The crossover dribble is an extremely important weapon in any basketball player’s arsenal. If you can master it, your chances of becoming a great offensive threat will greatly increase. Below you’ll find a video created by Michael Jordan where he explains exactly how to perform the crossover dribble. He also covers some important tips that will help ensure that you get the most out of it.
At the bottom of the video I’ve provided a transcript for those of you who prefer to read and those who have hearing disabilities. Let me know if you have any questions about what I’ve written in the comments section!
Crossover Dribble Video Lesson
Begin crossover dribble video transcription
Now the second move of that triple threat situation is called a crossover. The crossover is strclty just a change in direction. Now let me show you exactly the way it should be done.
In protecting the basketball when you’re jabbing with your right foot and the defense sometimes reacts that way, and you want to change your direction, this is what most people do that’s going to get called for traveling. In jabbing with the right foot, they get so quick that they go this way (pick up their left foot) which is their pivot foot. That is traveling in any league.
So, the correct way to do it is when you jab, now you’re going to pick up the same foot that you jabbed with and change directions. When you’re putting the ball down, good defensive players, if you put the ball out here (putting the ball way out in front of you), have long enough arms (Scottie Pippen for one) that they can slap the ball. Now your momentum is going forward and the ball is going backward.
Here is a good way to correct that. When you jab and when you change direction, if you put the ball here (right next to your jab foot) you will have protection from your leg. Your free hand should be out in front of you protecting the ball. So now, the only way for that defense to get to the ball is to go through your arm or your leg. 9 times out of 10 it’s going to be a foul. I say 9 times out of 10 because I can get away with it, but I don’t play anymore so you don’t have to worry about that (Oh MJ, you’re such a joker).
In summary the steps are
- Jab step
- Lift the same leg you jabbed with and change direction
- Keep the ball close to your leg and attack the basket
Now, the good thing about an offensive player is you gotta be able to go both ways. You only go one way, now you’re limiting your options. The defense is going to read that and then they have the advantage in terms of being able to limit your options. As an offensive player you never want to limit your options. So, when you’re working on the crossover dribble make sure you do it with both legs (practicing crossover on left side of body and right side). Now you can have two options.
Video switches to scene with extra guy
If my man is taking a defensive stance, the thing that I’m looking at right now is he’s playing parallel to me. So now he’s playing me to go either way which is good. This means to me that all I have to do is give a nice little fake this way (Jordan jabs to his right) and he’s gonna think that I’m going that way. My change of direction is a little bit better to use when you see a guy in the parallel stance. This is mainly because he doesn’t know where you’re going. So now you have so many options. You just try to use as many options as you can.
Now if he had his right foot forward (defender is pushing MJ to the right), that to me is saying he wants you to go this way. The last thing I want to do is go where the defense wants me to go. I want to go opposite. This is when he now takes his step this way (in the direction of your jab) and the change of direction means he’s gotta pick up his foot, open his stance and then slide to try to keep up with you as an offensive player. That takes more time than you taking that crossover and driving to the hole, so you have the advantage in that sense.
Now, if he has his other foot up (defender is pushing Jordan to the left) this is what I was telling you about being able to go both ways. Now you can do the same thing and attack the basket in the opposite direction. You see what I mean? So now he can’t limit your options. Before you take your stance always look at how the defense is playing you and then decide which is your pivot foot, your right foot or your left foot, and then attack.
Here are a few of the key takeaways from this crossover dribble lesson:
- Read the defense and check their stance before you make your move.
- Always change direction with the same foot you use to jab. If you lift your pivot foot it’s a travel.
- Keep the ball protected by dribbling it close to your jab leg when you attack. Also, keep your free hand out in front of you to protect the ball and draw the foul.
- Practice your crossover dribble on both sides of your body. If you only practice going one direction you will be seriously limiting your options.