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10 Tips On How To Become A Better Passer In Basketball

Becoming a better passer in basketball has a lot to do with basketball IQ and understanding when and where to throw a pass. Becoming a better passer you will need to study the game and understand your opponents positioning on the court as well as your teammates positioning on the court to set him up for ideal scoring opportunities. In this article on how to become a better passer I will be giving you 10 tips on becoming that dime machine you always wanted to be.

1. Anticipation

Anticipation is something that can take a lot of work to master and many years of basketball experience. Anticipation in terms of basketball basically means throwing to the spot where your teammate will have the best opportunity to score it. For example never throw directly at your teammate on a cutting opportunity, instead throw to where he is going. A This also applies to anticipating the defense and understanding momentum in the game of basketball. If your opponent is on a full sprint lets say, and you throw a ball up in transition that ball is most likely going to get stolen.

2. Becoming A Student Of The Game

Watching film is a great way of becoming a great passer because this allows you to understand when and where your opponent will be open given certain situations. Chris Paul who is one of the great all time passers is an avid watcher of other teams film and his teams system. For Example lets say you have the ball and the other team is running a 2-3 zone. You understand playing against it many times and studying it on film that the free throw line area is where the hole or gap is in the zone. Understanding basic principles like this makes you a much better passer and gives you more opportunities for assists and your teammates to score.

3. Being A Threat To Score

You might be asking yourself has is looking to score going to make me a better passer. Well if you think about it a big reason a player can get so many assists is because defenses have to help off and stop him from scoring, especially on a double team. An easy way to look to score is driving to the basket. This will make you a better passer and allow for much more assists because this undoubtedly forces defenses to adjust and collapse in on you. Which is your opportunity to find easy passes on the perimeter or dump off passes to your big man or center. A reason a guy like Jokic at center can get so many assists and be a great passer even as a big man, is because teams have to account for his scoring ability and help off him.

4. Knowing Your Teammates

knowing your teammates will not only allow for you to get more assists and become and better passer, it will also make the game much easier for them as well. This can be as simple as knowing where they like to get the ball, or what there strengths and limitations are as a player. For example if you know your big man struggles catching low bounce passes, then its probably going to be a good idea to throw him more lobs or touch passes. Knowing your teammates can also come down to understanding your teams system or the play you just called. Communication is key and just simply talking to your teammate, can make you a better passer as he can give you feedback on where he wants it next time. For example he might tell you that if you kick it out to him that he likes you to pass the ball to the right side of his body, to his shooting pocket. Maybe your big man wants you to throw the lob higher next time. Communicating this with your teammates will give you more assists and better chemistry and hopefully lead to more victories.

5. Knowing Your Opponents

This can come down to a lot of situational things but knowing your opponent will make you a better passer as it can allow you to know where to pass the ball and where not to pass the ball. For example, if you are passing to a big man and he has his defender sealed off but you know the other team is incredibly fast and agile then it is probably not a good idea to throw a slow touch pass toward them. Understanding your opponent will also let you know if you can make a pass or if you can't make a pass, which in turn causes less turnovers and you getting more playing time. This also applies to the other teams coverage's and schemes, and knowing where to pass on other teams schemes will definitely make you a better and more efficient passer.

6. Understanding Momentum And Situations

Understanding this principle allows you to become a better passer because again it will allow you to know how ,when, where or who to pass the ball too. A big reason for a lot of steals and turnovers is not understanding momentum and situations. Just because your teammate looks open does not mean that he is always open. For example lets say you throw a lob pass directly at your teammate so he doesn't have to move and he seems pretty open on the surface, but your opponent is running at a full sprint to try and steal it. More times then not he is going to steal the because he has all the momentum. This goes a lot into knowing your opponents and teammates because its important to understand in basketball where your opponents are right now and where they will be by the time your teammates catch it will look completely different.

7. Keeping Your Head Up

By far one of the simplest things you can do to improve your passing. And while it might seem obvious to you as a reader the truth of the matter is most players I see and watch do not keep there head up at all times. This is especially true in transition a lot of times a player will get the ball in transition and look to drive or score, and that is great, if you want to put pressure on a defense, but the truth is, if you have multiple defenders on you, or your opponents defense is not set up, that is a prime opportunity for you to pass the ball and get an assist.

8. Understanding Angles


As a passer in basketball you are like the quarterback in football ,and one general rule of thumb almost all quarterbacks have, that can be applied to basketball is passing where your teammate can get it and your opponent can't. This comes with practice and repetition in basketball. But for example a reason you see a guy like Lonzo Ball able to make full court dimes, is because he understands this principle. An easy way to practice this is by throwing to where your teammates hands are up. Most of the time when your teammates are cutting or wanting the ball, their hands will be up in the position that they want them. Another general rule of thumb is if your opponent is fronting your teammate in any way look to throw a lob pass, if your opponent is not between you and your teammate throw a harder bullet pass, and on cuts where your teammate is slightly in front of your opponent or going lateral, a bounce pass is in order, but not all situations are the same.

9. Using Your Eyes

An easy way to become a better passer in basketball is too use your eyes to your advantage. If you want to be the guy who gets those oooos and ahhhhs from the crowd, then this is a great tool to use. Using you eyes to deceive your opponent allows you to create space for your teammates and keep your opponent guessing. Since 99% of the time a defender is used to reacting to where he sees his opponents eyes are going. This works especially great against zone coverage, and pac line defense since most coaches will teach 5 guys looking at the ball. As a quarterback in football they teach this as well since most defenses in pass coverage's are taught to look at the quarterbacks eyes when throwing the ball. Using your eyes to bait defenders and throw them off is an easy thing you can implement to become a better passer in basketball.

10. Actually Practicing passing

I know what you might be thinking, "duh of course you need to practice captain obvious". But many players think they cannot practice passing by them selves or alone in a gym. And yes while I will admit nothing is as good as playing in game situations, practicing passing by your self can be a great way to improve the fundamentals that will translate into a game.

Simple Practice tips to practice passing by yourself- just having a wall or some hard surface and practicing throwing off it and seeing what kinda of angles works best, is a great way to practice your bounce passing. Another thing you can do is to try to hit certain spots on that wall to improve your passing accuracy. Mix it up and practice in game scenarios, and imagine a situation that might take place. It might sound dorky and not effective but those little skills translate into useful fundamentals that you can use in games, to become a better passer in basketball and get more assists.

Passing and getting a great assist can be one of the best feelings in sports, more people will want to play with you, your coaches will love you, and its a great thing every player can add to their game. Let me know if I missed any tips that you have used to become a better passer in basketball, and how many assists you would like to average next season. Thank you for reading my friend and keep hooping.


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