Read these 29 Passing Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Basketball tips and hundreds of other topics.
To make the overhead pass, begin by having two players face each other. They should be approximately three to five feet away from each other. Start with the ball overhead and your elbows straight. Only your fingertips should be touching the ball as your hands are curved around the ball. Bend your wrists back as far as possible. As a fake, flick your wrists without passing the ball. Now pass the ball by flicking the wrists without using the arms. Each player should continue flicking the ball back and forth. As the players continue to do this drill, they should change pivot feet. Practice this drill for five minutes.
For the proper passing technique, begin with your arms up over your head with your elbows straight and your palms facing forward. The fingers should be spread apart. Flick your wrists back and let them come forward naturally. Slowly move your arms to the right side keeping your elbows straight. As your arms move down, bend your legs, as well. Continue to flick the wrists as you move your arms. Move your arms back to the original position over your head. Proceed to move your arms to the left side as you bend the legs. Repeat the drill four to six times.
For the drill on passing the ball and making a pivot, begin by having two players face each other three to five yards apart. Start with the ball overhead. Keep your elbows straight and the wrists bent back as far as you can. Start out with the left foot as the pivot foot. The passer passes the ball with the flicking motion over his head. The receiver catches the ball using their left foot as their pivot foot. The receiver pivots around once with the ball overhead before passing. After each catch and pass, alternate your pivot foot. Alternate the type of pass that is thrown every three minutes. Move from the overhead pass, to the side pass and finally to the bounce pass.
For the drill on making the proper passing communication, begin by having two players face each other about one yard in distance from one player to the other. Have the receiver communicate to the passer where to throw the ball. Use the hands for two minutes before having the receiver use another method of communication. The receiver can use his eyes, nose or head to do this. Change the type of communication every minute. You can also change the type of pass and the pivot that is used. Players can catch the ball using either foot.
When you are prepared to pass the ball while being pressured by a defender, pass fake (which is a fake throwing the ball in one direction) then pass the ball other way. Fake a bounce pass and throw overhead. Fake overhead and throw around.This will usually make the defender go for the first pass and clear some lane for a pass in the opposite direction.
To make a pass as you pivot away from the defense, begin with two players facing each other. They should be three to five feet apart. Start with the left foot as the pivot foot. Pivot backward or forward with an 180 degree turn so that your back is facing the receiver of the ball. Stretch your arms to the side away from your pivot foot. This puts you in a position as far away as possible from the defense. Twist both your head and your arms around. Your palms should be facing the receiver of the ball. Pass the ball by flicking your wrists. Pass the ball six times in this position. Change pivot feet and use the same technique with the right foot.
To make the short side pass, have two players face each other. They should be three to five feet apart. Begin with your left foot as the pivot foot. Position your arms to the right side, keeping your elbows straight. Bend your legs slightly, keeping your back almost straight. This position can be more challenging from the opposite side, the left side for right handers or the right side for left handers. Pass the ball by flicking the wrist six times from the right side and six times from the left side.
To make the bounce pass, begin by having two players face each other. They should be three to five feet apart. The elbows should stay straight with the knees slightly bent so that the ball can be released closer to the floor. Flick with your wrists making sure that the ball bounces two thirds of the way to the receiver of the ball. Throw seven passes to each side. Start with the right foot as the pivot foot then switch to the left foot.
Looking for a good play for in-bounding the ball under the basket?
Assuming they are playing a man-to-man defense, a successful play starts by lining up your four players in a box formation: two down low and two up high, by the free through line (with your fifth man in-bounding the ball).
Start by having the two low players run the following: the man in front of player out of bounds sets a pick for other low player, and that player crosses over for the shot. This is option #1, but you usually won't get the shot because the defensemen will switch – which is OK because the guy you are actually looking for is the one who set the screen.
The player who sent the screen will pivot so that his defender is now behind him and he can get the pass for an easy lay-up, this is option #2, and usually the most effective.
If these two options don't work, the two guys up top delay to allow this to unfold and then run the same play with the goal of just getting the ball in bounds, a good option #3.
This drill for passing the ball to a cutter from midcourt is done with two or more players. The passer sets up three yards to the left of the basket. The receiver sets up on the left sideline halfway to midcourt. Once the receiver makes eye contact with the passer, the receiver runs to midcourt and cuts inside to the center of the court. The passer throws the pass so that the receiver and the ball meet two yards after the cut inward is made. After catching the pass, the receiver dribbles back to the passing line down the right sideline. The passer moves to the receiving line. Practice this drill for six minutes and move the drill to the right side of the court.
One of the most deceptive passes is the behind the back pass. This should become a fundamental pass in every good basketball players game. Although the pass looks hard it is quite simple. First place the ball in your dominant hand and hold it there. Then put the ball behind your back. Then you flick your wrist in the direction the ball should travel. This pass is deceptive and is a great way to build up finger pad control and to build up wrist flexibility and strength.This should really become a fundamental pass and not a pass used for "showboating".
To enter the ball to the wing, the passer and reciever should ensure a proper passing angle. The passer from the guard spot should attempt to get to, what we call, the "Entry Line". The Entry Line is a line drawn from the basket THROUGH the corner of the key and the free throw line, on out to half court. The passer should attempt to get as close to that line with the dribble prior to passing to the wing. This ensures a good angle to the wing and cuts down on the defense's chance of denying or intercepting the pass.
The pass is made with the ball held close to the chest and the elbows in to the side of the body. Push forward with a thrust of both arms and a snap of the wrists. In releasing the ball, the player steps or puts weight on the front foot. The passer assumes a slightly lower position and aims his pass for the receiver's thighs. The ball should be bounced about three quarters of the way between the players.
Outside hand passes: Many turnovers can be avoided if players develop the ability to pass with either hand, thus enabling them to use the outside hand to pass the ball and avoid the defense. Players need to possess the ability to turn the dribble directly into a pass. If a player must bring the ball through the middle of his body to make a two-handed pass or worse a pass with the inside hand, the defense has a chance to defend the pass and the pass becomes slower, thus getting to a shooter a second late, rather than perfectly in stride. The outside hand push pass is preferable and is an important pass to teach.
In order to be a better passer who gets the ball to the right player at the right time, learn to focus under the basket. As you develop your peripheral vision, you will learn to see all the players on your team and be able to pick out who is open without telegraphing your passes.
The ball is held straight up in the air avoiding any bend in the elbows. The ball should not be put behind the head. The passer extends a leg toward the receiver and delivers the pass with a snap of the wrists. The ball should be thrown on a straight line with very little spin.
Put a player at each end line, one at each free throw line and another at mid court. Have those players relay the ball from one end line to the other and back again. To do so take EIGHT passes. Then take the FASTEST dribbler and have him try to dribble to the opposite end and back before the group of FIVE players throw EIGHT passes. The passing team ALWAYS wins(unless, of couse, they drop the ball or really miss a pass). This demonstration usually enlightens young players as to the importance of passing.
As important as seeing your teammates is, seeing the DEFENSE may be more important. You are going to KNOW where your players should be through practice and naturally react to their same color uniforms. It is better if you have a "soft focus" on the floor and see your teammates through your peripheral vision. However, you should concentrate on where the defense is, attack their weak areas and pass AWAY from the defensive player.
The baseball pass is most often used to advance the ball up the floor. The ball is held with both hands on the ball, one on either side with the throwing hand usually a little higher on the ball. The ball is cocked up near the ear to aid in a quick release. The passers hand must be BEHIND the ball so the pass doesn't have too much side spin, making it hard to catch. The pass is made over the defense, leading the receiver.
When executing an "L-Cut" you start at the block on the edge of the free throw lane and walk your defender up the side of the lane. When your teammate is ready to deliver the pass you step into the defender, make contact, and change speeds quickly by pushing off of your inside foot to pop out to the wing.
There are several different types of passes, to be used in different situations: the chest pass is used primarily in the open court and on the perimeter; the overhead pass is used on the perimeter and on the outlet pass; the bounce pass is a pass that is used anytime under defensive pressure; and the baseball pass is used when you need a long pass.
The bounce pass should travel from your waist to receiver's waist. The ball should bounce about 2/3 of the way to the receiver. You should follow through as in chest pass with your thumbs down. The backspin that this creates slows the ball down when it hits the ground and makes it easier to catch.
One of the biggest problems with passing the ball into the post is passing from bad angles. The passer, the post player and the basket should all be in a direct line. This forces the defender to pick a side to guard, and you can get a good angle from which to feed the ball into the low post.