Sports & Games

Stephen Curry Teaches the Art of the Basketball Crossover Move

Written by MasterClass

Oct 24, 2018 • 2 min read

In basketball, the crossover is a commonly used tactical maneuver against encroaching defense players. The crossover move is a way of faking out other basketball players by rapidly switching the ball from one hand to the other and changing direction of travel. For example, a basketball player might be dribbling the ball in the right hand heading toward the basket with defense players surrounding him. The ball handling player will then change direction and make a wide step to the right, faking out the defense players, and pass the ball to his or her left hand to move around the defensive players on the left, potentially opening up the court for her to pass to another player to make a basket. This is also known as the crossover dribble.

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors is known for his agile ball handling moves, his epic jump shots, and his ability to do the best crossover moves quickly and (seemingly) effortlessly. Pair that with his ability to score a basket from nearly anywhere on the court, and you’ve got a two-time NBA MVP. Learn his tips for executing the basketball crossover move, and you’ll be one step closer to dominating the courts.


Master the Crossover Dribble

Pulling off a successful crossover requires that you become a master dribbler and ball-handler. The key to ball-handling is balance. Start in a centered athletic position: keep your nose behind your toes and your hips loaded, being careful not to lean forward. To maintain balance, keep your body static and in an athletic position, and move the ball around your body—don’t move your body around the ball. This is especially important when performing a crossover, as you are moving the ball swiftly from one side to the other in order to fake out your defender.

When handling the ball, dribble aggressively and to the side of your foot, maintaining a bounce height that reaches between your knee and hip. Keep in mind that the more power you put behind each dribble, the more control you’ll have over the ball. The idea behind aggressive dribbling is to minimize the ball’s airtime so you can prevent defenders from deflecting or stealing it.



Watch Body Positions

Stephen Curry recommends that you watch your defender and their body position. A successful crossover will be performed if you lead your defender to move in one direction—to the left, for example. Once you are able to see the defender’s lead food move toward the left, indicating that they think they will block you from the left, you can then dribble the ball to the other hand (either in front, behind you, or between your legs), come around the defender, and make a pass or a shot on the opposite side of their lead foot (in this case, the right).



Practice Ball Handling Drills

The crossover requires a lot of practice to pull off convincingly. You have to be able to dribble in both hands and fool your opponent into thinking you are going to one side when you are really going to the other. Practice your crossover by performing a classic move to the front, and perfecting the behind-the-back crossover, and the between-the-legs crossover.

The crossover is an essential dribbling and tactical technique that, if done well, can be an effective move to help your team score points, making you a valuable member of your basketball team.