Drills to teach passing the basketball

Passing a basketball is really a complex skill. Quick hands, peripheral vision, good timing, and a razor sharp brain power are qualities that produce outstanding passers. The simplest quality is probably the most important attribute a good passer must process:

·         He must be a team player.

Some players make seemingly good passes that are intercepted. Even so, a receiver must be alert and assume his share of responsibility.

I believe that the proper use of drills will help to develop the desired qualities and habits in the basketball player who is genuinely interested in improving this skill.

Five-point drill

The five-point basketball passing drill requires the individual to meet the ball, pass quickly, pass accurately, and move to a different position. I like this drill because it is continuous and develops alertness.

Five-point basketball passing drill

Course of action:

1.       Four players position themselves in a square and ten feet apart and the fifth player gets in the middle.

2.       The middle player, with a basketball, starts the drill by passing to any player, then taking that player’s place.

3.       The receiver of the basketball passes to either the player to the left or to the right, and taking that player’s place

4.       The second receiver passes across the square to the player on the opposite corner and takes that player’s place.

5.       The third receiver passes to the player to his right or left and takes that player’s place.

6.       This drill continues in this manner with the basketball moving across (corner to corner), a side pass, corner to corner, a side pass, etc.

7.       After players become well accustomed to this passing drill, add variations such as having each receiver to fake a pass before passing the basketball

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Bull-in-the-ring Drill

This basketball passing drill can be used to teach a defensive exercise; however, greater results will derive from the passing practice involved. Have your players treat the basketball as if it were a “hot potato” and had to be moved quickly, but accurately.

Bull-in-the-ring basketball passing drill

Course of action:

1.       Form a circle with five players around the center circle and a sixth player in the middle.

2.       The basketball is passed over, around, or by the sixth player who makes every effort to intercept, or defect all passes.

3.       Passers are not allowed to pass the left or right, but must pass to one of the two players across the circle from him.

4.       If the player in the center is able to intercept, or deflect, a pass, the player who made the pass exchanges places with the player in the middle.

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Double-line Drill

This basketball drill can be used as an offensive of defensive drill equally. The drill makes it a bit more difficult for the passer because the defensive player is squared away facing the offensive player.

Course of action:

1.       Two lines of players face each other as shown in the illustration. Ten feet separates the first player in each line.

2.       One player stands in the middle between the two lines, facing the player with the basketball.

3.       The player with the ball, using fakes, attempts to pass by the middle player to the first player in the opposite line.

4.       Whether, or not, the pass is successful, the passer takes the middle player’s position. The middle player goes to the end of the line and the receiver attempts to pass by the new player in the middle. Continue drill as long as desired.

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    Follow the leader drill

Here is a basketball drill that allows practice of executing a wide variety of passes and dribbling in a simple formation. This drill offers the greatest opportunity for a basketball coach to instruct and correct poor passing and teaching players to dribble without looking at the ball.


Follow the leader basketball passing drill

Course of action:

  1. All players line up single-file in a line. The front player is given a basketball

  2. The first player dribbles out, without looking at the ball, two or three dribbles, turns, and passes. Players can use a hook, chest, bounce, or any type of pass he chooses.

  3. Each player in line makes the same type of basketball pass in turn.

  4. When leader's time comes again, he initiates a different type of basketball pass which the following players mimic.


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