Basketball Passing Drill
4 Corner Passing


Effective basketball passing drills should focus on solid passing to players on the move - good fundamentals practiced in game situations. In the 4 Corner Passing Drill, passers focus on proper chest passes, while receivers learn how to catch the ball while in full stride, and then to pass off again before traveling. A great drill for focusing on basketball fundamentals.

The point of passing is to get the ball into the hands of someone who is in a better position to score. In other words, giving the pass when it is needed, where it is needed. Unfortunately, in the age of the highlight reel, simple, proper passing is something of a lost art. But this drill helps revive that art.

Be sure you have taught your players good basketball passing fundamentals before introducing this drill, as it is fast paced and requires quick movement and quick passing. Not a drill for players who haven't been taught to pass yet, but a great drill to bridge the gap between fundamental passing skills and game simulations.

A word of warning: it can seem a little complex at first, with two balls being passed at the same time, and so your best option is to introduce this drill with only one ball first, as shown in the first six diagrams below. Then add in the second ball.

And be sure to remind your players to pay attention - this is a drill that can often end with someone taking a pass to the head because they allowed themselves to be distracted for a moment!


Basketball Passing Drills
Instructions to Players

Here's what players need to focus on in this basketball passing drill:

  • Passers must consistently use proper chest pass fundamentals, stepping into the pass and snapping the ball with power
  • Passers must aim ahead of the man they are passing to - the man is moving, and so, to get the ball into his hands accurately, they must pass to where he will be, not where he is - in this way, the receiver should run straight into the ball at chest height
  • To assist with this, the man receiving the pass must put his hand out in front of him as he is running to provide a target for the passer
  • Passes must be hard, quick passes - otherwise, cutters will be waiting around - we want the cutters to be receiving the ball on the move, not standing in the middle of the court waiting for the pass

  • 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
  • The pass will always come from the right side
  • Once he has caught the ball, the receiver must then immediately pass to the next player, before traveling
  • Players cannot drift in towards the middle - they must remain in line until the pass is made, before starting their own cut


Basketball Passing Drills
How the 4 Corner Passing Drill Works - 1 Ball Only

  • Players are organized into four lines, one line in each corner of the half (see diagram to the right)
  • The first player in one of the lines - player #1 in the diagram - starts with a ball
  • The drill begins with a pass to the line to the right (to #4)
  • Immediately upon passing, #1 flashes across the court, in the direction of the line opposite
Basketball Passing Drill4 Corner Passing - 1
  • The player who had received the pass - #4 - snaps the ball back to the cutter, so that he receives the pass in the center of the court
  • #1 immediately - without traveling - passes the ball ahead to #3
  • #1 then continues on to the end of #3's line
Basketball Passing Drill4 Corner Passing - 2
  • Immediately upon passing the ball into the middle, player #4 begins flashing to the middle
  • Immediately upon receiving the pass from #1, #3 snaps the pass to #4 as he is moving across the court



Basketball Passing Drill4 Corner Passing - 3
  • Immediately upon receiving the pass, player #4 passes the ball ahead to the line he is running to - i.e., to player #2 - without traveling
  • #4 finishes by quickly sprinting to the end of the line he was running toward (#2's line)


The drill continues in this manner, with players

  • receiving the ball in the corner,
  • immediately passing back to the center,
  • then immediately cutting cross-court,
  • receiving the ball from the right,
  • passing forward,
  • going to the end of the line, etc.
Basketball Passing Drill4 Corner Passing - 4
Basketball Passing Drill4 Corner Passing - 5
Basketball Passing Drill4 Corner Passing - 6

Basketball Passing Drills
How the 4 Corner Passing Drill Works - 2 Balls

The full version of this basketball passing drill uses two basketballs:

  • Players are organized into the same four lines, one line in each corner of the half
  • The first player in two of the lines - players #1 and #3, directly cross-court of each other - have a ball
  • The drill begins with a pass to the line to the right (both players #1 and #3 pass at the same time)


Basketball Passing Drill4 Corner Passing - 7
  • Immediately upon passing, #1 and #3 flash across the court, in the direction of the line opposite them
  • The players who had received the passes - #2 and #4 - snap the ball back to the cutters, so that they receive the pass in the center of the court


Basketball Passing Drill4 Corner Passing - 8
  • Immediately upon receiving the pass, players #1 and #3 pass the ball ahead to the line they are running to - i.e., to players #5 and #7
  • #1 and #3 finish by quickly sprinting to the end of the lines they were running to



Basketball Passing Drill4 Corner Passing - 9
  • Once they have passed the ball into the middle, players #2 and #4 begin flashing to the middle
  • Immediately upon receiving the pass from #1 and #3, #5 and #7 snap passes to #2 and #4 as they are moving across the court


Basketball Passing Drill4 Corner Passing - 10
  • Immediately upon receiving the pass, players #2 and #4 pass the ball ahead to the line they are running to - i.e., to players #6 and #8
  • #2 and #4 finish by quickly sprinting to the end of the lines they were running to


Basketball Passing Drill4 Corner Passing - 11
  • Once they have passed the ball into the middle, players #5 and #7 begin flashing to the middle
  • #6 and #8 snap passes to #5 and #7 as they are moving across the court


Basketball Passing Drill4 Corner Passing - 12

And the drill continues in this fashion until the coach decides to stop it - this usually will happen after about 3-4 minutes as players get tired and start to lose concentration, passes get sloppy, passes start to be dropped.

The first couple of times players do this drill, passing and cutting are likely to be slow and they are likely to get confused with the movement, particularly when two balls are introduced - it is a very fast-paced drill and players need to focus on what they are doing.

Keep the focus on good passing the first couple of times you run the drill, but then speed it up as they get used to it and push for quickness in movement and passing.

This basketball passing drill is great for teaching the need for strong passing fundamentals and staying focused. As I said, a great bridge from learning fundamental passing skills to applying them in the game.





"I learned to give him the ball."

- Magic Johnson, on what he learned about the game of basketball by playing with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar






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