Guide to Passing a Basketball, PASSING DRILLs, & The Different Types of Passes

Written By: Lamar Hull @ Google+

How important is passing the basketball?

We know that shooting the basketball is important, and players should be sure to get in plenty of shooting practice.

However, many basketball players fail to realize that passing skills are equally important.

Teams and players that can pass well will have a HUGE ADVANTAGE over those who cannot.

A great pass can lead to an EASY basket. Teams that move the ball well with their passes will find lots of success on the court.

Here is a guide to the different types of passes that every basketball player should practice.

Creating a pass for another player is also rewarding. To me it is a great feeling to see other players excited about receiving a good pass that helped them make an easy decision or basket. 

Different Types of passes in basketball

How to Perform a Chest Pass

basketball chest passThis is the most fundamental pass in the game.

The ball is gripped to the chest between two hands.

The player takes a step forward and passes the ball by extending their arms and flicking both hands away from the body.

In my opinion, the chest pass is the most fundamentally sound pass in basketball. Note: For any type of pass, when the pass is released, the back of the player’s hands should be facing each other

How to Perform a Bounce Pass

Sadly, the bounce pass seems to be a lost skill in today’s game. Far too many players don’t know how to accurately execute this fundamental pass, which leads to turnovers when they try to throw an air pass in a bad situation.

The bounce pass is thrown with the same motion as the chest pass, but it is directed at the floor to create a bounce towards the receiver.

This is a pass that takes a lot of practice to perfect. It can be thrown with all kinds of spins, angles and forces.

How to Perform the Overhead Pass

This is a very valuable pass for big men to know well. Throwing an overhead pass and putting a lot of force on it, makes it a great outlet pass to start a fast break.

This pass is thrown with two hands above the head. The hands are brought forward in a sharp downward motion that puts a lot of force on the ball.

Kevin Love does this so well!

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How to Perform the Wrap Around Pass

This pass is made by using the pivot foot to move around a defender to throw the pass.

It can be made with one or two hands, and it can be thrown in the air or made into a bounce pass.

How to Perform the Baseball Pass

This pass is made with one hand to throw the ball with maximum force like a baseball.

It takes a lot of strength and practice to become accurate with a baseball pass. It is useful for throwing a long outlet pass to a teammate streaking down the floor.

Check out the video below to see how Lebron James and Dwayne Wade effectively execute the Baseball Pass.

Dwayne Wade’s Baseball Pass to Lebron James

How to Perform the Dribble Pass

This pass is great for quickly getting the ball to a teammate before the defense has a chance to react.

The pass is made with one hand as the ball is coming up on a dribble bounce. It can be thrown in the air or made into a bounce pass.

How to Perform the Behind the Back Pass

Players need to perfect this pass before they try it in a game because it takes a lot of skill to pull it off.

Players make the pass by bringing the ball behind their backs with one hand to shovel it off to their teammate.

Note: Don’t try and make all direct passes, give some fakes to keep the defense honest and keep them off balance with your fakes before you actually pass the ball. Fakes are great when playing against zone defenses or being pressured while stationary.

Note: Try to stay on your feet when passing, this helps to avoid turnovers as you become more indecisive with your pass while in the air. Did you know that there were 5 passing lanes? You should work on your angels in your passing lanes.

If you are looking to be an extradorinary passer in the game of basketball, you can enhance your passing technique by using some of my favorite passing drills from Pete Maravich

Basic Basketball Passing Drills

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2 Responses to “Passing”

  1. Coralie

    This website was soooooo helpful for my current project. Thank you very much.

    • Lamar Hull

      I’m glad it was helpful! Thanks for visiting. If there is anything that I can create specifically that could add more value, please let me know.


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