Beginner Passing Basketball Drills to Practice

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Passing: An Important Skill in Basketball



Written By: Lamar Hull

Passing the basketball is, next to dribbling and shooting, the most important skill for a basketball player to develop. It is the only thing other than those two that can be done with the ball. The rules of the game also requires a player to pass the basketball if he stops dribbling it; once you pick up your dribble, you have to pass the basketball. This post will elaborate on one of the most important passing drills in the game for beginner players and coaches. If you are an inspiring point guard, you have to be an exceptional passer. In high school, I wish someone would have told me as a point guard that I needed not to focus on having not only a high scoring average, but also a high assist average. Growing up, it was all about scoring. You have the opportunity to utilize passing to your advantage. Below is a three-man passing drill, that will help your coordination as a great passer.

The three-man passing drill

basketball-passingThe three-man passing drill involves three players and two basketballs. The players line up fifteen feet apart, with this distance adjusted to fit their skill level, and labeled by positions left (L), center (C) and right (R). At the start, L and R should face toward the center and C should face R. L and R each hold the ball. Then R makes a sharp “chest pass” to C, who immediately passes the ball back to him. C pivots as soon as this pass is made so that he is now facing L, who turns while passing the ball to him. C catches the ball, passes it back to L and turns around so R can make the pass to him. After about a minute of play, drill stops with C holding the ball. The whole process is then repeated again with one of the other players becoming the C. The drill is complete when all three players have been C at least once, and many coaches have them play that position twice. This basketball drill is performed at full-speed and the players travel the length of the court.

Coaches typically use the three-man passing drill with young athletes from the third through the eighth grades, of both sexes and all skill levels. It helps them improve their passing and receiving skills as well as their ability to handle the basketball quickly and pivot rapidly on their feet. Most of all, it helps to perfect one of the most important basketball skills of all: which is handling the basketball while on the move.

Some Helpful Tips for Basketball Coaches

The passes should start out slowly at first, especially if this is the first time the drill is being practiced. It is of utmost importance to watch the center player closely to make sure that he or she is pivoting on one foot only, and to stop the practice when that person starts to tire out; otherwise, he will not be able to keep up with the other two players.


Three-man Passing Drill Video
Two other drills are also shown on that video. Another place where you can see the drill being discussed is on the website of Coaching Basketball for Beginners.

The Swedish coach Pål Degerstrøm invented the three-man passing drill. What variations in this drill would you suggest that might make it even more effective?

Beginner Passing Basketball Drills to Practice by

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