Types of Basketball Passes

Two-handed Chest Pass

The pass is made from the basic basketball stance, being the Triple Threat position. Force for the pass comes from a quick extension of the forearms, and a snap of the wrist, fingers and thumb at the same time. The hands are snapped through the ball in such a way that as the ball leaves the fingers the hands are turned out with the thumbs pointed downward, resulting with a pass with back spin. The backspin keeps the ball on a level plane.

Two-handed Over the Head Pass

Starting again in the Basic Basketball Stance (and Triple Threat position), the player quickly raises his arm over his head with arms fully extended.

The pass is made with a quick snap of the wrist and fingers through the ball, similar too the chest pass. The pass stays on a level plane, (not a lob pass), so that the players target should be above the receivers head. There should be only a slight flex or bending of the elbows, if any, when passing the ball. The power of the pass comes from the snapping of the wrist and fingers, not the arms.

This pass is mainly used to feed the post or for a quick outlet after a rebound to start a break. It is effective in starting the break because it can be passed for distance, and most defenders arms are not extended upwards when running back on defense. Also, it may be used to pass over the top of the defense, usually after a ball fake that draws the defenders hands down.

Like all good passes, it stays on a direct level plane and does not float or arc (a lob pass). Lob passes (passes with an arc) should not be used. Lob passes allow time for the defense to react and they also require more timing by the receiver.

Two-handed Chest Bounce Pass

This pass is the same as the Two-handed Chest Pass except the ball bounces on the floor as it is passed to the receiver, rather than straight through the air. The execution is basically the same as the Two Handed Chest Pass, with a quick snapping of the wrists, fingers and thumbs through the ball.

A player uses this pass to pass away from defenders hands; not so much the defender that is guarding the ball, but away from the other defenders. Often, a defender will not get down low to deflect a pass.

An important reminder is that the bounce pass should end up bouncing just above the waist level of the receiver, making it easier to catch. Practicing will allow the player to understand where the bounce should occur when delivering the pass, but two-thirds of the way to the receiver is a good starting point.

One-Handed Push Pass

The name of the One-Handed Push Pass is a bit of a misnomer. The ball should be handled with both hands until right at the last moment, similar to when a player is shooting. Keep in mind that having two hands on the ball is almost always advantageous. Handling with two hands adds control and stability. It also allows the player to ball fake, or pull back from the action when the defense adjusts.

The one-handed pass can be done quickly and deceptively, since the player doesn’t have to turn his torso in the direction of the pass. It also allows a player to extend around a defender.

The one-handed pass should not be confused with passing off the dribble. Passing off the dribble should only be used by the most advanced players.

Baseball Pass

This pass should only be used when passing for a great distance (more than 25 feet), and at a fast speed. The pass is executed in almost the same way a catcher throws a baseball to second base. The passer takes the ball up to the ear and shoulder position with both hands. Repeat, with both hands. Too often players try to make the baseball pass using one hand from the start and too often they lose control of the ball. The passing hand should be behind the ball with the off hand on the ball for support. The front foot should reach forward, with the weight shifted onto it. The throwing hand stays behind the ball, the arm brings the ball straight forward and the ball is released with a snapping of the wrist and fingers through the ball. Most Important! The passer should not twist the hand as it is brought through the ball. This will cause the ball to have a side spin which will cause the ball to curve. In baseball, it is tough to throw curves for strikes and tough to hit cuves. In basketball, it is difficult to control a curve as a passer and difficult to catch a curve for the receiver.

Close In Hand Off Pass

The Close In Hand Off Pass is used when players pass close by each other, whether it be in a weave action or off a post player.

As players cut by each other, the handler should be ready to pass, but also the teammate should always be ready to receive a pass. This pass is almost a handoff with a slight flip. There should be very little change in elevation of the ball.


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