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Basketball Terminology

One problem which affects coaching and player development is a looseness with language. For instance, the two videos below – to me – illustrate two different moves, though both are labeled “behind the back” dribbles.

I differentiate between the behind-the-back dribble (Nash) and the around-the-back dribble (Ginobili). The difference can be subtle, but they are different moves. In a behind-the-back dribble, the player dribbles directly behind the back, just like a crossover which takes place behind the player, rather than in front.

The around-the-back dribble is pushed forward and bounces on the side of the player, rather than directly behind the player. Typically, the behind-the-back dribble is used to create space or set up a second move, while the around-the-back move is used to go past a defender.

Without the preciseness of language or the correct basketball terminology, players confuse the moves or use them haphazardly, rather than in specific and appropriate situations.

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