Teams and players that can pass efficiently and effectively have an excellent chance of being successful in basketball. It may be tempting to overlook drills that focus specifically on passing in favor of shooting or defensive drills, but passing is an essential skill that can help separate the best teams and players from average ones.
Two-Ball Passing Game
This drill focuses on hand-eye coordination along with technique for catching and making bounce and chest passes. You and your partner should each have a ball, standing about 10 feet away from each other. One of you makes bounce passes while the other makes chest passes, and you each try to catch each other’s passes, until a coach tells you to switch. This alternating rhythm forces you to be alert and adaptable. Try going for as many rounds as you can without dropping a pass.
The weave drill typically entails three people but can be done with five or seven. It focuses on catching and releasing the ball quickly without traveling, moving with and without the ball, and leading a moving player with a pass. To start, the players space out on one baseline, with the center player starting with the ball.
As the line of players begins to move up the court, the center player makes a chest pass to the player directly to his right, and then replaces him on the line as that player moves to the center. The new ball handler passes to his left, and then replaces that player. The ball goes back and forth up the court until the final pass, which is a bounce pass for a layup. Players attempt to go up and down the court without dropping a pass or traveling but must start the count over if either of those events occur.
High-Low Passing Game
For this drill, space the five offensive players on one half of the court, with a point guard at the top of the key, two players out on the wings, and a post player on either block. The point guard starts with a chest pass to the right wing, and then the wing player passes the ball into the post with either a bounce pass or a lob pass. The post player passes it back out to the point guard, who then works the same series of passes around the left side of the court. Practice rotating the ball around this set, and then bring in five players on defense to try to prevent the passes from happening. Keep track of how many passes one team can get in a row, and then see if the other team can beat that score when you switch sides.
The Celtic drill is a passing game designed for two players to run the floor after a defensive rebound. The first player simulates grabbing a rebound, and then passes the ball to a player on the wing with an outlet pass. The new ball handler dribbles the length of the floor, stopping at the free-throw line with a jump stop. The initial rebounder runs the length of the floor alongside the wing player, and then receives a bounce pass for a layup. The passer grabs the rebound and the players switch roles as they come back down the court.