originally intended.


Step back Dribble

The step back is a great way to create space between an offensive player and a defender once the offensive player has already began dribbling the ball. When a player is dribbling towards the basket and sees that the defender has their momentum going in that same direction, the dribbler plants there inside foot hard and pushes back away from the basket explosively, landing in a balanced position ready to shoot or pass. When the foot is planted you must be sure to be low and balanced to effectively utilize the move. This move can be combined with a behind the back or backwards between the leg dribble. Check out the advanced moves section of the site for more information.