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Good passing tends to breakdown the best of defenses because passing is the quickest way to move the ball. It is the most effective way of achieving the offensive objective – getting the ball to the right person in the right place at the right time.


Chest Pass

The chest pass is the basic air pass for effective, efficient ball movement. It is most effective up to eighteen feet. Start by moving the ball from the triple-threat position to the center of your chest, close to the body in a "thumbs-up" position. To throw the pass, extend your elbows and pronate your hands to a "thumbs-down" position. This produces backspin on the ball. Step into the pass. The target area of the pass is the receiver's “number” or his outside target hand.


Bounce Pass

This pass is recommended primarily for entries into the post, backdoor moves, and when the defender is playing high in the passing lanes. The target of the bounce should be two-thirds of the way to the receiver. The technique used for feeding the post is a low, wrap around style (refer to “Feeding the Post”).


Flick Pass

More times than not, it is advantageous to catch and pass the ball with one hand. Simply flick the ball to your target (just like you are shooting, but without any arc). Step toward your target (chest over thigh) and snap your wrist downward. This pass is most effective up to fifteen feet away.


Overhead Pass

This is a valuable pass over the defense. It is especially effective against zone defenses and for quick outlets. Keep the ball high and elbows extended. The pass is thrown with your wrists and fingers. Start with your thumbs back, step to the target, push your thumbs through the ball, and then finish with the thumbs forward. The target area is at the receiver's head. Be careful, this pass is hard to handle when it is dropping.


Dribble Hand-Off

The  hand-off pass is used most often following a power dribble or when a perimeter player pinches with a high post. You should be wide and low with both hands protecting the ball. As the receiver approaches, rotate your dominant hand underneath the ball and hand-off to the receiver. We like to say, “Put it on a platter.” The target area of the pass is at the waistline.

Advanced Passes


Baseball Pass

This pass is usually used to throw passes one-half to three-quarters length of the floor. Keep both hands on the ball as long as possible. Use a stance with your body parallel to the sidelines. Plant your back foot and step with your front foot. Throw the ball by your ear. Proper follow-through includes carrying out a full pronation and extension of your arm ending with the thumb down. Utilize only the dominant hand to make this pass and lead the receiver just like a quarterback.


Click Pass Defined

A click pass is when the ball comes into your hands and goes out again in less than a second. Not a moment later after you look around, but immediately! Like a second baseman turning a double play. Click passes put the ball in scoring position. However, you must be aware of the defense and know who to pass to.


Feeding the Post

We use a low, wrap around bounce pass to feed the low post. Control the ball with your hand away from the defense. Stay low (chest over thigh) and step around your defender. Pass the ball with one hand as you do any flick pass. Keep the following in mind:

  1. The height at which you release the ball will be the height of reception.

  2. Target area is below the postman’s knees (or above his shoulders with an air pass).

  3. After releasing the ball, pronate your thumb down and out.


3 Points of Vision

Three points of vision when feeding the post:

  1. Your defender.

  2. Your buddy's defender.

  3. The weak side defender.


Scoop Pass

Much like the baseball pass, the scoop pass is used to quickly advance the ball up the length of the court. We encourage this pass to be made while inbounding the ball or immediately after a secured rebound. Place your dominant hand under the ball and keep your opposite hand on top, out in front. Pull the ball back behind your hips and scoop it underhand to your target.

Passing Do’s:

  • Do make the easy pass. Two easy passes are better than one miracle pass.

  • Do hit the open man.

  • Do get the ball to the right person in the right place at the right time.

  • Do use pass fakes (fake a pass to make a pass).

  • Do use the air pass on the break, not the bounce pass.

  • Do use the dribble to create better passing angles.

  • Do feed the post with the bounce pass.

  • Do step into your pass for more power.

  • Do utilize click passes.

  • Do throw away from the defender (outside hand emphasis).

  • Do assume triple-threat position every time you receive the ball.


Passing Don’ts:

  • Don't throw to a voice.

  • Don't pass to a player in trouble.

  • Don't make too long of passes.

  • Don't overpass! Especially on the break.


Receiving the Pass

  1. Establish eye contact with the passer and “show for the ball”.

  2. Catch the ball with your eyes. Look it into your hands.

  3. Catch the ball with your feet. Do not wait for the ball to come to you. Shorten the pass by stepping towards it.

  4. Catch the ball with both hands, and if possible, “block it” with your shooting hand.

  5. Attempt to catch “ball in the air / feet in the air” and sweep into a triple threat position.


Coach Hueser’s “3-Pointer”

  1. There is a simple way to beat any opponent: Complete your passes. A sure pass, not any old pass. Not a maybe pass.

  2. After a good pass, point to your teammate. This is our way of "thanking" him for unselfish team play.

  3. A bad pass most often leads to a bad shot. Be a great passer!

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