An ankle breaker is a crossover dribble in which the sudden change of direction causes the defender guarding the ball handler to fall down. The ball handler, then, takes advantage of the fallen defender and drives past him to the basket creating an “offensive advantage”.
Here I give you six tips to become a devastating ankle breaker like the best players in the world.
- Tip number #1 is the change of speed. By moving quickly and the exploding of speed you should be pretty sure to make your defender out of balance. With “change your speed” I mean to go fast-to slow-to fast again. Making the defender falling could be easier adding to this change of speed some ball-hesitations and raising you shoulders while you go from slow to fast or fast to slow.
- Tip number #2 is the change of direction. This is probably one of the most important tips if you want to break ankle. It means that you move to one direction and then moving the ball in the opposite way; almost always it has devastating effects. You can change direction in three different ways: From front to back (behind the back or between the legs), from left to right or from right to left (double crossover). Being able to change quickly speed and any direction will surely make you an unstoppable ball handler.
- Tip number #3 is to attack the front-foot. Most of the time your defender uses to give you a front-foot, hoping you’re going in opposite direction, they usually let you drive the bottom line. So attacking the front foot (the one which is the closest to you) is important, because anytime you beat it, you make it moving and force your defender to change the foot, putting him out of balance and so, super vulnerable to devastating crossover.
- Tip number #4 is to deceive defenders with your eyes. That is way players like Kyrie Irving or Stephen Curry do the best crossovers in the league. The most “fake with eyes” used is the one which simulates the shot off the dribble. By starting with legs bent, you just have to stand up a little bit, simulating with your off hand to catch the ball to shot; that will make your defender off balance or, in some cases, jump.
- Tip number #5 is keeping the crossover low. In order to have a much easier control of the ball, I suggest you to keep the crossover low, also because if the defender will try to steal it, you can easily change direction, making him off balance or falling.
- Tip number #6 is to use the combo moves. The in & out is the most known and the most effective combo move. You have to crossover to one direction, making the defender to believe that you go to that way, and then immediately change direction, devastating his ankles!