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Behind-the-Back Dribble

What is a behind-the-back in basketball dribbling

A behind-the-back is a basketball move in which you bring the ball behind your back to the side while the basketball bounces up. Then cross the ball around your legs in the back to your other hand.

What does it take to do a crossover in basketball dribbling

-Dexterous and long hands: You need them to maintain excellent control when you are doing the crossover around your legs in the back.  Long arms keep the distance between the basketball and your defender at a maximum.

-Strong wrist: When you fully extend your arm backwards, the only way you can push the basketball sideways is by snapping your wrist.  Hence, having a strong wrist is very important too to execute a quick behind-the-back.

-A natural awareness of the position of the ball: When doing the behind-the-back basketball move.  Not only does the defender lose sight of the ball, but the ball handling basketball player will also be unable to keep gazing at the ball. 

General step-by-step guide to doing a behind-the-back in basketball

  1. Start dribbling at the point or around the perimeter
  2. Drive towards one side, (let's pretend you are going right for this example)
  3. When your defender commits himself, place the ball behind your back on the side.  You can do this in two ways*
  4. Bend your knees slightly first, then cross the ball behind your back to the left
  5. As soon as you catch the ball on your left, push hard with your right foot to propel your body to the left.  It is almost as if you are hopping sideways.

What are the effective basketball moves combination series related to the behind-the-back basketball move

In what situations do I perform the behind-the-back in basketball dribbling

About your defender

About the setting

Pros-n-cons about doing the behind-the-back basketball move



  • Secure way to cross the ball over and change direction
  • Fools defender by making them lose sight of the basketball
  • The ball is shielded by your body and legs
  • Provides a change of rhythm from crossovers in front
  • Easier to lose control than crossover in front
  • Takes a lot of body balance to perform it correctly
  • Takes longer than normal crossovers
  • Cannot be used in populated areas


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