Being a good passer is essential to becoming a “complete” player. Basketball passing skills makes you harder to stop because when your opponents know that you’re a great passer, they’re going to be worried about leaving their player to come double team you. So in addition to increasing your assist numbers, working on your basketball passing could lead to better looks at the basket and more points as well!
Jason Kidd has made his living off of being a good passer (it didn’t hurt Magic Johnson or John Stockton, either). Not to mention that guards are becoming more and more popular in drafts, to, since Chris Paul and Deron Williams have arrived and made all of their teammates better.
It’s not only guards that need to be great passers, though. Some of the best big men in the NBA are the best because they’re effective passers as well. Names like Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett come to mind. Post players need to be able to hit their cutting guards when being double teamed as well.
Pretty popular names, right? And what do they all have in common? They’re all great passers! Explore these basketball passing tips to up your assist numbers and make your coaches and teammates love your game!
Here are some basketball passing tips in summary:
- Improve Your Sports Vision
- Make Solid Passes
- Pass Where your Teammate is Going
- Dribble to Create Passing Lanes
- Make Ball Fakes
- Use ALL Basketball Pass Types
Improve Your Sports Vision
Improving your sports vision will help you to notice teammates getting open.
Improving your sports vision can also help you to “look off” defenses by making no-look passes or looking away right after making a pass.
Make SOLID Passes
Your passes should be “crisp and clean.” This generally means hard and fast, but not so hard that your teammate can’t catch it.
Perhaps a better description for this is that your basketball passes should NOT be weak. The longer it takes your pass to get to its destination, the more likely it will be to get stolen and increase your turnovers. Throwing a weak pass in basketball would be like throwing a “lame duck” in football that is highly likely to be intercepted.
Pass Where your Teammate is Going
Pass the basketball where your teammate is going to be, not where (s)he is. You want to lead your teammate to the basket or into the shot, not throw the ball where they used to be. Pass the ball where they’re heading so that you don’t commit a turnover.
This means you have to have a good idea where your teammates are going to be. It’s a little more difficult if you haven’t developed chemistry with your teammates if, for instance, you’re playing a pick-up game, but do pass the ball where you think they are headed. Watching film of your team can help you to determine teammates’ tendencies and improve your basketball passing skills.
Dribble to Create a Better Angle
If you don’t have an open lane where you are trying to pass the ball, dribble to an area of the floor that creates a better passing angle for you. This is especially important when trying to get the ball into the post.
I’m not telling you to dribble around endlessly, dribble with a purpose. Know where you want to go and use one or two dribbles to get your better passing angle.
Make Ball Fakes!
Defensive minded players are getting better and better and anticipating passes and cutting off those passing lanes. Use a hard pass fake away from where you want to pass to move the defense. This is most effective against aggressive defenses that will be trying to cut off those passes.
You can also make ball fakes toward your target if, for instance, you want to make a bounce pass and are having difficulty doing so: Fake an overhead pass to clear a better bounce pass lane. Be careful with ball fakes toward your target, though, as it can also move defenses toward your targeted teammate.
It’s not necessarily a ball fake, but also utilize looking off defenses as stated above. Make a pass and then look away or look away during a pass. You don’t want to be staring at your target the whole time before making a pass. That would tip off defenders where you want to go with the ball and could lead to a turnover.
Learn All Basketball Passing Types (and when to use them)
- Two Handed Chest Pass
- Overhead Pass
- Bounce Passes
- Behind the Back Pass
- Underhand Pass, and