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How to be a good passer in basketball

Updated on July 19, 2012

The world saw some of the greatest assist makers in the history of NBA such as Bob Cousey, John Stockton, Magic Johnson, Pete Maravich, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash and even Jason Williams.

Cousey and Stockton orchestrate their respective team’s plays with their devastating passing abilities. Both of these players have razor eyes like that of the eagles as they can easily provide an assist to an open teammate with so much ease. Johnson, Maravich and Williams are famous for their magical passing skills that can make feisty defenders disappear. Kidd and Nash are the new generation of players that boast of a complete game. Kidd is well-known for his ability to pile-up triple doubles (10+ in points, rebounds and assists in one game) while the spitfire Nash is packed with both offensive and defensive game as he can easily make life difficult on his defender.

These wonderful athletes proved that accurate passing can be a lethal weapon in dismantling the opponents’ tough defensive stance and at the same time give delight on the appreciative fans and aficionados on their amazing passes.

Over the years these players crafted innovative ways on how blind passes, behind the back passes, bullet passes and other awe-inspiring passes are dished out.

A basketball team is a game of five players on opposing sides. If everybody is keen on becoming scorers or a star player selfishly shoots the ball more often, expect that the teamwork will crumble like house of cards and this may disrupt the rhythm, cohesion, teamwork and chemistry of the team.

Hence the point guards or the so-called playmakers are vital top team since these are the players that contribute the ball well on the court.

If you believe that you are born to dish out passes here are some useful tips and pointers to make you a better passer:

  • Practice dribbling with your both hands without looking at the ball. Learn how to create space for yourself so you can a have better look at your teammates. You can create space for yourself or mislead your defenders by mastering spins, behind-the-back dribbles, crossover moves and how to make fakes. These will also deceive your defender and once you are ahead by a step or two or eluded your defender you will have an easy time passing the ball to your teammate or even a clear look to the basket.
  • Use variety of passing moves to avoid being predictable. Learn and master bullet passes, blind passes, behind-the back passes, alley-oops and bounce passes.
  • Don’t look on your teammate if you intend to pass the ball on him/her otherwise the defender will be able to read your moves and eventually intercept your assist. Without looking to one of your teammates use short lob or bounce the ball on the floor to your teammate.
  • Your sight must be facing the front always. To do this you must practice having a 180 degrees sight.
  • Always be on a lookout for possible transition plays. Once you have this chance dribble the ball fast or immediately dish out a long pass to your teammates during a fast break. If you outnumber the opposing team see to it that there is always an open player you may opt to pass the ball or at a split second shoot the ball. It is a matter of which is more open for an easy shot. Do not shoot from the perimeter or the three point range this is a big mistake during a fast break.
  • Avoid making long diagonal passes this will give the defender enough time to react with their defense and eventually foil or capture your assist.
  • Whilst on a fast break play you must be on a lookout for trailer. The defenders least expects a trailer from coming into picture a little bit late and will be given the chance to shoot the ball unguarded.
  • Great guards know this line very well, “pass first, shoot later.”

Here it is folks, some fine cues about how to give an assist to a teammate and how to hone your passing skills.


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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      BAsketball was a part of our PE. I never excelled in it. I can play but not as good as the rest. I guess there's a sport for everyone.