Share Your Ideas
Basketball Blog
Shooting Tips
Shooting Drills
The Jump Ball
Coaching Tips
Basketball Tips
Basketball Offense
Basketball Defense
Type Of Defenses
Basketball Drills
Basketball Positions
The Pivot Player
Front Court Players
Back Court Players
Basketball Terms
Basic Rules
Book Reviews
Michael Jordan

Subscribe To
This Site


The Fundamentals of Basketball-Passing.

To score points in basketball, you must first have the opportunity to shoot. Since there are five opposing players, you can't always create this opportunity alone, which is why you need to learn the fundamentals of passing a basketball accurately and effectively.

Steve Nash, one of most prolific basketball passers in the NBA explains the fundamentals of passing a basketball in the following video. Take some notes. Really.

More points to remember about passing a basketball...

Accuracy, cleverness and skilfulness in passing are an essential in basketball as emphasized by Steve Nash in the above video which shows and explains the fundamentals of passing a basketball.

Nothing is more discouraging than to see a player make a wild pass. In some cases a player will pass the ball, not having the slightest idea where it is going. This sort of passing is demoralizing.

One must pass the ball at the proper time. For instance, a slow pass across the floor to a man going at full speed generally results in a failure. If the pass is to be a short one it can be made too speedily. Many a basket is lost on too hard or rather too swift a pass at close range.

Passes which are thrown high in the air are of no use, except in rare cases. When passes are made this way it gives time for one's opponents to cover their men. Often these passes are intercepted by one's opponents.

Long passes are good if they are made with sufficient speed to carry their distance. These passes generally travel almost parallel to the floor, but sufficiently high to prevent their being intercepted.

Micheal Jordan explains how to execute the different types of basketball passing techniques in different situations during a basketball game in the following video.

Did you learn something from the above video? Great! Long passes can be made better with one hand than with two. In fact all passes can be made better with one hand. Passes with two hands used generally are made when the ball is being thrown in from out of bounds to in-bounds.

In many cases a pass could be made by bouncing the ball to one's teammate. This however is seldom done, since the ball does not travel as fast as by direct passing. A swift pass to a man makes him feel confident when he catches it. A man must have good judgment in catching the ball or he may injure a finger or wrist.

In many cases a pass can be made by rolling the ball along the floor and this is very often done. For instance if a man was covered and had the ball on the floor, and if one of his teammates were near, he could roll it along the floor to him.

Most of the time, only an accurate pass will lead to a score, which is why basketball passing is an important skill to develop as a basketball player.

The technique of throwing a basketball does not come to a player “naturally.” It has to be studied, developed, practiced.

The player, of course, must use a different type of passes in different situations. Very often, he has but a split second to hit his target. Sometimes he sees an opportunity to pass as he is receiving the ball. This means he must have the ability to get the ball away quickly, no matter where he makes the catch; high, low, or wide.

Length of basketball passes.

A long pass generally implies a pass of half or more of the length of the court. This pass is always a necessity when a man is uncovered and in position to shoot, and you wish to get the ball to him in a hurry.

It has frequent use, too, on an out-of-bound play under a team's own basket, when the ball is thrown clear down the floor to a guard coming up. Another possible use for it is in starting teamwork when recovering the ball from the opponent's bank, or from out of bounds under the opponent's basket.

The long pass should be quick and accurate, and over the heads of any possible opponents in front of the passer.

The player's judgment should tell him when to attempt the long pass during play, as there is little likelihood of its being successful when players of both sides are closely bunched at the farther end of the court.

It is rarely successful when thrown to a man who is advancing in the same direction as the pass, being hard to handle and offering a good chance for an opposing guard to cut in and intercept it.

Basketball Passing Tips

1. The quickest way of passing is to pass from the position in which the ball is caught. No time is then lost in shifting the hands for a set style of passing. A team thus coached will have the fastest kind of teamwork, as the players do not have to stop to adjust the ball.

2. The speed of passes is an important item. It is essential not to throw the ball hard; There should be just enough speed so that the player can catch the ball while on the run without breaking his stride. The longer the pass the more speed. The time not to throw too hard is when a man is breaking toward you.

3. Most bad passes come from inexperience. The player finds his own progress is blocked, and gets excited, making a blind throw. In general, bad passing denotes a weakness in the stops, turns, pivots, and feints, as a player versed in all of these has aids in helping him to control the ball. Losing teams are apt to go in the air and pass wildly. Other bad passes result from lack of decision on the part of the thrower, who makes up his mind and then changes it too late.

4. A bad pass is not always the fault of the passer. He may have allowed for a break by the receiver, who crosses him by hesitating.

5. Fast teamwork implies not only the idea that the ball is thrown speedily, but that it is handled quickly by the player. Catch the ball first; then pass it.

6. A loose ball is nobody's pass. Get after it hard, even diving to the floor if necessary, to regain possession for your team.

7. Don't expect to receive a pass while stationary unless alone under the basket; be in motion.

8. Don't demand too much of your teammate. Pass so that it is possible to handle the ball comfortably so that he will not be caught off balance. Place the ball in front of him so that he may get it with elbows slightly bent.

9. Don't try to pass to a teammate through an opponent; nor through or into a number of players who are bunched.

10. A bad pass not only breaks up the offensive play, but often will entirely upset the defense. If an opponent intercepts it, the chances are that most of your men are out of position to help in the defense, and an easy score against you is the result, with a bad effect on the morale of your team.

11. Except at very close range, make all passes quite stiff. This cuts down interceptions.

12. Whenever an opponent is close to a receiver, make a fake pass to draw him out.

13. When passing to a runner, “lead” him by at least one running step.

14. When passing to a runner going straight away, loop the ball so it drops over the shoulder turned toward you (this is the one over which he will be looking).

15. When catching passes, have fingers spread, hands and wrists relaxed. “Give” as the ball strikes the hands.

Click on the links below to learn more about the different type of basketball passes.

How to make a Basketball Chest Pass...

How to make Bounce, Hook, and Baseball Passes...

How to make a Basketball Underhand Pass...

Tell a Friend

Back to Top

footer for Basketball Passing page