6 Best Basketball Passing Drills for Coaches & Players


Are you looking for some new drills to add to your basketball playbook?

Don”t worry, we’ve got you covered! If you’re a coach or youth sports administrator wanting to maximize the potential of each player on their roster, look no further than our list of 6 best basketball passing drills.

Not only will these fundamental exercises will improve your players precision and accuracy when throwing a pass, but it’ll also help them develop higher levels of agility which can make all the difference in big game scenarios.

So get prepared for high-flying action with these easy step-by-step directions that any amateur or experienced baller can use!

The Importance of Effective Passing

To young aspiring basketball players reach their full potential, it’s crucial to emphasize the importance of effective passing.

Passing plays a vital role in basketball as it facilitates ball movement, sets up plays, and keeps the team in control of the game.

Developing solid passing skills can significantly impact the outcome of tight matches. The good news is that there are various basketball passing drills designed to enhance passing abilities by focusing on proper mechanics.

From mastering the chest pass to executing the bounce pass and even the flashy behind-the-back pass, improving these techniques will transform players into valuable assets on the court.

If you’re a youth basketball coach looking to take your players’ game to the next level, prioritizing passing skills and focusing on technique is a must.

What Makes a “Bad” Pass

Passing the basketball is one of the most fundamental skills in basketball, but executing a good pass is easier said than done.

A bad pass can be frustrating for both players and coaches, resulting in turnovers and lost opportunities.

So, what makes a bad pass in basketball?

It could be a lack of focus or ball handling skills, a lack of communication between teammates, or poorly executed basketball passing drills. A bad pass can also be a result of trying to force a play or being careless with the ball.

In order to avoid bad passes, players can work on improving their ball handling and passing skills through basketball drills and seek guidance from their coaches.

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player, mastering the art of passing will not only improve the flow of the game, but also enhance your overall performance on the court.

What Makes An “Effective” Pass

Basketball coaches know that an effective pass is crucial to the success of any team.

Passing skills should be a top priority for coaches who want their young players to excel on the court.

An effective pass requires more than just a flick of the wrist; players need to have good footwork, awareness, and quick decision-making abilities.

Passing drills can help players hone their skills and develop their technique.

Even during half-court games, players need to be able to pass the ball effectively to create scoring opportunities.

It’s essential for coaches to emphasize the importance of learning the fundamentals early on, as mastering the basics will lead to better player development down the line.

Fundamental Passing Drills for All Ages

There are three main types of passes; the two hand chest pass, the bounce pass, and the overhead pass.

The two hand chest pass is executed by gripping the ball with both hands and pushing it towards the chest, using the legs and body to add power to the motion.

The bounce pass is released towards the floor, with the aim of bouncing it to the intended teammate.

The overhead pass, also known as the lob pass, is made by gripping the ball with both hands above the head and launching it towards the intended target.

Players and coaches can drill the three passes through structured passing drills, working on passing angles, timing, and precision.

Practicing these passes will help players to develop their skills and improve their overall performance on the court.

1.) The Two Hand Chest Pass

In basketball, the chest pass is a fundamental skill used to move the ball up the court or to a teammate in open space.

To perform a two hand chest pass, a player starts by holding the ball with both hands at chest level.

Then, the player extends their arms out straight, pushing the ball towards their intended target.

A key component of a successful chest pass is proper technique. Players should focus on keeping their elbows in, using their legs for power, and following through with their arms.

To practice chest passes, players can do passing drills that involve bouncing the ball back and forth, moving up and down the court while passing, or playing a game of “pig” with a fellow teammate.

Learning the chest pass is essential for youth players to develop strong passing skills, which can lead to improved teamwork and better scoring opportunities on the court.

2.) The Bounce Pass

This pass requires the ball to hit the floor before being received by the intended recipient. It’s an effective way to get the ball to a teammate who is being tightly marked by a defender or when passing through congested areas on the court.

To perform the bounce pass, grip the ball with both hands and aim for the floor, 2/3 away from the intended receiver’s location.

A player can improve the accuracy and speed of their bounce passes by practicing passing drills such as the wall drill, where they pass the ball against a wall, or the zigzag drill, where they pass the ball while running through cones. These drills are important in improving the player’s passing skills.

To enhance their bounce pass fakes, a player can practice passing fakes such as a jab or head fake to create space and confuse the defender.

As youth sports coaches, it’s important to make passing drills a key part of team practice sessions because developing passing skills will ultimately improve the team’s overall performance.

Implement Two-Ball Passing 

Passing is an essential skill in basketball and mastering two-ball passing can take players’ passing abilities to the next level.

Bounce passes and chest passes are two common forms of passes used in basketball, and practicing them with two balls can improve a player’s accuracy and increase their speed.

Youth sports coaches can design basketball drills around the two-ball passing technique. By using cones to mark the passing lane, players can practice passing to specific targets.

Additionally, coaches can use a passing drill in which players pass two balls simultaneously while moving around the court. These exercises allow players to synchronize their movements, improve their reaction time, and increase their awareness of their teammates.

Incorporating two-ball passing into your basketball training can help players develop their skills and increase their confidence on the court.

Utilize “Monkey in the Middle”

This simple drill involves three players standing in a triangle formation, with one player in the middle attempting to intercept the ball as two others pass it back and forth.

By practicing this drill, players can work on passing with accuracy and speed, as well as adjusting their passing angle to get the ball around the defender. Additionally, incorporating ball fakes can help to improve their passing game even further.

And once they’ve mastered the monkey in the middle drill, players can use their improved bounce pass skills on the court, getting the ball to teammates beyond the three-point line with ease.

3.) The Overhead Pass

The overhead pass is a fundamental basketball skill that is often used during a game to pass the ball to teammates.

It involves extending the arms straight above the head and releasing the ball with a controlled force.

To perform this move successfully, players need to be in the triple threat position with their feet shoulder-width apart. Practicing this skill involves working on both stationary and moving positions to master getting the right arm and wrist movement.

The benefits of learning the overhead pass include being able to execute bounce passes with precision, increasing passing accuracy, and improving overall ball handling skills.

It is a valuable skill, and mastering it can make a massive difference in a player’s passing skills on the court.

Drills to Challenge Your Skills

basketball defender

Passing skills are essential in basketball, and players and coaches can work on advanced techniques to improve their ball-moving abilities.

The wrap-around pass, skip pass, and triangle passing drill are great additions to any practice routine.

The wrap-around pass allows the point guard to quickly move the ball from one side of the court to the other by looping it around an opposing player.

The skip pass is used to skip the ball over a defender’s head, allowing the offense to quickly move the ball to an open teammate.

The triangle passing drill involves three players who pass the ball to one another in a triangular formation, improving their passing accuracy and speed.

Incorporating these advanced passes into practices can help players become more versatile and improve overall ball movement on the court.

4.) The Wrap-Around Pass

The wrap-around pass is a valuable passing skill in basketball, especially in situations where the defender is closely guarding the player with the ball.

This pass involves the passer slinging the ball around their back, past the defender, and into the hands of their teammate.

The technique requires a lot of coordination and practice to perfect, as the ball must be thrown hard, and the passer needs to ensure that their teammate is in the right position to receive the pass.

To practice the wrap-around pass, players can participate in a passing drill, starting at half court and gradually moving towards the basket.

There are many benefits to learning this skill, including creating more open opportunities for a teammate to score and increasing overall passing skills on the court.

For both youth coaches and players, mastering the wrap-around pass can greatly improve their game and lead to more successful plays on the court.

5.) The Skip Pass

The skip pass in basketball passing is a technique used to quickly move the ball from one side of the court to the other.

It’s a fantastic skill for younger players to learn because it can lead to open shots on a fast break.

To execute this pass, a player will look in one direction and then quickly pass the ball to a player located on the other side of the court. It’s essential to place enough zip on the ball to get it past the defenders, which makes it more difficult for them to react.

To practice this technique, a player can set up cones on each side of the court to simulate defenders.

By practicing this pass, players can learn how to anticipate the move, which increases precision.

The key benefit of learning this skill is that one passer can move the ball very quickly, and this can lead to offensive opportunities. It’s a valuable tool for youth coaches to teach their players.

6.) The Triangle Passing Drill

The triangle passing drill is an excellent way for players to hone their passing skills and become great passers.

During the drill, three players pass the ball to each other, forming a triangle shape.

The triangle’s point is made by the player who has the ball and, after passing, moves to take the point position.

Players must work on their timing, accuracy, and execution to complete the drill correctly. By doing this drill regularly, players can increase their passing proficiency and confidence in games, leading to greater success for the team.

It’s a great drill for players to practice in pairs or three-person groups. Learning this skill can benefit players in many ways, from improving court awareness to creating more scoring opportunities.

Final Thoughts

basketball skills

It is clear that effective passing plays a critical role in the success of any basketball league.

Coaches and players must focus on mastering even the most fundamental passes before attempting more advanced drills.

With practice, the six best basketball passing drills listed in this article can help develop strong teams and confident individuals.

By supporting your players with good communication, building trust amongst one another, and engaging in consistent drills which challenge individual skill levels, players will have all the tools they need for an effective passing game plan hustle and heart.

As coaches and players alike strive to reach peak performance when it comes to passing, we want to remind our readers that SportsEngine has resources available to support your teams needs.

We urge you to continue practicing both in-person and online so that no matter what level of basketball you play, your team can maintain a successful chemistry.

SportsEngine HQ is the perfect coaching & team management software solution for your day-to-day admin work, so you can focus your time and efforts on drilling with your team.

We hope this blog post serves as an informative yet comprehensive guide for all coaches and players attempting to perfect their passing form on the court – happy dribbling!

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