Basketball Passing
Youth Basketball Drills for Partners

Improve your basketball passing and catching skills with challenging basketball drills you can do with a partner.

Great teams need great offenses.

And great offenses depend on great passers.

basketball passing

If you can become a player who can deliver the ball consistently and accurately to open teammates, you'll be an incredibly valuable member of your team.

Unfortunately, passing is one of most underemphasized and neglected skills in the game.

Well, that's about to change...

And the good news is, you don't need to wait until you have access to a gym, or the rest of your team, or even your coach.

All you need is a ball and a buddy. 

Before you get started, you need to know some basketball passing basics.

20 Fundamentals of a Good Pass

12 Tips for Catching a Pass

6 Types of Basketball Passes

Are you working out on your own? Basketball passing drills you can do alone

Partner Basketball Passing Drills

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 #6
Partner Passing Series

This is a great drill for combining a whole bunch of basketball skills.

Once you get the hang of it, you can move continuously throughout the entire series without stopping and get an excellent passing workout.

Work on each type of pass at every step in the series.

  • Pass Back and Forth - Start about 5 feet apart with a chest pass and gradually move farther back until you aren't able to make a good chest pass anymore. Repeat with each type of pass.
  • Rapid Fire - Pass as quickly as you can back and forth for 30 seconds. Adjust the time and distance of the pass to make it more challenging.
  • Jump Stop - This time concentrate on catching the ball with a jump stop. Each time you receive the ball, catch it with a jump stop, square up to your partner, and get on balance before passing it back.
  • Square Up to the Basket - Mix up the type of pass you use and focus on squaring up to the basket each time you catch the ball. If you don't have a basket available, choose a random spot for an imaginary goal to be. Each time you catch the ball, you should jump stop and then square up to the basket. Rotate the imaginary basket to different locations to work on squaring up with different pivot feet.
  • Ball Fake - Before you make a pass, give at least one pass fake and/or shot fake. Pretend to pass in one direction and make the pass in another. Pretend to take a shot and make the pass instead.
  • Shooting Form - When you catch the ball, bring it into the shooting pocket, square up to the basket, and shoot the ball toward an imaginary goal. It should land about 3-5 feet in front of you. Chase down the ball and pass it back to your partner. This drill works on catching the ball in preparation to shoot, getting balanced, and performing good shooting technique.
  • Bad pass - Intentionally throw a bad pass to your partner. Make it too hard, too high or low, or off to one side so she has to chase it down. Once she gets the ball, she gets set and makes an intentional bad pass back. This drill helps develop good hands and teaches players the need to always be ready to move for the ball.
  • Target hand - Receiver holds up a target hand, and the passer tries to hit it. Use your right hand, your left hand, and sometimes both. Always catch the ball with two hands. This gets catchers in the habit of getting hands up and ready and letting their passers know they want the ball. It also helps the passers work on their accuracy.
  • Dribble - Take a couple dribbles in any direction, jump stop, and make a pass. Dribble to your right and to your left, working on both hands.
basketball passing
  • Transfer Ball - Before you pass the ball, move it around as if you have a defender in front of you trying to take away your passing lanes. Aggressively move it above your head like you're going to throw an overhead pass and then sweep it down just below your knees like you're about to take it on a dribble - then pass it.
  • Pivot - When you catch the pass, jump stop and establish a pivot foot. Rotate a few times as if you are closely guarded and then deliver the pass. Each time you get the pass, alternate your pivot foot.
  • Turn Around - The receiver starts with his back to his partner. As the passer releases the ball, he yells, "Ball!" and the receiver turns around quickly to catch it. This is a great drill for working on reaction time and locating the ball quickly. For a fun challenge, the passer can throw a bad pass that the catcher has to chase down after he turns around.

Basketball Passing Drills #7
Partner Passing with a Dummy Defender

basketball passing

If you have a third person who can play defense in the middle that's good, but you can also use an object like a trash can, traffic cone, lawn chair, or anything you find that can serve as an obstacle.

Each player will need an obstacle in front of her. Work on each type of pass, but before you throw it you have to use a ball fake and/or step around the "defender."

To receive the pass, you need to move from behind the "defender" to catch it. You will need to show a target hand to the passer, so she can lead you with a pass in that direction.

Basketball Passing Drills #8
Partner Passing on the Move

With a partner and a ball, stand facing each other about 5 feet apart. Pass and slide down the court or driveway. Try to make quick passes and lead the receiver so she catches the ball at her chest. Take short, lateral slides without crossing your feet.

See if you can make it to the end of your driveway without dropping a pass and then come back the other direction. Work on the different types of passes.

  • Go faster - Try to move down the court and pass the more quickly.
  • Throw harder passes - Work on strengtening your hands and improving your reaction time by passing the ball harder while still making accurate passes.
  • Adjust distance - Move closer or farther apart as necessary. The closer you are, the quicker the passes will be, which works on reaction time and good hands. The farther you are requires greater strength and works on passing accuracy.
basketball passing
  • Jog - This time face down the driveway or court with your sides to each other. Jog to the other end while making good passes back and forth. You may need to start out walking to get the hang of it. Don't travel with the ball. Make sure you catch it under control with two hands every time and pass it back before taking any steps. Stop and get yourself in control if you need to before you pass. This is a very useful drill for working on getting the ball down the floor during the fast break.

Basketball Passing Drills #9
Passing with Pressure

Set up targets around the playing area. Use chairs, trash cans, marks on a wall, or whatever else you find.

The passer tries to hit each target with a different type of pass while the other player puts defensive pressure on him and tries to block the pass.

Passer - Use pivots and ball fakes to get around the defender's hands.

Defender - Don't touch the passer. If it's too difficult for the passer, back off a little and play more dummy-type defense only giving about half effort.

Basketball Passing Drills #10
Partner Passing with 2 Balls

basketball passing

To spice up basketball passing practice, this drill adds a little more difficulty and also works on player communication.

Each player starts with a ball, and they pass them at the same time in various combinations.

It's important that each player perform the right pass or else the balls will collide in the middle.

  • One High, One Low - One player passes a chest pass while the other makes a bounce pass. Reverse roles.

  • One-Hand Push Pass - Both players make a right hand push pass. Try it with the left hand.

  • One Overhead, one Bounce - One player makes an overhead pass while the other makes a bounce pass. Reverse roles.

  • One-Hand Bounce Pass with Right Hand, Turn Around - Each player makes a one-hand bounce pass with the right hand and turns around quickly before receiving the pass. Try it with the left hand.

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