Chris Paul Hesitation Move & The Importance of Counter Moves [VIDEO]

Check out this great video done by Brian Waters of X-treme Basketball on the Chris Paul hesitation move..

Key Points to the Hesitation Move

  • Change Speeds

    By changing speeds, this keeps your defender off balance. If you just have 1 or 2 speeds, it's easier for the defender to adjust to your pace. How do you think somebody as slow as Larry Bird got by NBA players?

  • Stay Low

    Keep the hips down. This helps you stay in an ideal position to explode by the defender. You might show a tiny lift in the hips to fake the defender.

  • Ball Out To Side

    Depending on the defender's position, keeping the ball out to the side allows you to shield the ball from the defender. If the defender is overplaying the ball, simply cross the ball over to the other hand and drive past.

  • Look Up

    Sell the fake with your eyes. If the defender sees you look up, they naturally tend to lift their body up as well because they think you are going to slow down, shoot the ball, or pass the ball.

  • Explode

    Drive off the back foot and get the first step down to the ground as quickly as possible. This sets you up for an explosive 2nd step as well.

  • Push the Ball Out

    It's very important to push the ball out in front of you to avoid the defender from poking the basketball out from behind.

The Importance of Counter Moves

Brian also mentions the importance of the counter move in the video. This is extremely important. If the defender starts to cheat, you can give him the hesitation move and quickly counter it. This is great to do after you have pulled off your "go-to" move a couple of times and you see the defender start to cheat.

In the video, Brian uses the crossover move. The wrap-around dribble or behind-the-back are good counter moves to the hesitation move as well. Personally, I used the wrap-around dribble in high school because it was easier for me to keep the ball away from the defender while changing directions and continuing my momentum forward.

If you perfect this move and a counter, that is great. Don't waste your time on all of the other stuff. You don't have enough time in the day to get really good at every move. At best, you would be mediocre. Personally, I made this mistake. If I could do it again, I would pick a move and a counter move and perfect those moves. Spend 5 to 10 minutes every day on them in half-court settings and full-court settings. Play some 1 on 1 with your friends who are hopefully good defenders.

If you want to spend a couple of minutes working on other dribble moves, that is fine. That way, you are still competent with those dribble moves and can use them when needed.

This year, my advice would be to perfect a go-to dribble move and a counter move. Once you have perfected the move in a year or two, you can add another move to perfect.

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daryl says:
2/8/2015 at 7:24:29 AM

my 6th grader used this move to perfection in game yesterday,and the ref called him for carrying each time,so had to drop it.Talked to another ref about it,and he said they called him for it cause we were the superior team and if he did it down in Detroit or if it was a close game,they wouldn''t make that call.Also said because his hand was to the side and not on top of the ball,they would probably call it carrying.I think both explanations are flawed.A good move should be allowed no matter where you play or what the situation,and as for the hand needing to be on top,every crossover or behind the back dribble is impossible to perform and is never done with the hand on top of the ball,but hand is to the side.If every dribble with hand not on top of the ball is against the rules,we are left with a game where dribbling is no longer a skill worth developing and smaller kids should just pick another sport.

  1 reply  

Joe Haefner says:
2/10/2015 at 4:09:48 PM

Daryl, I believe the rule book says you have to have the palm facing towards the sky to be a carry.

Since humans are referee, I would advise against anything close to a carry.

A hand on the side of the ball should be okay.

You may want to have your child talk to the referee about the violation before the game. That way, at least, the referee is aware of the situation.

  1 reply  

daryl says:
2/25/2015 at 5:34:34 PM

thanks,Joe.Not sure about having him talk to the would depend on which one,but i will check out the rule book .My son really works hard on his ball handling and its nice to see him reap from his efforts.The next day,he used the move repeatedly and it was very effective and was not called a carry one time,


John says:
11/22/2014 at 11:38:41 AM

It is a carry/double dribble. I'd say its great entertainment to watch, but if we want to allow it then write it in the rulebook. Frustrating for people who don't do this for the sole reason that it's against the rules. Anyone can do it with a little training...some choose to follow basketball rules. If times change then change to rules...otherwise call it.


Jukka Mantere says:
7/16/2014 at 11:23:42 AM

Great moves, but in junior''s games they call from that carrying the basketball or double dribble, at least in Europe. NBA no, NCAA regular yes, etc. So why to take it to your side, why not just taking your elbow back and push or cross over. I try to teach that way ;)


Ken Sartini says:
5/17/2013 at 9:35:07 AM

Rashad -

You will never know what you can or cant do until you try. Go out and play some place with some of your friends. Most schools have summer clinics / camps that you can attend to learn different skills.

Give that a shot and good luck.... remember, it IS a GAME... go have some fun.


rashad says:
5/16/2013 at 10:47:31 PM

am going to middle school and scared of signing up cause I don't know how to play can anyone give me some pointers


Joe Haefner says:
5/7/2010 at 7:51:42 AM

Terry, you can also find the video at this link:

Marcellos, as long as your keep your hand from going underneath the ball, a carry should not be called.


Marcellos says:
5/7/2010 at 1:20:07 AM

Will the player get called for carrying?


Marcellos says:
5/7/2010 at 1:17:40 AM

Will the defender get called for carrying? Beautiful move I will show this to my girls on Tuesday.


Terry says:
5/7/2010 at 12:50:37 AM

This is a technical questions. Is there something I need to do to be able to view this video? Is doesn't seem to be loading properly?

I am using both IE 8.06 and Chrome 4.1.249.

Many thanks...Terry


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