Dribbling Between the Legs: A Basketball Skill Overview


Dribbling Between the Legs: A Basketball Skill Overview

Dribbling between the legs is a fundamental and flashy basketball dribbling move used to maintain control of the ball while switching directions and protecting it from defenders. It’s a versatile skill that enhances a player’s ball-handling ability and can be a key component in breaking down defenses. Here’s an in-depth look at this skill:

Purpose of Dribbling Between the Legs

  1. Changing Directions: Allows the player to quickly change direction while maintaining control of the ball.
  2. Protecting the Ball: Helps shield the ball from defenders, making it harder for them to steal.
  3. Creating Space: Can create space between the player and the defender, providing an opportunity for a drive, pass, or shot.

How to Perform the Between-the-Legs Dribble

  1. Stance:
    • Start in an athletic stance with knees slightly bent, feet shoulder-width apart.
    • Stay low to maintain balance and control.
  2. Initiating the Move:
    • Begin with the ball in one hand (e.g., right hand).
    • Take a step forward or sideways with the opposite leg (e.g., left leg) to create space between your legs.
  3. Executing the Dribble:
    • Bounce the ball through the space between your legs, transferring it from your right hand to your left hand.
    • Ensure the ball stays low to the ground to minimize the risk of it being stolen.
  4. Receiving the Ball:
    • Catch the ball with your left hand as it comes through your legs.
    • Be ready to continue dribbling, pass, or change direction immediately after receiving the ball.
  5. Body Position:
    • Keep your head up to maintain court awareness and spot potential plays.
    • Use your body to shield the ball from the defender during the dribble.

Tips for Mastering the Between-the-Legs Dribble

  1. Practice Regularly: Repetition is key to becoming comfortable and proficient with this move.
  2. Stay Low: Keeping a low stance helps maintain control and makes the move quicker and more effective.
  3. Use Both Hands: Practice dribbling between the legs with both hands to become a more versatile player.
  4. Combine with Other Moves: Integrate the between-the-legs dribble with other dribbling moves like crossovers and behind-the-back dribbles for more complex and effective ball-handling.
  5. Footwork: Proper footwork is crucial. Ensure your steps are in sync with your dribble to maintain balance and control.

Situations to Use the Between-the-Legs Dribble

  1. Isolation Plays: When trying to break down a defender one-on-one.
  2. Transition: To protect the ball and change directions quickly during fast breaks.
  3. Setting Up Plays: To create space and set up for a pass or a shot.
  4. Breaking Press Defense: To maneuver around defenders applying heavy pressure.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Looking Down: Keep your head up to see the court and avoid telegraphing your move to the defender.
  2. Standing Upright: Maintain a low, athletic stance to stay balanced and protect the ball.
  3. Slow Execution: Practice to ensure the move is quick and fluid, reducing the chances of a turnover.