The Techniques Of Passing The Ball

By: Jimmy Cox

A good passing team is a beautiful sight to watch. A team that can handle the ball and pass well is a tough team to beat.

Many coaches will agree that passing is the most important fundamental in basketball. Throwing a ball is not passing! Passing is an art which is controlled by very definite fundamentals.

The usual passing situation is one in which an offensive player must get the ball by his immediate defensive man and to a teammate who is also guarded. Preferably the offensive man should be no more than three or four feet from the opponent he is attempting to bypass. By getting close, he shortens the pass and decreases the danger of the opponent deflecting or intercepting the ball. Many times during a game passes are thrown away because the passer is too far from his opponent.

Pass the ball to a teammate who is away from his defensive man in order to minimize the danger of interception. The receiver can help by coming out to meet the ball and offer a target away from his defensive man.

Do not make a blind pass! Choose your receiver! Learn to pass without staring at your receiver. Do not give your opponent the advantage of knowing where you will pass. Try to pass to a teammate by looking out of the corner of your eyes - split vision. The passer should see but not look at the intended receiver.

Pass the ball ahead of the receiver, waist high. Pass the ball so that it can be handled easily. A ball thrown hard at close range is difficult to handle. Chest-high passes are handled easily and they also enable the receiver to gain some time for his shooting and passing.

Never pass to a teammate cutting away from you with his back turned; wait until he has turned.

Do not pass to a player who is calling for the ball if you think he is cornered and will not be in position to receive your pass.

Keep the ball moving; never hold onto it! Holding the ball gives the defense a chance to get set. When you keep the ball active, the defense is more likely to make mistakes.

Use a fake when necessary! Fake to the left and right, fake up and down. Pass when you see an opening. Avoid cross-court passes, especially in front of the opponent's basket. If they intercept the pass, they can easily score two points.

Do not force your passes once your team has possession of the ball; it is important to keep it until you make a score! While you have the ball the other team cannot score.

Many good passes are fumbled because of the inability of the receiver to catch the ball properly. In receiving a pass, keep your eyes on the ball. Receive it with relaxed hands, fingers spread with thumbs in. The receiver should give slightly, relaxing arms and shoulders.

From this position the player can receive and pass in one smooth motion without shifting his hands on the ball.

Passing Tips:
1.Do not use "blind" passes (looking one way and passing in the opposite direction).
2.Make your passes chest high.
3.Gauge the speed of the pass with that of the receiver.
4.Pass to the side of the receiver away from his guard.
5.Make the passes snappy and deceptive.
6.Get as close to your guard as possible before making the pass.
7.Never pass to a teammate cutting away from you with his back turned.
8.Use a fake whenever useful.
9.Avoid cross-court passes.
10.Do not force your passes.
11.Do not hold the ball; keep it moving.
12.Keep two hands on the ball so that you will be ready to dribble, shoot or pass.
13.Pass with your wrist and fingers, keeping the palms off the ball.
14.Meet the ball; do not wait for it.
15.Use bounce passes against big men.

Practice these points and you will become expert in passing.

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