Time To Learn Correct Basketball Passing Fundamentals and Techniques

Basketball passing is an integral aspect of a good offensive attack. As we mention at other places on our site, everyone wants to be good at basketball shooting. But how do you get the best shots? By having a great basketball passing attack.

Think about it. Every offensive philosophy basically boils down to trying to open up good, high percentage shot attempts, right? Passing is the key to creating these shots. If you and your team work hard to perfect your passing game, everyone will benefit as scoring goes up.

Just like shooting and ball-handling, basketball passing requires the use of correct technique. All passes require some basic fundamentals. Deception, timing, quickness and accuracy.

Passers must see the receivers without staring them down. Receivers must keep their defenders busy so the defender can’t read the pass. Receivers must use deception and fakes to get open.

Passers must deliver accurate, crisp passes. They must always be on the look-out for the open teammate. Receivers must keep their eyes on the ball at all times and always consider themselves a potential receiver.

Looking for some general passing tips?

What follows is a variety of pass types and the fundamentals involved in each one for a successful basketball passing offense.

By the way, would you like to learn how to dramatically increase your focus on applying these basketball passing fundamentals without ingesting a pill or drink?

Basketball Passing Fundamentals and Techniques


1) Two-Handed Chest Pass


This is the most effective and efficient pass you can use. It can be used successfully from anywhere on the court. Use this pass whenever possible because it’s the fastest way to advance the ball to teammates.


Place each hand on either side of the ball and spread the fingers evenly. Fully extend your arms as you push the ball out from your chest and snap your wrists outward so that the back of your hands are now facing each other. You’ll get a good rotation on the ball when you snap your wrists. This makes the ball easier to handle for the receiver. Be sure the pass is thrown crisply with the ball remaining parallel with the floor. You want the pass to arrive at your receiver above the waist and below the shoulders.

2) Two-Handed Bounce Pass


This type of pass is good on the fast break, to a teammate in the post, under a defender, to a teammate making a back-door cut, on out-of-bounds plays, etc. A lot of times, players will make a shot or high-pass fake before making the bounce pass. The bounce pass is the slowest pass available.


Use the same grip and motion with this basketball pass as you did with the chest pass. The ball should hit the floor about two-thirds of the way to the receiver. To be more accurate, step toward that spot. You want to hit your teammate between the knees and waist. A backspin is good to use to give the receiver a longer lead. Push the thumbs throught the ball to achieve the backspin. A forward spin can be used to get the ball through a narrow opening and to produce a quicker pass. You’ll need to be more accurate when using a forward spin but if you can perfect it, it will add more to your game.

3) Two-Handed Overhead Pass


This is an effective basketball passing option for every player on the court. Players often use it to start a fast break, forwards will use it to hit post players or guards cutting off the post, guards use it to hit the post, centers and players receiving high passes use it to make a quick return pass or pass off. This type of pass is easy to control and helps you keep the ball away from your defender.


Position your hands on the sides of the ball with your fingers pointed up. Your thumbs should be on the back of the ball and pointing in toward one another. Bring the ball up above your head (be sure your hands go straight up, not up and back over your head). Release the ball with a quick snap of your wrists and fingers like on a chest pass. It’s usually good to make a slight step forward with the foot of your strong arm side.

Visit our Basketball Passing Drills page

4) Push Pass


This pass is used most often to advance the ball down the floor in order to set up the offense or to get the ball through or past a close-guarding defender (usually to a cutter). The bounce pass version is good for passes to a cutter on fast breaks or reverses, many out-of-bounds plays, to a post player or to pass under a defender.


Hold ball chest high. Spread your fingers on each side with thumbs directly behind, but a bit toward the top of the ball and pointing toward one another. Keep elbows close in. The force of the ball is provided with a quick snap of your wrist, fingers and elbows. You should move forward with your body crouched a bit. Step forward with your passing-hand-side foot and push off with your non-passing-hand-side foot. You can use a direct or bounce pass. Direct pass should reach receiver between the waist and shoulders and bounce pass should hit the floor about two thirds of the way to receiver and arrive between the knees and waist.

5) Off-the-Dribble Pass

One of the quickest basketball passing options because there’s really no set-up with it. As you’re dribbling, instead of bouncing the ball back to the floor for another dribble, move your hand behind the ball and push it towards a teammate as a pass. It’s hard for defenders to steal this one because they’re expecting a dribble instead of the pass.

6) Baseball Pass

Effective for long passes to a cutter or to inbound the ball quickly after allowing a score. Place the ball high above the side of your head with the passing hand behind the ball while the other hand is in front of and slightly under the ball. Be sure the fingers of each hand are pointed upward and your thumbs are pointing inward over your head. Plant your rear foot and step toward the receiver with your front foot. Try to keep both hands on the ball as long as possible and throw the ball with a quick wrist snap and arm thrust. As you follow through, snap your wrist straight down so the ball doesn’t curve on you.

7) Behind-the-Back Pass

A basketball passing technique that can work wonders when done well or end up terrible if done wrong or carelessly. So make sure you practice this one to perfection and only use it when the situation warrants it. This pass can be used off the dribble, standing still or while moving toward the basket and is used often with two-on-one fast breaks. If you can deliver this pass correctly, it will be very difficult for your opponent to defend.

Cup the ball in your hand. Swing your arm behind your back with the elbow bent, fingers pointed down and your thumb pointed toward your back. Release the ball with a whip of your arm and a quick wrist and finger snap