There are many ways to pass the ball, but coaches will often focus on the following types of passes because they are what players are most comfortable with. They are also proven methods of passing that work and are efficient. However, the last two passes listed are actually passes that most coaches will discourage for early players and many coaches discourage all together. They are included, though, because they are used often enough and are legal methods of passing that players may want to include in their game.
1. Chest Pass - The most utilized pass in basketball, the chest pass is a quick and efficient pass. It is a snappy move that transfers the ball from one player to the next at chest level. It is usually a straight on pass.
2. Bounce Pass - This pass mirrors the chest pass, somewhat, except the ball bounces once on the floor before getting to the receiver. This pass is also slower, but less likely to be intercepted by an opposing player.
3. Overhead Pass - As the name suggests, this pass is made overhead. It is a perfect pass for getting over defenders in crowded situations.
4. Outlet Pass - The outlet pass is the pass made after a rebound that gets the ball back into play and switches the offense to defense and reverse. It is a simple pass with the main objective of getting the ball to a key player.
5. No-Look Pass - This is one of the passes that coaches often discourage because of the lack of eye contact. However, some situations warrant a no-look pass. As the name suggests this is any pass thrown without looking at the receiver. Usually the main objective during a pass is to watch the receiver and set him up in a good position by passing the ball to where he is going. With this type of pass the player may have to stop or even change direction to prevent the ball from being missed.
6. Behind the Back Pass - Another discouraged pass, the behind the back pass is, as it sounds, made behind the back. There are two problems with this type of pass. First, the player passing the ball has very little control. Proper form can not be taken when passing a ball behind the back. Second, there is the lack of eye contact since the receiver is usually to the side or behind the player.
When passing a player has to be on top of things. A bad pass is not just a bad play, but can actually change up possession of the ball. It can lead to lost points and even loss of the game. Players have to be good passers. They have to learn to maintain eye contact and be able to anticipate the receiver's moves so they can throw the ball to where the receiver will be, not where they are to allow for smooth play.
Passing is the fastest way to get the ball around on the court and it also helps avoid violations for holding and other dribbling mistakes. Passing also is the best way to move the ball and keep it out of the opposing teams hands.