Breaking Ankles

You’re in your driveway, counting down the seconds; 5… 4… 3… You fake left and go right, losing your imaginary defender in the dust with a quick crossover, and pull up for the game winning three! SWISH! The crowd goes wild and you’re the hero.

It was easy when the defender was a figment of imagination, but how do you handle a real lock down defender? How do you hit him with the Allen Iverson cross? It takes time to perfect this, but with practice you too can break ankles and leave defenders on their butts looking foolish.

First, you have to get comfortable dribbling a basketball with a tight defender in your face. You have to be able to maintain control of the ball without looking away from your defender. Practice, practice, practice. You have to have a comfortable handle on the ball before you can think of going to the next level of your game either way.

Second, you have to be able to read your defender. You have to know what he’s going to do before he even knows. By the time it comes down to the last second shot, you should be know your defender enough to read his movements and know his tendencies.

Basketball is a mental game as well as physical. To be a deadly crosser, you have to be able to see things develop and change direction on a dime. Read and react are key.

Third, you can’t sit there and show off your dribbling skills all night; it gives your defender time to recover. Give your defender one move and go. The faster you get past him, the faster you get to the basket and become the hero.

Next, we put it together.

You’ve been practicing your dribble moves and handles all off season andyou and your defender have gone toe-to-toe all game and have become very familiar with each other. Now it’s a mental game. You size him up with low mini crosses and wait for his weight to shift just enough to make your move. You visualize what you want to do and what you want to do once you beat your defender.

Boom! Take the chance once it shows itself and don’t toy with him. He jumps your cross and you react with precision and quickness and leave him in awe. Are you confident enough to try in for real?

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