A between-the-legs dribble is an effective and stylish ball-handling technique used in basketball. It is a move where a player bounces the basketball from one hand to the other by passing it through their legs. This maneuver can be employed as a strategic move to help evade defenders, create space for a shot, or simply to display quick hands and advanced dribbling skills on the court. Mastering this skill can elevate a player’s overall game and prove useful in various situations.

When executing the between-the-legs dribble, a player must have proper footing and timing. The dribbler starts by taking a step forward with one foot, while simultaneously bouncing the ball from the hand on the same side as the forward foot to the other hand. The ball travels under the leg and is picked up by the other hand, allowing for a seamless transition from one side of the body to the other. This technique not only keeps the ball well-protected from the defender but can also be used to change direction or set up a crossover.

Many professional basketball players, such as Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, and James Harden, have showcased their between-the-legs dribbling abilities in games, garnering awe and admiration from fans and fellow players alike. Incorporating this move into one’s basketball repertoire can improve a player’s overall skill set, making them a more unpredictable and formidable opponent on the court.

Understanding Between-the-Legs Dribble

The between-the-legs dribble is a popular and effective basketball maneuver used by players to evade defenders and maintain dribbling momentum.

Function and Purpose

The primary functions and purposes of the between-the-legs dribble are:

  • Enhancing ball control: By moving the ball between the legs, players can transition from one hand to another while shielding the ball from defenders.
  • Evading defenders: This dribble helps players deceive their opponents and find open lanes to drive or pass.
  • Creating space: The maneuver can be used to generate separation from defenders, providing more options and opportunities to score or assist.

Proper Execution

To execute a between-the-legs dribble, follow these steps:

  1. Start with the ball in your dominant hand.
  2. Plant your non-dominant foot on the ground, slightly ahead and away from your body to create space for the ball to pass through.
  3. Lower your body and bend your knees to get closer to the ground.
  4. Dribble the ball between your spread legs, from the front to the back, using a quick snapping motion with your wrist.
  5. As the ball reaches your other hand, catch it at a low position and continue dribbling, maintaining control and keeping your head up to survey the court.

Remember, practice is key in mastering the between-the-legs dribble, so work on incorporating it into your dribbling drills and game situations. As you become more comfortable and proficient, you can experiment with different variations and combinations to enhance your overall ball-handling skills.

Key Skills and Techniques


Good footwork is essential for executing a between-the-legs dribble effectively. To start, a player should maintain a low stance with knees bent and feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. When performing the maneuver, it’s essential to shift weight from one foot to the other, allowing the ball to move efficiently between the legs. Quick and precise foot movements provide better dribble control and help prevent defenders from stealing the ball.

Ball Control

Ball control is a crucial element of successfully performing a between-the-legs dribble. Players should focus on:

  • Keeping the ball low to minimize the risk of it being stolen by the opponent
  • Using fingertips, not the palm, to maintain better control over the ball
  • Developing a feel for the ball’s movement and using soft touches to control its path between the legs

Practicing these techniques will enhance a player’s ball control while performing a between-the-legs dribble.

Body Positioning

Proper body positioning during a between-the-legs dribble can help protect the ball and create space from defenders. Key elements to focus on include:

  • Keeping the body low and balanced to improve stability and control
  • Positioning the body between the ball and the defender to act as a barrier
  • Pivoting the upper body in the direction of the dribble to facilitate ball movement

Incorporating these elements into a player’s technique will increase the effectiveness of their between-the-legs dribble in basketball games.

Famous Basketball Players and Their Signature Dribbles

Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson, nicknamed “The Answer,” is considered one of the best ball handlers in basketball history. His signature move, the crossover dribble, allowed him to effortlessly maneuver past defenders. The technique involves switching the ball from one hand to the other, often luring the defender in one direction before quickly changing pace and direction. Highlights of Iverson’s career include a memorable crossover on Michael Jordan in 1997.

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving is known for his extraordinary ball-handling skills and exceptional agility on the court. His signature move, the “Kyrie spin,” is a variation of the spin move where he uses both hands to control the ball while spinning around a defender. This technique enables him to maintain control, confuse opponents, and create open shots. Irving’s spin move has become a staple of his game, contributing to his success as an NBA All-Star.

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry’s handles and shooting abilities have earned him the nickname “Chef Curry.” His signature dribble, the behind-the-back move, often leaves defenders reeling. The move consists of Curry wrapping the ball around his body from one hand to the other, effectively shifting his positioning and utilizing his quickness. This technique, combined with his exceptional shooting range, makes Curry one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the NBA.

Drills and Exercises to Improve Between-the-Legs Dribble

Two-Ball Dribbling

A great exercise to improve your between-the-legs dribble is two-ball dribbling. This drill focuses on hand-eye coordination and ball control. To perform the drill:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a basketball in each hand.
  2. Start dribbling both balls simultaneously, one with your right hand and one with your left hand.
  3. After dribbling the balls a few times, move one ball between your legs in a figure-eight motion.
  4. Keep alternating which ball goes between your legs while maintaining control of both basketballs.

Practice this drill regularly to enhance your ability to control multiple basketballs during a game.

Stationary Dribbles

Stationary dribbles focus on improving your control and coordination when performing various dribbling techniques, including the between-the-legs dribble. To do this exercise:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a basketball in your dominant hand.
  2. Begin dribbling the ball, staying in place.
  3. As the ball bounces, quickly move it between your legs, switching hands as you do so.
  4. Continue alternating hands and dribbling between your legs, focusing on control and smooth transitions.

As you become comfortable with this drill, increase your speed and incorporate variations such as a behind-the-back dribble.

Dribble and Cone Drills

Dribble and cone drills are designed to improve your ball-handling skills while navigating around obstacles. Set up cones in a straight line, spaced about 2-3 feet apart. To practice the between-the-legs dribble, follow these steps:

  1. Start at the first cone, dribbling the ball with your dominant hand.
  2. As you approach the cone, perform a between-the-legs dribble, switching hands and continuing to the next cone.
  3. Repeat steps 1-2 for the entire row of cones, focusing on accuracy and control.

To increase the challenge, try weaving through the cones using between-the-legs and crossover dribbles. Practicing these drills regularly will help develop your ability to execute between-the-legs dribbles effectively during a basketball game.


In basketball, the between-the-legs dribble is a fundamental skill that involves bouncing the ball from one hand to another through the legs. This move is often employed to deceive defenders and maintain possession while on offense.

  • It can help improve a player’s ball handling abilities.
  • The technique requires precision and flexibility.

To effectively perform a between-the-legs dribble, players must practice good footwork and timing. Moreover, repetition is key in mastering this skill, as it allows for increased comfort with the move in game situations.

There are multiple variations of the between-the-legs dribble that can be combined with other dribbling techniques to create an unpredictable and dynamic offensive game. Overall, incorporating this skill into one’s arsenal can help increase their effectiveness on the court.