The basketball bounce pass is one of the most basic moves a player needs to master. You can throw them with one or two hands, depending on how your defender is guarding you. A one-handed bounce pass is probably more common, because with one side of your body free, you’re less restricted in your movement and can more creatively pass around defenders.
You can use a one-handed bounce pass to feed the post, swing the ball, or hit a backdoor cutter. When you have a defender on you, it’s difficult to use a two-handed pass. Most of the time, players use their bodies to shield defenders from the ball and their opposite hand to throw the pass.
When you throw a bounce pass, you want the ball to hit the floor three-quarters of the way between you and your target so the ball rises to your teammate’s chest level.
To execute a two-handed bounce-pass, start the ball at your chest, step toward your teammate and push the ball (flicking your wrists) to your teammate.
Here are three tips to remember when you throw a bounce pass.
1. Pass with Your Feet
Step toward your intended target so the ball follows where your foot steps. You also need to use your feet to step around a defender when he or she is between you and your target.
2. Pass with Your Wrists
Great passers throw crisp passes. This is especially relevant for a two-handed bounce pass. Flick your wrists so your thumbs point toward the floor. A lot of turnovers are committed when a player throws a soft, lofted pass, giving the defender extra time to intercept the ball. Unless you’re throwing a lob pass to a low-post player, you want the ball to get to your target as quickly as possible.
3. Pass with your Eyes
Great passers move the defense with their eyes to avoid committing needless turnovers. If a teammate is wide open, faking a defender out with your eyes is not important. However, if you’re throwing the ball to a closely guarded player, use your eyes to make the defense think you’re passing to another player. This is especially relevant when playing against zone defenses.