Basketball Drills - 2-Man Passing Drills

From the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @

(Note: at the bottom, read the proper techniques for the chest pass, bounce pass, and overhead pass.)

You must do passing drills and never assume your players are good passers. Poor passing will destroy an offense faster than anything. Excellent, crisp passing makes it all work. Many turnovers are related to bad passing or receiving. All players must become good at the chest pass, bounce pass and overhead pass.

Passing Drill #1, Simple Partner Passing and Catching Drill

Have each player get a partner, and each pair has a ball, so they can "play catch" with each other. Have the partners separate about 12 - 15 feet (comfortable passing distance), and face each other.

Have the players practice each of the three basic passes, starting with the chest pass. Demonstrate the proper techniques with "stepping into" the pass with one foot forward. Snap the pass, with the thumbs going through the ball and extending toward the receiver. Make sure the players pass the ball crisply, and not "lob" their passes. Hit the receiver in the chest. The receiver should show a target with his/her hands extended toward the passer. Feet should be squared and shoulder-width apart. Have the passers alternate the lead foot.

Next, work on bounce passes. The ball should hit the ground about three-quarters from the receiver and bounce right to his chest. Again make sure players are alternating their lead foot.

Next, work on the two-handed overhead pass or outlet pass. Have the partners move a little farther apart, so that you are working on a longer pass. Players should snap their passes with some arc, but be sure that they are not lobbing their passes too high. The arc should be just enough to get over the extended hands of a defender, but not so high that the pass "floats". Alternate the lead foot with each pass. This pass can be thrown hard, and is effective as the outlet pass after a rebound, to start the fast break. It is also good for throwing over zone defenses ("skip passes"). To simulate the outlet pass, after receiving the ball, have the passer turn his back to the receiver, then simulate pulling the ball in, pivot, and make the overhead pass.

Passing Drill #2, 2-Man Shuffle (passing on the move)

Have all the pair partners line up on one end-line. Each pair has a ball. The players are about 12 - 15 feet apart. The first pair starts, shuffling the full length of the floor in a straight line and back again, making accurate chest passes back and forth the entire way, with no traveling or dribbling.

Passing Drill #3, 2-Man Full-Court Dribble-Pass Drill

(see diagram A) Two lines on one end of the court as shown below in diagram A, with the left line players each having a ball.

The first player (player A) in left line speed dribbles up to the three-point line and passes to player B sprinting up the side line, who catches the ball, speed dribbles to the half-court line and passes back to player A, who dribbles to the top of the circle, passes back to player B cutting to the hoop for the lay-up. Player A gets the rebound and drill repeats going back up the opposite side-line.

The second players in line start off once the previous twosome has reached half-court. You can vary this by requiring a jump stop before each pass and after each reception.


2-Man Full-Court Dribble-Pass Drill

Passing Drill #4, 2-Man Passing, Find the Receiver

(Diagram B). Often I see kids make a bad pass because they actually threw the ball before first locating their receiver (especially against a full-court press). Players must learn to look before they pass! With this drill, the passer must first find the receiver before making the pass.

Refer to diagram B above. Use both baskets. Have a line under each basket. The first player in line (player #1) speed dribbles out to the three-point line, makes a jump stop and a reverse pivot. Meanwhile, the next player in line (player #2) sprints out to either corner (mix it up so the passer has to look to find her). The passer makes the crisp chest pass to #2, cuts to the hoop, receives the pass back from #2, and finishes the lay-up. #2 rebounds, and now becomes player #1 and dribbles out and repeats the drill.

2-Man Passing, Find the Receiver