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What You Should Know About Passing in Basketball

By Kaitlyn Fedor

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Passing a basketball between teammates is an essential skill. Sure, shooting and dribbling are important parts of the game, but the quickest way to get the ball to a teammate is via the pass. There are basic skills we practice routinely, such as chest pass, bounce pass, or the overhead.

Adjusting the speed of passing for each situation is also critical. However, one of the more difficult parts of basketball skills training to master is how to pass to a moving teammate. Passes that are off the mark often put our teammates in difficult situations. Worst of all, some errant passes sail out of bounds for a turnover.

There are also two integral parts of learning to throw accurate passes. Of course, the first part is to lead a moving player. The second skill is learning how to put the ball where our teammate can almost instantly put up a shot.

Lead a Moving Player

The last thing we want to do is throw a pass targeting where a player was. While throwing a pass that a stationary player can handle is important, most of the time our teammates are on the move.

However, the movement of our teammates is just one aspect of throwing passes that lead them. The first part of this tip focuses on putting our passes where our players are going to be, not where they were.

This might seem like a simple idea, but when the speed of the game amplifies, it's not as easy as it looks. There are fast break drills we can work on in practice, drills which specifically work on leading moving players. This is a learned skill that takes a lot of practice.

Triple Threat Ball Placement

The second element doesn't involve our teammates moving on the court, but what they can do with the ball once they receive our pass. Novice basketball players may not appreciate how important the placement of a pass is.

The focus of the perfect pass is to put our teammates immediately in the triple threat position. They can pass again, dribble, or put up a shot. Players who want to play college basketball, especially point guards, need to work diligently on perfecting this talent as part of their basketball skills training.

When we place a ball behind, or too far to one side or the other of our teammates, they have to make a split-second adjustment before they shoot.

When our passes are aimed from around the beltline to the sternum, and within our teammate's vertical bodyline, they will almost immediately be able to set themselves up for a shot. When our passes put them in the triple threat position, our teammates immediately have options. The best passers learn to perfect their ball placement.

Players, who know the jargon, call it dropping dimes. Assists are a critical part of the game at every level, and the only way to successfully get an assist is to know how to pass the ball. Leading a moving player takes practice. Setting your teammates up in the triple threat position is key.

Final Words

Learning the art of passing is frequently part of our basketball skills training in practice. However, anyone who aspires to play college basketball can work on game situation passing by playing in AAU basketball tournaments.

There are dozens of places to pick up basketball tips. At The Hoop Group, we provide not only up-to-date tournament and camp schedules, plus hundreds of engaging articles and content to help players of all skill levels improve their game.