The Fundamentals of the Basketball Chest Pass

One of the most commonly used passes, the chest pass is an accurate way for teams to move the ball around the court.

No matter if you’re a rookie or a veteran on the basketball court, you should always make time to work on the fundamentals of the game. One of the most common offensive moves on the hardwood is the chest pass.

“The chest pass is often used to advance the basketball up the floor or connect the ball around the perimeter,” former collegiate basketball player Jason Ronai says. “The chest pass may seem basic, but it takes a greater understanding of the correct form to obtain the necessary speed, distance and accuracy with the basketball.”


To execute a successful chest pass, you must make sure to use your feet, legs, hips and core to execute the pass. The pass isn’t just made with your hands. By involving these body parts in your chest pass you can look to create more speed, distance and accuracy.

  • Start with the ball close to your chest.
  • Take a step forward in the direction of your teammate while quickly snapping your arms forward.
  • To create the proper backspin with your pass, place your hands on the sides of the basketball with your thumbs on the back side facing your body.
  • When releasing the ball, your fingers should move forward and finish pointing toward your teammate.
  • Your thumbs should also snap forward pointing in the same direction but finishing below your fingers.
  • Follow through by extending your arms fully in front of your body to help create more speed.

You can also continue your steps toward your teammate as part of your follow through. This can help create backspin on your pass. Aim for your teammate’s chest, as this can help them catch the ball with ease and quickly transition into their triple-threat position.

“The chest pass, like all passes, requires more practice than we realize,” Ronai says. “Work to perfect the form so you are a reliable and accurate passer.”

An important part of finding success passing the ball is to have strong chemistry with your teammates. The Tilt the Floor Basketball Drill can help teams build chemistry as they work in the offensive zone.