Want to be considered a team asset? What basketball player doesn’t? Because they create plays for their teammates, great passers are invaluable to coaches. Passing can make or break a team. Done well, they lead to points on the board. Done poorly, they usually lead to turnovers and points on the board for the other team.
(Ball handling is key. Learn nine drills to perfect that skill.)
Critical Aspects of Passing
- The pass must be on time and on target, not only to prevent turnovers, but to allow your teammate to catch the ball in their shooting rhythm.
- Passes that lead to layups have to be very precise to get through the defense.
- Timing of passes is a key element.
Perfect Fundamental Skills
- Passing off the side of the body. Traditional chest and bounce passes don’t work in every situation. You have to be able to pass with one hand or even off the dribble without the second hand.
- Using misdirection. Use your eyes and body language to get the defenders to think you are going to put the ball somewhere else. Becky Hammon is a great person to study for this. She has mastered the art of misdirection.
- Shielding the ball. Just like when you are dribbling or shooting, you must use your body to hide the ball and protect it from defenders.
- Reading the hands of the defense. If their hands are high, then pass low and vice versa.
Basketball Passing Drills for All Ages
Monkey in the Middle
The same game you played as a kid. The only exception is if the player in the middle tips the ball, then they are on the outside.
Passing off the Dribble (Two Players)
One player has two balls while the other has one. They both dribble twice, then pass with either hand before the two-ball player crosses the ball over to the other hand in preparation for a pass back. The one-ball player receives the pass and makes the same two dribble and pass move. The drill becomes continuous from there.