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Basketball Passing Drills:

Basketball passing drills that emphasize basic fundamental skills are must-haves for any team. If I had to point out one weak point that is most prevalent in the players I've coached, it's poor passing skills. Every player needs to know how to pass properly, and they need to be drilled constantly so that good passing skills become ingrained and automatic.

This basketball passing drill can be used to practice chest passes, one hand push passes, or bounce passes. By moving the lines back a few feet, you can practice overhead passing as well. It is an easy drill to setup and run, and with the focus limited to good passing fundamentals, it's a great opportunity for players to hone often-neglected passing skills.

Instructions to Players

Here's what players need to focus on:

  • Always use proper form - each time the drill is run, only one type of pass should be used and stated beforehand - players must pass using only this type of pass

  • Passes must be snapped hard - no soft passes

  • Once the pass is made, the passer must break quickly to his spot so that he doesn't clog the middle and bog down the drill

  • Receivers must "see the ball into their hands" - i.e., they must focus on catching the ball before they can worry about what to do with it afterward

  • Receivers must step in and reach out to receive the pass - "move to the ball" - so that in game situations, if a defensive player tries to intercept the pass, the defender will likely foul the receiver by slapping down his arms instead of the ball

  • Proper receiving form is to have the shooting hand directly in the path of the ball, with the other hand to the side - in this way, the player should be prepared to pass again immediately upon receiving the ball

  • Players cannot drift in towards the middle - they must remain in line until the pass is made, before starting their break

How this Basketball Passing Drill Works

  • Players are organized into four lines, with the first player in each line about ten feet from each other (see diagram)

  • Start with only 1 ball - in the hands of #1

  • On the coach's whistle, the drill begins with #1 passing across to #2

  • Immediately after passing, #1 sprints across to the end of #2's line, making sure to run to the right of the line

  • At the same time, #2 passes the ball to his right, to #3

  • #2 then sprints to the right, to the end of #3's line
diamond basketball passing drill

  • #3 immediately passes across to #4

  • #4 then sprints across - on the left hand side - to the end of #4's line

  • #4 passes to the left to #5

  • #4 then sprints to the left, to the end of #5's line

  • We are back at the original position now, and #5 passes across to begin the circuit again
diamond basketball passing drill

In this manner, players will move from one line to the next around the circuit. The drill continues until the coach calls for it to stop.

It is a fast-paced drill but as long as players focus on where they are going, there shouldn't be much confusion. Any type of pass can be practiced with this, and once players get skilled with the drill you can add another ball in to make it faster (begin the additional ball at the #3 spot). A great basketball passing drill for teaching strong passing fundamentals.

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