In the game of basketball, in order for a player to excel, he doesn’t just need to become a good shooter, but he also needs to be a good passer and dribbler.  Although passing and dribbling may not look as prestigious as making shots, they are still a necessary skill as both these skills may help to create good scoring opportunities for you or the team as well as prevent your opponent from getting possession of the ball.

Why Pass?  Well, basically a team that is able to effectively utilize passing in their game not only uses less energy, but they are also able to maximize court coverage which in turn allows them to get into better shooting positions or open up shooting opportunities during a match.  Another basic use of passing is when a player is heavily defended and is unable to neither dribble nor shoot, then passing would be the only option for him to keep the ball moving for their team and hopefully score points during their possession.  On the other hand, a team that has very poor passing will likely have a lot of turnovers which potentially can hurt their overall score.

Types of Basketball Passes

Chest Pass – this type of pass is probably the most accurate pass you can use.  It is executed by holding the ball with both hands near your chest or at the level of the sternum and releasing it by extending both arms forward to make the pass.  This pass goes in a straight line mostly parallel to the floor which requires a lot of force to execute thus making it a high velocity pass.

Bounce Pass – this type of pass is very useful when you are being heavily defended or when you are dribbling and you want to pass the ball to a teammate.  This pass is executed by bouncing the ball off at an angle in between you and your ball recipient.  Although this pass may look easy, it can still be a bit tricky as you need to judge the distance of your recipient along with how much strength and deflection you need to give the ball.  The accuracy of this type of pass is dictated by the speed and trajectory of the ball.  You can also change the trajectory of the ball to some degree by putting some spin to it.

Overhead Pass – this type of pass is useful when you are being marked tightly or when you are considerably taller than your defender.  However, if wrongly used, it poses the risk of interception.  To execute the overhead pass, you need to have both hands placed on the respective sides of the ball.  You then position the ball behind your head.  To make the pass, you extend your arms forward while bringing the elbows down to put more strength in the pass.

Behind the Back Pass – this type of pass is rarely used in a game unless it is used for offensive purposes such as misdirect the defender from the ball.  To execute this pass, you need to cup the ball using your wrist and fingers and sling it behind you towards the recipient.

Alley-oop Pass – this is an exhibition type of pass as it always ends up with a dunk shot.  To execute this pass, you and your teammate needs some form of sign or eye contact so as to be knowledgeable of what the other is thinking.  Once your recipient is at optimum position, you then toss the ball near the hoop where your teammate grabs it in mid-air and slams it.  Although professionals make this pass look easy, it is actually very difficult as you need the right timing to get it right.

Why dribble?  Well, aside from passing, dribbling is also a way that lets you move the ball around the court.  It allows you to move from point A to point B without committing any violation.  In fact, with good dribbling skills, you will be able to attack the hoop by charging forward or by getting a quick jumper.  This can be accomplished by losing your defender through your dribbling skills.  The truth is dribbling is far more complex as compared to just bouncing the ball from your hand to the floor and back to your hand.  Dribbling requires a lot of coordination and rhythm which is usually perfected through hours and hours of practice.  Aside from having to master different dribbling rhythms, you also need to be able to dribble using your weak hand.

Types of Basketball Dribbles

Speed Dribble – this is often used when you need to go fast from one point to another while still maintaining control over the ball.  This is done by pushing the ball in front of you and running after it, usually to make another dribble.  The dribbling height for speed dribble is approximately at waist high and the hand is kept a little behind the ball to help bounce the ball forward and not downward.

Low Dribble – this dribble is highly effective when you are tightly defended.  This is done by dribbling the ball as low as possible with your back bent forward at the hip and your arms and elbow used for shielding the ball.

Crossover – this is a dribbling move that uses quick change of direction using both hands alternately.  This move enables players to lose their defender in an instant.  Although the move may look simple as it only entails bouncing the ball from one hand towards the other hand, it is the timing, body movement, and convincing fake that makes this move effective in evading and losing defenders.  This move can be further exploited if you know how effectively dribble with both hands so you can crossover either from left-to-right or from right-to-left.

In-and-Out – this is a fake dribble wherein you try to deceive your defender as if you’re making an attack towards the hoop so that he will follow you inside when your true intention is to go back a step outside for a possibly clear jumper.  This move is accomplished by making a single attack dribble inward, but instead of pushing forward, you place the bounce of the ball backwards to its original position so as to get at least 2 steps away from your defender.