How to Hit the Ball Under the Legs in Basketball

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How to Hit the Ball Under the Legs in Basketball
How to Hit the Ball Under the Legs in Basketball

Controlling the ball is a fundamental skill in basketball, and passing it between your legs is one of the most “plastic” ways to show how you can keep it “glued” to your hands. While it sounds simple, doing this can help you avoid getting a defender too close. First of all, however, it's critical to know how to control the ball; a quick step forward will give you a chance to perform the move that will take her to the other hand. Practice this to impress whoever is watching and leave the markers in the dust on game days.


Part 1 of 3: Controlling the Ball

Dribble a Basketball Between the Legs Step 1

Step 1. Squat down by bending your knees and lowering your hips

To control the ball as you pass it between your legs, you must adopt the basic stance for hitting it; bend down and bend your back a little. Lean forward a little to prepare yourself, in case you need to resume the movement; the posture should convey a feeling of stability.

When crouching, you can protect the ball more effectively; staying straight makes the ball bounce higher, making control difficult and giving the marker much more time to hinder your movement

Dribble a Basketball Between the Legs Step 2

Step 2. Lift your head and chest and look straight ahead

Keeping your head down will disturb your balance and you will not be able to see teammates and opponents on the court. When leaning forward, move your chest further forward so that you are not tempted to look at the ball. Keep your eyes focused on the basket.

Find a marker to stand in front of you; he should keep an eye on you while he trains. Otherwise, position yourself in front of a basket or a spot where you can focus your attention

Dribble a Basketball Between the Legs Step 3

Step 3. Balance with the part of your feet that connects the sole to the toes so that you are always ready to move

Lean forward with your toes to transfer your body weight to the balls of your feet; don't move too far forward or you may lose your balance. When you feel your heels coming off the floor, lower them a little for greater stability; it's a position that will allow you to move faster and be able to change direction without difficulty as you run around the court.

  • Balance is one of the most important aspects of ball control. There is no way to move effectively around the court if you are out of balance, so get your stance right before trying to keep the ball in your possession.
  • When you start to feel cramping in your feet, you may be putting too much weight on your toes. Lean forward slightly enough to shift your weight to that part of your body.
Dribble a Basketball Between the Legs Step 4

Step 4. Hit stationary ball using only your fingertips

Use your good hand and keep hitting the ball, keeping it close to your body and knee; instead of placing your palm on the ball, apply downward force with just your fingertips. The knee will provide some protection against “tick” markers, while the fingertips give you more control over the direction of the ball.

To hit the ball, just bend your fist and force the ball to go down. Keep your fingers well apart, increasing your control over her

Dribble a Basketball Between the Legs Step 5

Step 5. Use enough force to hit the ball at knee height

The maximum height it can reach – to better protect it from the opponent – ​​should still not be too far from the ground. While crouching, ideally, the ball doesn't go past the height of your thighs; if it reaches the height near your waist, it will be much more difficult to hold it in your possession. The higher it gets, the more chance the markers will have to steal it before they manage to get it between their legs.

  • Familiarize yourself with the surface you will be playing on. Each differs from the others; there are some that allow for more agility, while the softer ones require the player to apply more force when hitting the ball to get it back into the hand.
  • Think of the ball as an extension of the body. Just practice and hit the ball a few times to feel how you should do it on this court, knowing how it will move. Once you feel where the ball will go in relation to your body, you no longer need to stare at it as you hit the ball and move around.

Part 2 of 3: Making a crossover

Dribble a Basketball Between the Legs Step 6

Step 1. Hit the ball with your dominant hand

Keep your knees bent, roughly shoulder-width apart, and don't forget to lift your head and chest, as if keeping an eye on the markers. Hit the ball at a steady pace, keeping it low and close to your body.

Stability is very important when starting this movement. If you are out of balance, you will end up losing the ball, so keep hitting it without moving, using your toes as a support when you walk with it

Dribble a Basketball Between the Legs Step 7

Step 2. Place your good hand on the ball so your thumb is on top

Wait for it to bounce up to your knees and, before it arrives, change your hand position to the side. Turn it over so that the top of your thumb is slightly pointed toward the sky. After placing the tip of your thumb on it, control the ball by touching your other fingers to the side.

  • Make a single hand movement, but don't look down! Otherwise, you signal the defender what you're about to do, and it doesn't matter if your ball control skills are excellent or not.
  • This change should be made quickly, as soon as the ball comes close to the apex after bouncing. There's no way to better control it if it's close to the ground, so hit it until it reaches the right height.
Dribble a Basketball Between the Legs Step 8

Step 3. Hit the ball and have it shift to the other hand

After making it bounce in the same place, get ready to shift it to the other hand, aiming for the spot on the ground right in front of your body. Use your fingertips and throw the ball at that spot; it will bounce at an angle that allows control with the other hand.

  • The ball draws a “V” during crossover. When you make this diagonal movement with the ball, it will also rise diagonally in the opposite direction and reach the other hand.
  • The ball should be close to you so that you don't have to lean forward to catch it. Therefore, apply force laterally across the body, not forward or backward.
Dribble a Basketball Between the Legs Step 9

Step 4. Place your other hand on the ball to control it

However, do not touch the palm of your hand, as it will continue to hit the ball. It's important to get into the habit of letting the ball touch your fingertips; immediately apply force to continue hitting it at the knee.

  • If you plan to engage another crossover, keep your hand on the side of the ball, not over it.
  • Make the crossover stopped. After a lot of training and when you are more used to the movement, try to pass the ball between your legs, which will be easier after perfecting the basic crossover.

Part 3 of 3: Crossover between the legs

Dribble a Basketball Between the Legs Step 10

Step 1. Hit the ball with your dominant hand

First, squat down to be in the right position, close to the ground so that you can control the ball. Raise your chest and head when hitting the ball near your foot.

Be ready to move. Lean forward a little, using the part of your foot that connects your toes to the bottom of your foot, so that you can spread your legs well apart as you hit the ball

Dribble a Basketball Between the Legs Step 11

Step 2. Take a big step diagonally and forward with the opposite foot

Move the leg at a 45° angle away from the body; while doing this, the dominant side should remain stable, with the foot planted on the ground. Keep hitting ball near him to prepare for the crossover.

  • For example, if you are hitting a ball with your right hand, take a step forward with your left foot, or a step forward with your right foot when hitting a ball with your left hand.
  • To crossover correctly, take a quick step when the ball hits the apex of the bounce, so you have a brief window to let it pass between your legs.
Dribble a Basketball Between the Legs Step 12

Step 3. Move your hand to the side of the ball as it bounces

She must make a movement until her thumb reaches the top of the ball; be prepared to apply force with your fingertips. The thumb pad should go to the top of the ball, while the other fingers are on the side; as soon as she hits the apex of her bounce – about knee level – be ready to pass it between your legs.

When you can't do this move, train at a slower pace. Hit the ball a little harder (so it gets more height), take a step and then try to bring your hand to the side

Dribble a Basketball Between the Legs Step 13

Step 4. Apply force so that the ball passes between your legs, starting the crossover

It should bounce on the ground right under the body; then, with your fingertips, force the ball to hit that spot. It's important that she gains enough momentum to do the “V”, getting a bow and coming back knee-high on the other side.

  • You must make the ball acquire an angle; as stated earlier, it needs to bounce in a “V” so that it goes towards the other hand.
  • When you are having difficulty getting the ball to pass without touching your body, stand still with your legs wide apart. Move the ball back and forth several times to give you a better idea of ​​how much force you'll need to apply to make it bounce high enough.
Dribble a Basketball Between the Legs Step 14

Step 5. Once the ball is in the ascendant, prepare the opposite hand to control it

Lower your hand so that it is close to your legs and immediately “stick” the ball to it, letting it reach your fingertips. While the ball is making its trajectory, lower the hand in front to protect the ball; a more alert defender might be able to tap her between her legs if she's not careful.

During the ball's trajectory, you can lean forward with your back foot to get ready to move. Now you can lift your heel

Dribble a Basketball Between the Legs Step 15

Step 6. Change positioning by stepping forward with the back leg

This is the trickiest part of the crossover between the legs: knowing the right time to go forward. As soon as you feel the ball hitting your hand, move your dominant foot forward; the angle should be 45° and in the same direction as the start of the crossover. The ball will be protected and it will be possible to crossover while moving forward.

  • For example, when crossing the ball to your left hand, step forward with your right foot. Make the opposite movement by controlling the ball with your right hand.
  • When practicing the stopped movement, try to make a quick jump, holding the ball with both hands and changing the position of the leg.
Dribble a Basketball Between the Legs Step 16

Step 7. Keep hitting ball and advancing down the court

Go in the direction you took the step during the crossover between the legs, keeping your body between the ball and the marker. When you need to change direction one more time, repeat the steps to crossover back to the opposite hand. Practice ball control to leave the defenders behind and attack the basket!

Practice the crossover between your legs until you feel comfortable doing it at a higher pace. The right time to make the move can be a little tricky to get right, the first few times; take your time and perfect each part of the crossover in turn to increase your control and agility


  • At first, while still learning, the pace should be slow. Good control is more important than speed, and knowing how to pass the ball between your legs will do no good if you end up losing the ball.
  • Practice makes perfect, so train often to increase your speed and incorporate this move into the game.
  • Remember that passing the ball between your legs is not just for “showing off”. Although it's something that shows off your skill, it's also very useful for changing direction and leaving your opponent behind.
  • Passing the ball between your legs works best in one-on-one. When you don't have room to move you may end up losing control of the ball or crashing into the defender.
  • If you don't have anyone to mark you, place some cones and hit the ball passing them around them at the same time you crossover.

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