Behind the Back Dribbles: The Wrap vs. the Drop

Written by: Chris Hungerford



Time to read 4 min

Mastering behind-the-back dribbles can elevate a basketball player's skill set and add a touch of flair to their game. Among the various behind-the-back dribbles, the wrap and the drop stand out as two distinct techniques. Understanding the nuances of each move and knowing when to employ them can make a significant difference on the court. The wrap entails smoothly wrapping the ball around the body, behind the back, showcasing the player's dexterity and control. On the other hand, the drop dribble involves swiftly maneuvering the ball behind the back in a crossover-like motion, enabling rapid direction changes and confounding defenders. By grasping the best situations to utilize either the wrap or the drop, players can optimize their performance and keep their opponents on their toes. 

Behind the Back Dribbles: The Wrap vs. the Drop

What's the difference between a behind the backdrop dribble and a behind-the-back dribble wrap? Many people just call these both behind-the-back dribbles but I like to separate them out because I think they're used in two different ways a lot of the time.

Difference Between a Wrap & Drop Dribble

The difference between a wrap and a drop dribble lies in their execution and intended outcome. A wrap refers to a basketball move where the player wraps the ball around their body, specifically behind their back. This maneuver involves smoothly maneuvering the ball from one side of the body to the other, utilizing the player's dexterity and agility. On the other hand, a drop dribble, specifically the behind-the-back drop dribble, is a variation of the behind-the-back crossover move. It involves dribbling the ball behind the back in a quick and seamless motion, allowing the player to change direction rapidly and confuse their defender. While both moves incorporate the behind-the-back motion, the wrap emphasizes control and fluidity, while the drop dribble focuses on changing direction and creating separation from the defender. 

When to Use the Behind the Back Wrap Dribble

The behind-the-back wrap dribble is best used when you don't want to break stride or stop, but keep going to the basket or down the floor while changing direction. If a defensive player comes at you you can use the behind-the-back wrap dribble to keep moving. A behind-the-back wrap dribble is best for continuing in a straight line and is a quicker move than the behind-the-back drop dribble.

When to Use the Behind the Back Drop Dribble

With a behind-the-back drop dribble, you are going to come to a stop. So this is a change of speed and direction move that is effective when a defensive player kind of pops up at you out of nowhere. The behind-the-back drop dribble is safer than a front crossover because there is no way the defender can get their hands on it. This is a good move in transition when a defensive player comes to stop the ball allowing you to safely change direction.

Coming to a stop with the behind-the-back drop dribble also allows you a chance to read the situation. In that split second, you can read whether to change direction and keep dribbling, find an open teammate, or shoot the basketball. The defender is likely going to relax when you come to a stop. If they stay off of you shoot the basketball. If they come back to guard you, change direction as they are coming and use their momentum against them.

A longer and quicker defender may steal a normal crossover dribble where the ball is exposed in front of the offensive player's body. Using a behind-the-back drop dribble (aka behind-the-back crossover) will help smaller less athletic players against quicker, faster, taller, and more athletic players.

How to Practice the Behind the Back Drop Dribble

Our chicken fighting video on YouTube that we have up shows you a great way to practice yours behind the backdrop against a live defender. Here are the keys to having a good behind-the-back drop dribble:

  • Keep your shoulders slightly forward so your body weight is slightly forward.
  • Keep your feet outside your shoulders to have a wide solid base.

Having your shoulders forward will keep you in a position to keep attacking forward which will make you much quicker than if you are leaning backward. Keeping your feet wide gets you low and keeps you on balance. If you are dribbling at top speed and try to stop with your feet close together you will be off balance. Stay low and wide on a behind-the-back drop dribble. Drop those hips!

Common Issues in Learning the Behind the Back Drop Dribble

The common issue players struggle with in learning the behind the back drop dribble is that they lean backwards when they should be leaning forward. Players will also stand up too much and make the dribble a long slow dribble instead of a short quick dribble. Poor body position is what makes this dribble hard to learn.

How to Learn the Behind the Back Drop Dribble Quicker

One way to start learning the behind-the-back drop dribble is to just roll the basketball back and forth. This will force the place to get low. They will actually be lower than they would be when performing the dribble so this is a good way to get them to feel what "low" really means.

Once they get more comfortable here, then try doing Pick Ups. A pick-up is just one dribble from either hand to the other, picking the ball up, and doing it again. So with pickups, you are going slow and focusing on one good dribble at a time.

When on the move, we want the basketball to hit the floor at the same time our feet hit the floor. This involves rhythm and timing. When you get good with this dribble, it can be a lethal move because the defender can't see the ball while the ball is going behind your back. This is another advantage to the behind-the-back drop dribble in addition to changing speed and direction.

Use the back wrap dribble to attack the basket. Drive your defender hard in one direction and if you aren't going to beat them that way, then use the behind-the-back drop dribble to change direction. Again, remember, this move is very effective because the basketball is so well protected.

Add the behind-the-back drop dribble to your game, get really good at making the dribble low and quick, and you will have a go-to move that will be very tough to stop.

Behind the Back Dribbles: The Wrap vs. the Drop

Behind the Back Dribbles: The Wrap vs. the Drop