The Crossover Dribble
The crossover dribble is one of the most effective ways to maintain control of the ball against heavy pressure, or, while attempting to go by your man. It is the primary tool used by the point guard while travelling up the court under defensive pressure. However, it is also a great way to free oneself up for a scoring opportunity. It can be used to get to the basket and to create space between you and your defender, the crossover dribble will assist to set up your jump shot (a move we will go into later).
How to do the Crossover:
Begin at one end of the court. Place the ball in your right hand (For purposes of this drill, whether you are right or left handed is not important, given that you need to be able to perform this move with equal effectiveness using either hand).Then, while stepping forward with your right foot, move the ball—in one dribble—from your right to your left hand. If done properly, your left foot should be hitting the floor just as the ball has reached your hand. Repeat this movement, beginning with the ball in your left hand. Do this drill at a walking pace until you feel confident enough with both your footwork and control over the ball, to the point when you can do it while moving at a joggers’ pace. Ideally, after a few weeks, you will be able to do this at a full sprint, up and down the floor. This drill should be done for ten minutes, with the player stopping at one minute intervals for a thirty second rest.
Keys to Effectiveness:1. The purpose of this drill is to improve the quality of one’s ability to shield the ball from his defender, be it against pressure or, in the open floor. Therefore, it is of prime importance that YOU DO NOT LOOK DOWN AT THE BALL DURING THIS DRILL! A good ballhandler is confident enough in his abilities to be able to channel his focus to the events surrounding him, rather than whether he is going to be able to maintain control of the ball.
2. Make sure the drill is done in a speed in which the player feels comfortable doing the crossover; no improvement is made if one is moving at a high speed, but is wildly out of control with the ball.
3. The footwork needs to be done properly. Michael Jordan, when he was playing, did not have the best crossover in the league because of his hand speed. It was, however, his perfected footwork, which made this move so useful for him. He beat his defenders with his legs, rather than hoping his moves with the ball would do that for him.