Developing Quickness and Power to Master the Crossover Dribble | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Developing Quickness and Power to Master the Crossover Dribble

May 31, 2011

As a guard, what's better than nailing the crossover dribble, catching your defender back on his heels and blowing by him to the hole?

The move looks simple, right? But it is not that easy to perfect. OK, guys like Allen Iverson, Tim Hardaway and Derrick Rose have mastered it, and you may lack their natural talent. But you can develop your crossover dribble—by practicing the move [obviously], but also by enhancing your athleticism, improving your ability to change direction and harnessing your lower body rotational power.

Perform the following crossover drills to work these areas.

The Zigzag Drill, from Speed Strength Systems owner Tim Robertson Jr., incorporates the use of a basketball to improve quickness, agility and change of direction. Robertson says, “You can dribble with the same hand throughout the drill, switch hands after each cone, crossover dribble, behind the back, between the legs, whenever you get to a cone and transition from one cone to another.”  Another variation is to alternate sprinting and laterally shuffling: sprint and dribble between the first two cones, then laterally shuffle and dribble between the next two.

Crossover Drills

Zigzag Drill

Set up cones in the following pattern from baseline to baseline on a basketball court:

  • Start at first cone; sprint and dribble to second cone
  • Breakdown and cut around second cone; sprint to next cone
  • Continue for entire pattern

Sets/Reps: 1x5-10; perform twice a week

Coaching Points: Move through the drill at full speed // At the cones, lower your center of gravity and make quick, precise cuts // Make sure you get three quality dribbles on each move to a cone

Harness your lower body power with Lunges. “Multi-Angular Lunges are an ideal way to strengthen all of the muscles of the legs and hips in a very functional way,” says DeMatha Catholic High School strength and conditioning coach Alan Stein. “When you blow by a guy, you are actually in a Lunge position for a split second.”

There are many Lunge variations, but here are two prime examples:

Clock Lunge Series

  • Step out as far as possible
  • Keep opposite foot down when pushing back with front foot
  • Stay balanced throughout set
  • Perform lunges to 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions
  • Perform set clockwise on one leg, then repeat on other
  • Repeat counterclockwise on each leg

Sets/Reps: 3x each leg, each direction

Lateral Lunge

  • Stand with feet shoulder distance apart
  • Extend right leg out to side and sit down through the hip
  • Pushing off right heel, return to starting position

Sets/Reps: 2-3x each leg

Coaching Points: Don't overextend knee past foot // Keep chest up

According to Xtraordinary Sports Performance owner Erick Land, to change directions abruptly, an athlete must be able to explode through the hips by first reducing the force of the initial movement toward the opponent, then exploding and applying force in the other direction. Land recommends these two rotation-based exercises to condition your body to reduce and produce force.


This exercise activates the glutes and hips, and also strengthens the piriformis, the muscle responsible for rotation within the hips.

  • With a Thera-Band wrapped above knees, lie on side with back against wall, feet together and knees bent at 90-degree angle
  • Push knees apart, rotating top knee up and toward wall
  • Return to start position; repeat for specified reps
  • Perform on opposite side

Sets/Reps: 3x10 each side

Coaching Points: Keep feet straight and on top of each other // Press bottom glute against wall

One-Arm Row With Rotation

This is an explosive movement that conditions the body to properly distribute weight for efficient change of direction.

  • Stand with cable machine set to low position at left
  • Assume Lunge position with left leg forward and right knee just above ground
  • Reach across body with right arm and grab handle
  • Push off left heel, explode through hips and rotate right while pulling cable
  • Finish with hips pointed away from machine and right hand at waist with elbow tight to side
  • Return to start position; repeat for specified reps
  • Perform to opposite side

Sets/Reps: 2-3x12-15 each side

Coaching Points: Maintain athletic base // Initiate movement through hips // Keep chest up, shoulders back and core tight


Maddy Lucier
- As an associate editor for STACK, Maddy creates lifestyle, social media, gear and nutrition content for our audience of athletes. She played volleyball and basketball...
Maddy Lucier
- As an associate editor for STACK, Maddy creates lifestyle, social media, gear and nutrition content for our audience of athletes. She played volleyball and basketball...
Must See
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,222,480
Dashon Goldson: "You Just Gotta Have Heart"
Views: 3,213,612
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 19,285,230

Featured Videos

Dwight Howard Ab Workout Views: 62,672
John Wall Elbow-to-Elbow Shooting Drill Views: 186,478
Elite Performance with Mike Boyle: Build Explosive Power With Contrast Training Views: 17,880
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Colby Lewis's Post-Game Band Splitter Routine
Views: 8,349,427
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 4,006,048
Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach
Views: 8,690,635
Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,529
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,176,187

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

Basketball Dribbling Drills: Use Chaos to Develop Killer Handles

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

5 Things You Can Learn From Playing Pre-Season Basketball

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

10 Tips Every AAU Player Must Know

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

Develop an Unstoppable Crossover Dribble With Just 3 Drills

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

This 13-Year-Old Girl Would Strike You Out

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

Wide Receivers: Learn to Catch Every Jump Ball, Every Time

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

3 Offensive Line Drills That'll Help You Keep Your QB Clean

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

4 Drills That'll Help You Become an Elite Running Back

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

Use These 3 Principles to Improve Your Basketball Defense