In modern basketball there is an overwhelming tendency for young players to adopt a superstar mindset. However, these aspirations of stardom can be costly to team performance. Oftentimes, skilled players will try to do too much physically, neglecting tactical elements of their game. While it is impressive to watch superstars carry their team, basketball is a team sport. For that reason, it is essential that players learn how to pass the basketball.
Passing the basketball is crucial for success in these facets of the game:
- Controlling pace.
- Properly setting the timing for individual plays.
- Encouraging team camaraderie and communication.
- Conserving player energy on offense.
- Reducing turnovers.
- Directing players on the court.
Listed below are the three types of passes every player should master:
The Chest Pass
This pass is used to quickly move the ball from one player to another. Precise chest passing is useful for beating defenders playing lax defense. It is also ideal for getting the ball to a shooter who is set in position to score. This type of passing is effective for moving the ball around the perimeter, and is arguably the easiest of the three passes to execute.
The chest pass should be executed from chest height using a muscular pressing motion in both arms. The ball should be released in a precise and explosive motion, much like shooting a canon. This passing method can be executed while moving, or while stationary.
The Bounce Pass
To execute a bounce pass, players should throw the ball at the surface off the court. This allows the ball to bounce to the intended recipient. The benefit of using the bounce pass is the ability for the ball to enter tight spaces . By using a variety of passing angles, a player can get the ball to a teammate under the arms and around the bodies of defenders. Additionally, the bounce pass can be performed with either, or both arms working in any direction. For that reason, this pass is extremely effective for getting the ball to a teammate in the paint; even when they are being closely contested by defenders. While a bounce pass is more difficult than a chest pass, when done correctly it can be an incredibly powerful offensive tool.
The Overhead Pass
There are two main uses for the overhead pass. The first is covering a huge amount of court length during fast break situations. The other reason is overcoming player height differences. To execute an overhead pass, a player should use both arms to launch the ball from behind their head, outward, in a high arch. A player can utilize this pass especially well when a teammate loses their defender, or in a double team scenario. However, this is the slowest type of pass, and can interrupted easily if executed poorly.
Many young players today aspire to be superstars, but neglect the tactical elements of their game. The reality is, however, that winning requires a good mix of both physicality and tactics. Superstars are players that are well-rounded, and possess both skills. Sure, they can score at will, but will also help teammates do the same. By becoming proficient in the three passes listed above, a player can move one step closer to achieving the superstar status that many so greatly desire.