Catch a Basketball Pass with Confidence

Basketball passing drills are fun, but before you can have any success with them, you have to learn some basics of throwing and catching a good basketball pass.

When you're learning how to play basketball, one of the first areas I suggest starting with is catching.

Basketballs are hard, and they hurt.

So, before a player gets hit in the face by a pass and develops a fear of the ball, make sure he knows how to catch it. 

Let's start with some fundamental coaching tips for catching all types of basketball passes:

12 Keys to Catching a Basketball Pass

1. See the ball at all times

Never turn your back to the ball when you're on the court. It's a sure way to get nailed in the back of the head!

2. Relax and slightly bend your knees

You should have good balance and be on the balls of your feet ready to move in any direction. You may need to jump up or move somewhere to catch a bad pass. If you're standing straight-legged you won't be able to react quickly enough.

3. Be ready to move toward the pass

A big mistake a lot of players make is standing flat-footed waiting for the ball to reach them. Most of those passes never make it.

4. Watch the ball all the way into your hands

Players often get excited, anticipating their next move before they ever catch the ball. Taking your eyes off the ball is a sure way to fumble it, travel with it, or drop it completely.

5. Keep your hands open toward the passer

Your fingers should be spread comfortably. This provides a good target for the passer and lets him know you are ready to receive the pass.

6. Hold your hands about waist high

Have your arms slightly bent and elbows relaxed at your sides. As the ball comes toward you, extend your arms to meet it.

7. To catch a pass above your head

Your fingers should be pointing up to the sky with your thumbs facing each other and your palms open toward the passer.

8. To catch a pass below your waist

Your fingers should point downward with your pinkies pointing toward each other, palms open toward the passer, and the thumbs pointing away from each other.

9. Bend your arms slightly on impact

Once the ball makes contact with your hands, pull your arms in slightly to lessen the impact.

10. Always catch the ball with two hands

To make sure you have control of the ball, secure it both hands. You may need to reach with one hand to chase after a bad pass, but as soon as possible, pull it in with two hands.

11. Protect the ball

As soon as you have control of the ball, pull it in close to your body to protect it. Leaving the ball exposed makes it easy for the defense to get their hands on it.

12. Square up to face the basket every time you catch it

This allows you to see whats happening on the floor so that you know whether you need to pass, shoot, or dribble.


Once you catch the basketball, you need to know what to do with it. How about making some good 1-on-1 basketball moves?

Throwing and catching a good pass are just a couple of the offensive skills you need. Click on this link to learn about other basketball fundamentals.

Check out our fun basketball practice drills to improve all areas of your game.

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