10 Basketball Passing Drills
for Beginners

basketball passing drills

Youth basketball passing drills are great for teaching two of the most fundamental, but often most neglected skills in basketball:

PASSING and CATCHING


Learn how to play basketball better by improving your passing and catching skills with 10 excellent drills you can do alone or with a partner.

Remember...

Basketball is a team sport.

Individual players may be able to dribble and shoot, but if they can't pass the ball to a teammate or receive a pass in return, teams are going to have a hard time scoring, and the game isn't going to be much fun.

Most basketball drills involve passing and catching anyway, so introducing basic passing drills is definitely the place to start working with your beginner.

how to play basketball

As a matter of safety, it's really important to teach players the fundamentals of catching a basketball pass.

Until players are able to catch the ball consistently, they won't be able to master the basketball passing drills.

There are a variety of passes a player will need to use in the course of a game, and the youth basketball drills provided below will give players the opportunity to work on all of them.

Before advancing to the drills, it's important to first learn how to throw the different types of basketball passes.

It's also helpful to learn some key pointers for becoming a good passer.

The following basketball passing drills are designed for 1-2 people. If you have a team of players, most of these drills will work fine if you just divide all of your players into pairs.

These drills will give you the opportunity to work on every type of basketball pass. Make sure to use each one in every drill. If you're not sure how to execute a particular pass, click on its link for helpful coaching tips.

Click on a specific pass to go directly to it

Steve Nash passing


Bounce Pass
Chest Pass
Overhead Pass
One-Hand Push Pass
Baseball Pass
Behind-the-Back Pass



BASKETBALL PASSING DRILLS
for 1 Player

Ball Handling Warm-Up

Ball Spins

Wall Passing

Wall Passing on the Move

Target Practice


BASKETBALL PASSING DRILLS
for 2 Players

Partner Passing Series

Partner Passing with a Dummy Defender

Partner Passing on the Move

Passing with Pressure

Partner Passing with 2 Balls



Basketball Passing Drills #1

Ball Handling Warm-Up

Start with stationary ball handling drills to warm up your hands.


Basketball Passing Drills #2

Ball Spins

Pass to yourself by tossing the ball out in front with a backspin. (With both hands on the side of the ball, thumbs up, and fingers pointing out in front, rotate the wrists quickly so the thumbs face you and the fingers point up. This quick rotation puts a backspin on the ball that should make it come back toward you.)

  • Jump Stop – Catch the pass with a jump stop with both feet on the floor in good balance and in good triple threat position.
  • Pass Basketball Move – Catch the pass with a jump stop and then add a basketball move.
  • Shooting Form – Catch the pass, jump stop, and go up for an imaginary jump shot, releasing the ball with good shooting form.
  • Turn and Shoot – Catch the pass, square up to the basket, and shoot.
  • Turn, Move, and Shoot – Catch the pass, square up to the basket, make a basketball move, and shoot.

If you have a basket, great! If you don't, you can still get a ton of benefit out of working on your technique while shooting at an imaginary target.


Basketball Passing Drills #3

Wall Passing

Varsity Tossback

I will assume for these drills that you don't have a Toss Back sitting out in your driveway. If you do, I would use it instead of a wall.

Stand about 12 feet from the wall in a good balanced position. Pass and catch the ball as quickly as you can in a specified period of time. Try this with each type of pass.


  • 30 Seconds – See how many passes you can make in 30 seconds. How about 60 seconds?
  • Back Away – Back up farther from the wall. See how many passes you can make in 30 seconds from each distance as you move farther away from the wall. This is a great drill for working on strength and accuracy.
  • Get Closer – Move as close to the wall as possible. Be careful because the closer you get, the faster the ball will come back at you. This helps develop quick hands.


Basketball Passing Drills #4

Wall Passing on the Move

toss back rebounder

Mark 2 lines on the ground in front of the wall about 5 feet apart. Start with your outside foot touching one of the lines. Pass the ball off the wall, slide, and catch it at the other line.

Use a chest pass and take short quick sliding steps without crossing your feet. Keep moving laterally while you are passing and catching. Change direction each time you hit a line. This works on leading your pass, quickness, agility, and using both hands to catch the ball.

  • Move Lines Farther Apart – Gradually move the lines farther apart until you get to to 12 feet, if possible, which is the width of the lane.
  • Jump Stop and Shooting Form – Each time you catch the pass, jump stop, and shoot a jump shot off the wall. Concentrate on hitting a target and holding your follow through.
  • Rapid Fire – Make quick passes off the wall while you slide 10-12 feet one direction. See how many passes you can make and how few mistakes you can make as you quickly slide from side to side. Adjust your distance from the wall to make it more challenging. The closer you are, the quicker you have to react. The farther away you are, the stronger you need to be.

Basketball Passing Drills #5

Target Practice

Put tape markers on the wall or identify cracks or spots on the wall for targets. See how many times you can hit a particular target in 30 seconds.

targets
  • Hit Them All - See how long it takes to hit every target.
  • Mix Up Passes - Use a different pass to hit each target.


Note: It may not be possible to hit all targets with every type of pass.


A quick coaching tip:

Basketball passing drills can become boring and monotonous if done too long in isolation from other skills.

I suggest that once the basic skills are taught and practiced a few times, incorporate passing and catching into your shooting drills, dribbling drills, etc.

This will not only liven things up, but it will be more game-like and help kids see how the different fundamental skills all work together.

After you've done some basketball passing drills, how about working on some other youth basketball drills?

Shooting Drills

Dribbling Drills

Fun Basketball Drills


>> Basketball Passing Drills