How to Do a Crossover in Basketball

Two Methods:Doing a Basic CrossoverDoing Variations

Also known as an ankle-breaker, the cross-over is a great dribbling technique for creating space between yourself and a defender. The basic move involves faking to one side and getting the defender to follow you before abruptly bouncing the ball back over to your other hand when the defender is turned. This leaves the D off balance and out of position, and leaves you open to take a shot, drive the lane, or pass. Popularized by such greats as Allen Iverson, Tim Hardaway, Pearl Washington, and Deron Williams, it can be a deadly offensive weapon with some practice. This guide will help you develop the balance, technique, and finesse necessary for a killer crossover. It will also teach you how to get better with your skills.

Method 1
Doing a Basic Crossover

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    Develop your dribble. Before you attempt a crossover, make sure you've got a good handle on power dribbling and can maintain good ball control. A good crossover requires that you dribble effectively with both hands and can drive the lane from either direction.
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    Fake to your dominant side. To do an accurate-looking fake, push the ball to the side you're dribbling it in. Keep your eyes focused on the defender's hips and midsection, rather than the hands or legs, which the defense will use for distraction. When the hips turn in the direction you're faking, that's when you'll know you've faked effectively.[1]
    • Also consider faking to your non-dominant side and crossing back over to your dominant hand and driving from your strong side. Keep the D guessing.
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    Hesitate. This is the most important and convincing part of the crossover dribble. When the ball is up, some players will give a little hop, as if you're about to quickly drive to your dominant side. The ball will be in your palm at this moment, so really what you're doing is less about dribble and more about feigning motion.
    • Watch videos of great crossover players to practice and imitate their hesitation move. Be careful not to palm the ball, or you'll be whistled for a dribbling violation.
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    Stay low and wide. Since the move involves bouncing the ball in between you and the defender, you'll want to make sure that you're low to the ground and that you're leading with the foot on your dominant side. Allen Iverson was great at keep the ball very far away from his body, but still totally controlling its bounce. You want to look as much like you're heading to that direction as possible. Don't open yourself up to a steal.
    • Don't look at the ball as you're doing the move. Keep your eyes on the defender and up court, scanning for possible open spaces, open teammates, and opportunities.
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    Cross the ball over. When you've got the defensive player turned in the direction you want, quickly power dribble across your body, switching to your other hand. At this instant, you should be open to set for a jump shot or pass the ball to your teammate. It'll happen in an instant, so be ready to act as soon as you've completed the move. Practise this move a couple times to really get it perfect!

Method 2
Doing Variations

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    Go behind your back. Instead of crossing over in between yourself and the defender, which can be tricky and dangerous, bounce the ball behind your back to shift directions. This uses your body to shield the ball, and can leave defenders in your dust.
    • Practice dribbling behind your back before trying this move. You can't see where the ball is going, so it can be a difficult maneuver to pull off.
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    Dribble between your legs. Another effective shielding technique is to dribble the ball between your legs. Most typically, you'd dribble back through your non-dominant leg, catching the ball with that hand, but you can improvise in all sorts of ways.
    • Try going back to front, from your non-dominant side to your dominant side as your hesitation maneuver, fake toward that dominant side and abruptly cross it back over between your legs again.
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    Double-up. If you've gone to the well one too many times and your defender catches you in the act by staying centered when you try your crossover, kick the ball back into your dominant hand and drive in the direction you tried to fake. This double crossover will often go so far as to trip up the defender, leading to this move's reputation as the "ankle-breaker."
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    Get creative. Try different combinations of between the legs and directional shifts to improve your offensive game. The simple crossover is really just a quick dribble, but when you've mastered that and can effectively crossover, your offensive game will only be limited by your imagination.


  • Never look down always keep ur eyes on the player.
  • Put your hand out in front of the ball because if the defender tries to steal the ball, they will have to get through your hand or your leg and that will cause a foul.
  • If you bounce the ball just under your knees, there is less chance of the ball being stolen from you.
  • If you are not fully aware, the defender can steal the ball.
  • When you hesitate, stretch the ball handling hand a bit so that you can change directions causing an ankle break.
  • Use both of your hands when you are dribbling the ball so you can get an an advantage over your opponent.
  • Remember to low your shoulder so that you look sincere and your opponent falls with your fake.

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Categories: Basketball