Basketball Passing Drills

Discover four passing drills that can be helpful for players at every level.

Former collegiate basketball players and current DICK’S Sporting Goods Associates Bob Garbade and Nick Rivers show you how to do various passing drills that can help you evolve into a better, more efficient passer. Passing drills don’t just help guards, they also help the bigger guys by giving them confidence when handling the ball outside of just blocking.

Each of these drills will require you and your partner to be on separate lane lines while facing each other. You should both be in a low, athletic position.

CHEST PASS

When attempting a chest pass, step into it. This means that you should keep one foot planted while stepping toward your partner with the other foot. You also want to extend your arms straight out to get as much force on the ball as possible so it reaches its target. Make sure the palms of your hands extend outwards after the releasing the ball.

When receiving a chest pass, you’ll want to step into it just like you would when passing, because if you just stand there waiting for it to come to you, then a defender will come through and steal the ball with ease. Always meet the ball.

BOUNCE PASS

For bounce passes, you’ll want to make sure the ball bounces about 60 to 75 percent of the way to your teammate. If you bounce it too short, there will be a heavy lob that can get picked off with ease by an opponent. If it’s too close to your teammate’s feet, he or she will have a harder time controlling it. Every one of your bounce passes should reach the chest or stomach of your teammate.

COMBO DRILL

Building on this, add two balls to the mix. This fun drill, that you can do with your teammate, requires one of the two players to perform a bounce pass while the other player simultaneously performs a chest pass. Your goal for this drill should be to complete 20 perfect passes.

FIGURE 8 STATIONARY PASSING

For this two-ball drill, pull the ball around and between your legs in a figure 8 pattern. After you complete the pattern, make a swift chest pass to your partner. Remember that your partner will be doing the pattern as well, so pay attention to when he or she passes the ball. You don’t want to take a basketball straight to the face.

A fun, competitive version of this drill can be  if one of you messes up first, then they have to do 10 pushups.