Basketball is a beautiful sport in many different ways and if you're able to master a specific skill, you'll have the opportunity to change the game and have a huge competitive advantage over your opponent. Typically people reading this would naturally assume I'm talking about scoring, shooting, or even dribbling the basketball. But the skill I'm referring to this time is passing. Very few players become great at this skill because it requires you to be an unselfish player. Passing the basketball is one skill that coaches are always looking for in players. Below we'll go over how to become a better passer and also why it's so important to skill development as well.
Some of the greatest NBA and college players ever based focused their game around making their teammates better with the pass. Magic Johnson was a player that changed the way the game of basketball was played because of his incredible court vision and passing. Add to that the fact that he was a 6'9 point guard that moved like a gazelle and you have one of the greatest players ever. In the last several years of the NBA draft, players that are "pass-first" focused have found themselves getting drafted higher and valued more come draft day as passing is one of the top skills that translates to all levels.
The basic fundamentals of passing have to first be discussed before getting to the fancy stuff. The ability to pass with both hands is an essential skill if a player wants to be a great passer. Initially coaches will teach making passes with two hands, but as a player gets stronger and more skilled, the one handed pass becomes a huge piece in distributing the basketball.
Another basic fundamental skill needed is the triple threat. This allows players to create space to make passes stationary and also with a defender pressing up.
Another basic fundamental needed to be a great passer is the ability to dribble the basketball with your eyes up. There is no way a player can see the open player if their eyes are looking at the floor or the basketball. Keeping the eyes up and scanning the floor is extremely valuable and important.
Timing and Flow
Understanding timing and the flow of the game is another difficult concept for young players to grasp. This often can be natural ability or feel but can be learned through film study and understanding the system you play in. When you understand timing, it helps with predicting where a player will or should be. This opens the window of opportunity to make a pass to a teammate for a scoring opportunity. Many times the window of opportunity will close as soon as the player opens up so getting that pass in the air and leading a teammate is very important. Lonzo Ball has become a national sensation for many reasons, but one of the biggest is his ability to see the floor and make passes before the play even develops. This sets his teammates up for easy buckets and also gets the team fired up.
Players will often ask how they can get more playing time or have a bigger role on their team. Naturally players think they have to score or shoot more to make this happen and that isn't necessarily true. If you can make your teammates better and help lead an offense through being unselfish you will find yourself on the court. Having 5 players on the court that only want to shoot the ball never works, even if they are all skilled offensive players. The teams that have guys that can knock down an open shot, but also have the ability to create opportunities are rare and extremely valuable to a team. These are the guys that will more than likely make the right play or read on the offensive end of the floor. On every level we see teams that have guards that average less than 9 points per game but because they have a unique ability to pass the basketball, they find themselves on the court when it counts! Create openings for players, reward teammates for running the floor, or make the extra pass and see how quickly your teammates will enjoy playing with you. Passing is contagious and can help you further your basketball career if you let it!
While Dr. Dish machines are often thought as "shooting machines" you can actually work on your passing with the Dr. Dish All-Star! With the All-Star's patented and innovative swivel net technology, players can receive game location passes and then are required to throw an accurate "outlet pass" back into the machine. Just like how every shot counts, every pass counts as well!
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