Basketball Passing Tips & Drills

Youth Basketball Passing Tips & Drills

Though we all love to see a dazzling crossover dribbling move, a sweet jumper that tickles the twine from beyond the arc, and the monster slam from behind the ear, in the final analysis, youth basketball is a team game.

There have been many NBA players who have put up enormous individual numbers without ever winning a championship, and there are others who have multiple rings who didn't score much at all. In basketball you need to get good, high percentage shots, and to do that consistently you need to find the open man and play selfless basketball.

A smart pass often results in a very easy shot, and every good youth coach needs to emphasize the importance of passing to his or her team. Making a nice pass that turns into an easy basket is one of the best feelings you can have on the court, and these assists do more than put two points on the board.

They feed a culture of teamwork, and no team is going to be successful over the long haul unless there is a shared commitment to the team over the individual. Everyone on the floor needs to have total court awareness and look for the open player, and if you think "pass first," you are going to keep the opponent on their heels and over the course of the game you are going to get a very high percentage of good shots.

Below are some tips for proper basketball passing techniques as well as some fun drills for your youth basketball team's practice.

Youth Basketball Passing Tips 


  1. Get the ball to a teammate who is in a good position to make something happen.
  2. Anticipate the cuts of your teammates when looking to pass.
  3. Pass off the fingertips, not the palms of your hands.
  4. Follow through when you make a pass.
  5. Use fakes to open passing lanes.
  6. Focus and make crisp passes that are sharp and targeted but catchable.

Youth Basketball Passing Drills

Side Step Passing Drill 

Have half your players line up across the foul line facing the basket and another line facing them from under the basket along the end line. In pairs they make two hand chest passes to one another as they take two or three side steps until they reach the end of the gym and come back to the other side. Then start again using an overhead pass, then again practicing the bounce pass.

Circle Passing Drill 

Break the players up into groups of about five and have them form a circle just outside the half court and foul line circles. They then pass to one another diagonally, using every variation of pass, periodically widening the circle to increase the distance of the passes.

Drills For Basketball - 3 Killer Passing Drills